19 days separate me from playing in the 2012 NC Open. It was this tournament last year that got me started in the chess scene here in North Carolina. My wife had bought me my membership to the USCF for a Christmas present and I quickly looked up a tournament to play in and happened upon the 2011 NC Open.
From there I burst onto the scene and started playing in local clubs within the area and quickly picked up where I had left off in my middle school days. I came into the rated scene with a mid to high 1200 rating and a brain like a sponge soaking up information. This time last year I was working with IM Battaligini and slightly improving.
I played in the U1400 section last year and scored 3.0 out of a possible 5.0. Not bad for a newbie I was told. Well this year I will be playing up one section into the U1700 and I feel pretty confident about my chances to at least place in a prize position. My goal is to go 5.0 out of a possible 5.0. Even if I get 3.5/5.0 or better then I will be happy. I know just to take my time, make safe, smart moves and I will do just fine. I have played players rated around 1600 and even as high as 1750. I won against the 1600 and I played well against the 1750 but fell asleep at the end of the game and hung my queen.
This year it is about making smart moves and taking my time. The time controls are longer than I am used to and I plan on making it last me. I know I have what it takes to win this year and considering this may be my last NC Open at least for a year or two I plan on making the most of it. So keep your eye out for my board and expect to see some exciting games with plenty of action!