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Update

I've experienced some setbacks since my last post but overall my motivation is still high. I've been playing 2 rated games a week for the past couple of months. This was my first time playing weekly rated games since playing at the Scarborough club several years ago. I'm finding it very helpful, as I'm able to reflect more after a game and analyze it more thoroughly. However, in terms of performance, I find I'm more focused in weekend tournaments, and I have better results when the pressure and intensity are higher.

It may also be a contributing factor that I am at least partially organizing/ directing both tournaments. Although I don't let it affect the amount of time spent at the board, my attention is still somewhat divided.

I just completed the Annex Patio Swiss tournament at the Annex Chess Club on Bathurst. I finished with 3/5 which was good enough for second place, but since I was top seed I lost a fair number of rating points (2181-->2156). I'm currently sitting at 4.5/7 games in the Hart House Closed tournament, with 2 wins and 5 draws. One of the wins should have been a loss (he had a mate in two, but instead chose to win my queen for a rook... then miraculously I won back the material with interest). In another game I won a piece in the opening, but managed to blow it in time trouble and allowed a perpetual. Another game I offered a draw in a winning position because I misevaluated my chances. Overall, there's been a lot of missed opportunities and I'm not too happy with my play, but I'm learning a lot about myself and I've decided to switch up my game plan.

I'm going to be less aggressive in my approach, and focus more on enjoying myself and be less attached to the results. I read something recently that caused me to have somewhat of a revelation about what I'm doing wrong. Basically it said that successful people in life care deeply about things without being emotional invested in the results, since that is beyond their control. I'm going to try out this approach and see where it takes me.

One piece of good news is that my tactics trainer rating hit a new peak of 2861, which put me in the top 20 players for a while! I haven't gotten close to that since, but I'm expecting that if I put in the volume, I'll slowly see some improvement. I find it depends greatly on my state of mind, focus and motivation. I get very emotionally invested when I'm near a new milestone, and that helps improve my focus and makes my calculation less lazy. I'm going to try to reflect more on what makes a good tactician, and see if I can come up with general rules to help my students.

I'm playing in the Toronto International in July, U2200 section (unless my rating surpasses that before then). I'll try to do an update afterwards and talk about how I feel going into the Canadian Championships in August.

Wish me luck!

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