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North American Open U1700 - Day 1

North American Open U1700 - Day 1

Dec 26, 2013, 3:44 PM 0

North American Open U1700 - Day 1

I felt like this occasion called for a blog post. 

This will be my first tournament in about 2 or so years. I took a long break off chess because I had hit a plateau around 1700 and the game was no longer fun for me. I didn't have the excitement I once had and that was the cue for me to put away the pieces. It was a needed break, but unfortunately, it always takes awhile to get back into the groove of things. This tournament will take on greater meaning, however, because I came intending to win my section. This feeling brings on more nerves as game time approaches, because there is a heavier expectation I am placing on myself. I've never had this anxiousness before a tournament.

Since I lost my job awhile back I've been freelancing to pay for my chess pursuits. I've been preparing for this tournament as if I were a professional chess player, dedicating entire days towards improving my game and fixing my weaknesses. I also have been volunteering as chess assistance for my high school. It's always a good experience to view chess through other people's eyes and it's helped me from an instructional point of view in improving my own chess.

We are currently about 3 hours from the first game in the 4 day section starting at 6:15pm Las Vegas Time. Since it is the day after Christmas, I feel like its an opportune time to be aggressive against a possible sluggish matchup in the first round. I'll pounce if I think they had just a little too much Christmas Ham yesterday.

My buddy Daniel McNally (~USCF 2000) told me not to get too cocky even though it was an U1700 section. I think it was good advice to take these players seriously, you never know when there are sleepers in the crowd.

I'll update with the notation from game 1 later tonight.

First game is in the books. Although I played sloppy to a certain degree I still managed to win. The long tournament drought has made me completely forget how to time manage and I fell victim to the sin of 'Perfectionism' in this game. However, a few mistakes by white and not capitalizing on my sloppy play in time pressure cost white the game and I was fortunate enough to win.

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