My First Tournament
I've known how to place chess for a while. This is to imply that, while I have known since I was young, I haven't played that much. I got the bug and got really into it about 4 months ago and have been playing all the time now. I got involved in my college's club and I also go to my local club. I have been trying to read as much as possible too.
Just this weekend, I got an opportunity to play in my first tournament--the state tournament. The collegiate section was pretty small--only 26 players from four school. While this was pretty small, I think it was good for my first tournament--not too intimidating. I came in unrated (obviously), and played a 1750 or so player for my first game. I was white and used e4 and played against his sicilian. It ended up being a really close game, even in material the whole way. We traded off positional advantages throughout the game. I offered a draw about halfway through that he declined. A few blunders from me late in the game gave him a pawn advantage going into the end game that I couldn't come back from. He eventually beat me and got 2nd place in the tournament. I was very proud of myself though. After going 2-3 in the 5 round, swiss format tournament, I left with a rating of 907.
While I will continue attending both of the clubs I mentioned, I'll get another chance at formal competition in two weekends. A tournaments on Saturday followed by a collegiate match against another school--I'm pretty excited. My plan is to learn a few more openings before I go.