Mariano Sana, Argentinian living in the US since 1995. Naturalized US citizen since 2015. I am an associate professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University: https://as.vanderbilt.edu/sociology.... Previously, I was at Louisiana State University (2003-2009).
My published academic work can be seen here: https://vanderbilt.academia.edu/Mar.... My review of Gary Alan Fine's "Players and Pawns" is here: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/d....
My avatar comes from a cartoon of mine drawn by a friend. My username, besides the pasta, is my senior cat's name (born in 2001, still kickin'), inspired by this cartoon: http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/F....
My first tournament was at age 12 in 1979. I finished 8th in the Argentine junior championship in 1985. So, I was good enough, but not great. (That same evaluation is apt today.) Unfortunately, no game scores survived from those years. I started to play again after grad school. I play between zero and five tournaments a year.
I won the Louisiana State Championship in 2007, featuring the Swiss gambit. I lost the first game and then won six in a row. This was my last round win, where I got lucky after playing the opening pretty terribly: J Rousselle vs M Sana, 2007.
I also won the under 2200 section of the US Open in 2014. Again, Swiss gambit. Lost the first one, then won five in a row, lost game 7, and won games 8 and 9. My last round win was featured as a Tuesday puzzle: K Gulamali vs M Sana, 2014.
I'd say that I am essentially a good but inconsistent player. My playing style is a mix of strategic and tactical. I'm usually very willing to sac a pawn or allow positional weaknesses in exchange for active piece play. For years I've been hovering around 2200. On a good day, well rested and inspired, I may beat an FM or IM (T Bartell vs M Sana, 2009, R Burnett vs M Sana, 2012, M Sana vs C Blocker, 2014, M Sana vs R Burnett, 2015). But on a bad day, I can play horribly and lose against whoever is sitting in front of me, losing tons of rating points at once.
Lately, my tournament play has been limited to Nashville events. Sometimes I travel. If you see me at a tournament, feel free to say hi. I am a friendly fellow!
My participation on this website goes through ebbs and flows, and 80+ percent of my posts are about chess. I often post on my own forum just to keep records, for myself. Everyone is welcome to visit and share! (But please don't post about politics here.)