So, for most of the year (as you can probably tell from my other blog posts) I'm not a full-time chessplayer. Instead I'm a coach who dabbles in other things, writing occasional articles, blogs etc.
That's all about to change - well, for the next 6 weeks or so anyway. The first tournament I'll be playing in is a local tournament just down the road from me called 'London Chess Classic' - ok, not in the top section with Carlsen and Anand, but instead in the still very strong FIDE Open. Here's a link to the entrants: http://londonchessclassic.com/festival_entries.htm
That starts tomorrow and I've obviously been trying to do some work getting ready for the event. Still, the most important thing for me I think will be the middlegames so as a coach I'm trying to set down a few rules that I normally give to my students but often fail to follow myself!
1. As soon as I'm surprised in the opening have a think and work out what has changed - come up with a plan for the next few moves.
2. Don't think for ages over unimportant decisions, play practically and don't ruin good positions through unnecessary time trouble.
3. Don't rush into playing the 'winning' move. Double check the variations. If it really is winning the extra time will be well spent and the extra time taken might help calm my nerves.
4. Don't be afraid of the GMs - they're human too and if they're offering draws it's probably because they're not very happy with their position!
Anyway - we'll see if I manage to follow some or all of these rules. Fingers crossed! I haven't played a tournament this long for a while so I'll also have to try and conserve energy - staying at home during the event should help, especially if I can avoid going out for too many drinks post-game!
After the Classic comes Christmas followed by the other tournament in my festive chess season - the Hastings Masters which starts on the 28th of December. Entry list: http://www.hastingschess.com/?page_id=347
I'll be doing a little bit of coaching in between the tournaments but not too much. Anyway, I promised in the last blog I'd have some actual chess in the next one so below is my reason to be hopeful - my last FIDE Rated game was a win... I even got some preparation in!