Today I played my first expert+/"almost Master" level player, very very strong and he's our top teams' board 1 player and wipes the floor with everyone in our club... that didn't put me off one bit though
My opponent doesn't have an official grade yet as he is fresh out of Russian chess school, (well he is Russian and plays high-level chess so just guessing here!) in his first season as a UK chess player and is easily around ~200 ECF (~2250 FIDE equ.) (and he scored 3/5 in Kidlington 2013 u225's section!) but I went in there and played MY game, took him completely out of his preparation (he admitted he had prepared against 1.d4 as he was told that's what I play! (and I do too.)) and I actually dominated the best part of the game. Despite losing I definitely did myself justice here
But look at the rating difference! - I just wanted to last 40 moves, I said I would and I did easily... even though I lost, this is one of my best games of chess ever without a doubt - I was simply outplayed. To make it even better, at the end when he shook my hand he said it was the toughest victory he's had all season and I'm the lowest-graded player by a mile who he has played and that meant a lot
Kudos to my opponent, we both gave eachother an epic battle!!
So I resigned gracefully knowing he had over 2 minutes compared to my 60 seconds and I knew I'd be outblitzed so saved us both effort and resigned, knowing I had been beaten by a true expert player.
What an experience to play a rated game like this and (in my view anyway) perform at my best, epic!