In and around NY/ Lackluster Result in White Plains

And so it goes- I failed to keep my promise to myself that I wouldn’t play until I analyzed all my games from two Thursdays ago. When I realized I had three local camps in a row, I told my self I would take advantage and play a few tournaments- but no cigar. I am finally realizing why so many chess teachers don’t play chess in the year- I’m hanging pieces left and right! Here’s my utterly disgustingly embarrassing blunder against IM Sarkar last night:

I finished with a win against another nemesis of mine, although we only played a few times and evened up my lifetime score against Alex Eydelman.- Overall, it was a lackluster performance of 1/3 and a 2114 performance rating, but it will do… Im now 2192 and still just under the radar of master again.

Here’s a few photos I took from my phone around NY the last few weeks. I’m having issues with my camera: more concert reviews to come up when its fixed…. Btw any advice from my readers on a type of new camera I should get?
Two funky street performers at the Columbus Circle Subway Station

A cool new sculpture next to the MET I saw walking through the park yesteray

A Killer Jazz jam band and one of my favorite spots in NY: the Fat Cat

A relatively new extremely cheap and good pizza place on 8th street and 6th ave

The slices are a bit small but with two slices and soda for $2.75, you can’t complain especially considering NY prices these days! For breakfast this morning I got a bagel and and ice coffee thinking it might be a bit expensive as it was on 88th and Lex, a good location: I didn’t think it would be $6.75 though!- That was just outrageous.

I’m alive and seeing lots of great concerts!

Although I haven’t posted in the last few weeks, I have been doing quite a lot. After Ringo, I saw Robert Plant down in Little Rock and saw Winwood open for Santana last Sunday. Both of them had their ups and downs but were great shows altogether. More to come soon, (this time I promise:).

I’d post more on them now, but I am exhausted- chess camp does tire you out and the traveling doesn’t help. Chesswise, I am in a little bit of a losing streak or in the words of my friend Jeremiah Williams “freefall”. I played on Tuesday rather miserably in the Marshall Masters scoring 1/4 and falling just below master. Therefore, I decided to skip out on tonight’s 4RGT and Bradley this weekend. I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t play until I fully analyze my games from the Masters and the Thursday before I left to Little Rock and put a few up on the blog. On the other hand, as I walking home today down Broadway a bookseller near Fairways asked me if I wanted to play a game of chess. I did not know the man so I figured he had known me from my blog or had seen me around at tournaments… NOPE I guess he saw me quickly glance at the computer chess board that he was trying to sell for $30. Albeit being tired, I figured it couldn’t hurt. After I beat him in about 20 moves, he said I was a “good chess player”. Little did he know I was actually coming home from teaching a chess camp!

Ringo rocks out on his 70th birthday! Part 1

Ringo’s show on Wednesday was nothing short of incredible. I can’t explain fully how so many friends did not want to see him because he wasn’t the “best Beatle”.I would not argue with this statement, but that is a relative one. Ringo may have wrote only a few songs for the Beatles, the ones he did and/or covered such as “Act Naturally” were some of the Beatle’s biggest hits. Not only that, he did the perfect job at holding a steady beat, which is all the Beatles needed in the long run.

Perhaps,because Ringo knows he was sort of a “sideman” of the Beatles he is very modest on stage at times. He does make a lot of arrogant jokes very deservingly so. For example, when he pointed to a sign that said “Happy Birthday Ringo”, he said “That’s nice, but where is my gift?”. He is different from Mccartney (oops I mean Sr. Paul) who at least at Citifield last year dominates the show. On the other hand, Ringo takes full advantage of the enormous talent his Allstar bandmates have.

I regret not knowing Rick Derringer’s music well sooner. I have heard of his song “Hang on Sloopy” which he played phenomenally, but never knew how good of a guitar player he was. He evened pulled out some Steve Vai style shredding at the end of “Rock and roll Hoochie Koo”.

