Playing chess with the Senators

f.l.t.r.: Senator Raskin, Balasubramanian, Foisor, Margvelashvili, Kaplan, Senator Currie, me, Williams, Senator Simonaire

Last Monday the whole UMBC Chess team was invited to the State House of Maryland, which is located in the capital, Annapolis. I had never been to a statehouse and I was more than delighted to follow this invitation. Senator Currie, who is a chess enthusiast, sent out the invitation in order to firstly, recognize the team for the success at the Pan American Championship, and secondly, to get some practice for the Senate Chess team. Funnily enough, we were honored twice. Once in the chamber of the State Senate, as you can see above, and then also in the House of Delegates.

In the House of Delegates

Right afterwards we were challenged by the Senate Chess team to play some games in the lounge. The lounge was actually the perfect place for some chess in a relaxed atmosphere. As far as I understood, the Senate chess team plays once a year a tournament against a delegation from the House of Delegates. I hope this practice helped them to stay in shape.

awaiting Senator Simonaire's next move

UMBC vs. Senators

It was an interesting experience to take a look around in a State House, especially since it is a lot different from what I know from Germany. Not only that it has two chambers compared to one in Germany, but also the architecture is quite fascinating and different. I would have loved to spend more time and see everything and maybe I will get a chance, since the Senators might be interested in repeating the whole thing.

Having a look at Germany

Last weekend the first Bundesliga started again and my team, the Hamburger SK, was facing two strong opponents, SV Wattenscheid and SG Solingen. Fortunately, my team was able to win the match against Wattenscheid and by doing so, securing valuable points for the fight against relegation. But I would like to show one excerpt of one of the games against Solingen. This match was lost, but Rasmus Svane managed to win his game against strong GM Gawain Jones in a spectacular fashion:

Svane - Jones 1st Bundesliga 2013

White to move

Black just sacrificed the exchange and was hoping for the fork g6-g5 in order to win a piece. But Svane is iniating a very strong attack with 28.Rh7+! Kxh7 29.e5+ Kg8 30.Qh2. Black now took the pawn with 30...dxe5 and even though the knight is considered to be the king's best friend, he could not hold off the attack in this case. Svane continued with 31.Bg6 and after Ra7 32.Ne4 all White pieces participate in the attack and the game was soon decided. This was already the second win of the youngster against a very strong opponent in the Bundesliga and I am sure there is more to come!

Another big event is starting just today in Germany. At Baden-Baden the Grenke Chess Classic will take place, where the best three German players compete against three absolute top class players, one of them World Champion Viswanathan Anand. I am looking forward to this high class tournament!