Honestly? I don't want to post this tournament. However, if I plan to learn from my losses, I need to continue the process of reviewing games. Over the past three tournaments, my rating had been going up, up, and up. Last night, I was 0-2.
I had a first round bye, because I was stuck in traffic on Hwy 635. I thought it'd be a good idea to take a short nap before I left for the tournament. There's a lot of research showing the benefits of naps. Especially with mental activities such as chess, being well-rested can help a lot. (I also try to exercise more on the week leading up to a tournament. Yes, I'm a little obsessed.) The downside of the nap is I was groggy when I woke up, and didn't leave the house as soon as I should have. I had a Cliff Bar on my way. These things are amazing. They should be standard for every tournament player.
The games were G30. And for all the preparation I put into tournaments, you'd think I'd be more careful during the game itself. Unfortunately, I played too fast (not usually an issue for me) -- especially in the first game. My opponent also played fast. I had a material advantage early in the game. He then had some good counterplay with his queen. It flustered me, which counterplay is supposed to do, and I made probably my worst tournament blunder ever with 25...Rh6. The correct response, I believe, is 25...Rg7. To his credit, he didn't lose his cool when down material. He sought out an attack, and took advantage of his opportunities. A well-deserved win. We talked afterward. He's a nice guy. I'm not happy I lost, but I'm glad we had the chance to play. The third round I played against the talented Atulya Vaidya (older brother of a kid I've played twice before), so now I've been beaten by both brothers. He's about 600 points higher than me. I wasn't too optimistic. All the same, my game was pretty reckless. I should have been more cautious and patient. I tried a wild bishop sacrifice that did nothing. You shouldn't try to "out tactic" a better player, especially when you have no clue where it's going to lead. It's the first time I've tried the Colle System, which I'm currently studying. After the tournament, I watched a few more videos on my Fritz Trainer DVD: Colle System (by Nigel Davies) -- and ironically, the next few videos went over the correct response for when black fianchettos his king's bishop. Thus, if I had skipped the nap and watched the videos instead... what I'm trying to say is, don't ever sleep?
I started playing in tournaments over a year ago, and this is the first time I've been to the Dallas Chess Club. It's a nice place. Club president Luis Salinas should be proud of what he's organized over these years. My friend Odunayo and I are planning to return next Wednesday.
Here are the games. As usual, feedback and commentary is warmly accepted. Also, if you want to pat me on the back, tell me that everything is going to be all right -- and then take me out for some ice cream, I'll gladly acccept that too. Next week, I will play better! Be ready for the report.