In addition, I learned about the great voice of Wally Palmer, of the Romantics who performed excellent renditions of “Talking in Her Sleep” and “What I Like About You”. Not only that,he had my favorite kind of guitar, a Rickenbacker. On the off chance that any of my readers are feeling generous and want to buy me an extra birthday gift, you know what to get:)

Before I get on to my favorite parts of the show, I need to share my one objective not so great part of the show: the songs Richard Page played. He is a great bass player but I wasn’t too big on the 80s songs he played: “Kyrie” and “Broken Wings”.

The Dark Horse who almost stole the show:The Mighty Edgar Winter

This multi-instrumentalist is just extraordinary- no questions asked. I’ve listened to plenty of his music before, but seeing him lie is something else. He played “Freeride”, right after Derringer’s “Hang on Sloopy”,so the bar was raised pretty high. He certainly met his task. He raised the bar much higher however when he playeed possibly his biggest hit “Frankenstein”.

A close contender to Winter however was Gary Wright with his one major hit “Dreamweaver”. I always knew this song but never actually knew who sung it. I thought it was interesting how he explained it was influenced by a poem George Harrison showed him while traveling in India. RIP GEORGE.

Part 2 coming soon!

Short Birthday Excursion to Philadelphia/King of Prussia

It took me a long time to decide whether or not to play the World Open. I wanted to play a nice long tournament but because of work last week, I would of had to play the 3 day schedule.Considering the fact that I was exhausted working three weeks in a row and the steep $350 entry fee, I decided not to play.Instead,Sunday I ventured out to King of Prussia to play in the two quick tournaments and spend my 20th birthday.

I got to Philly pretty easily via Megabus,which is a great means of transit: It was $12 and it has free wifi and outlets unlike the more expensive Greyhound. I then met up with a friend from Brandeis and I wanted to go to a great Kosher Israeli restaurant Hamifgash.We walked over there and it was closed: I tried going there twice before this time and one of those they were closed as well, so I would try calling them first to see they if they are open. If they are though, you certainly won’t regret going there.

Instead,we had a great lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Philly, the Imperial Inn:

My birthday in King of Prussia was fun, but I played rather miserable in the g/5 and g/10 tournaments. In the g/10 I hung pieces left and right and withdrew after going 0-3 against one a player and two experts. The g/5 was a little better as I went 5-5, but wasn’t great. That’s life though- I can’t expect to play with out so many blunders after teaching kids three weeks in a row. I am going to try to do some tactics training before my next event to try and not blunder so much.

The Rambling Man in the DC Area

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Trying to make a living and doing the best I can
When it’s time for leaving, I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a rambling man.
(Ramblin’ Man by the Allman Brothers: A shameless plug of one of my favorite songs of all time by one of the best rock bands)

I may have not been “born a ramblin’ man, but since May I certainly have been. Since I left to Asia, I have stayed in 11 hotels, went on 12 flights (including conections), and took 4 bus rides.

This past week, I did a camp in Potomac, Maryland and stayed in Gaithersburg. Here are two places I enjoyed eating at in Gaithersgburg:

1) Ricky’s Rice Bowl: A small Asian joint in the Gaithersburg Square Shopping Center

At first, I was a bit wary of trying this place as it was Korean owned and had Korean, Japanese, Thai and other kinds of food. Generally, I find places that dont specialize on one cuisine don’t make great food. This place was an exception. The two nights in a row that I went there I had peanut chicken and brocoli and it was excellent. It was also reasonably priced at $8.00 for a large portion.

2)The Silver Diner

This diner is located In the Lake Forest Mall of Gaithersburg had a pretty good hamburger and french fries that I ordered. However, I had one complaint:their boombox had one of CSN’s best songs spelled wrong!:
It should be Teach Your Children!

The last night I was there, I took the metro to Alexandria to meet my aunt and uncle for dinner. Here is some photos I took along the way including one of a great underground street performer band. I have a new policy that if a street performer actually grabs my attention in a positive manner and I have some change on me, I will give some.

I am now on a bus to Philly to spend my birthday in tradition at the World Open. Look for some upcoming posts on Ringo’s concert at Radio City Wednesday night and Little Rock next week!