Jumping into Class B

Feb 15, 2015, 10:36 PM |

You know that cliche about taking two steps forward, one step back? For me, 2014 was a year of taking two steps forward and two steps back. I first crossed in to Class C in July, 2013 after a great tournament where I gained 88 points.

Well, I jumped into Class B this past weekend in the same manner. I scored only 2.5 of 4 points in the tournament at ChessIQ in Skokie, IL. But, I was the lowest rated player in the entire tournament, only sporting a 1521 rating, and so I got a chance to play against some real tough competition.

In round one I beat an 1800; round two, drew against a 1950; round three, beat a 2020 (my first expert scalp!); and, finally, in round four I lost to an 1855. This performance earned me 137 rating points and a new highwater mark of 1658!

During the tournament I didn't feel particularly different than during other recent (and less impressive) tournaments. I did notice I was looking more for those active moves; the moves that would help me fight for the intitiative, IE, "push my own agenda," in Silman-speak.

Also, I felt my calculation and tactical awareness was on point during the tournament. My first win came after a pawn winning discovered attack and my draw came after spotting a two stage tactic that I calculated just a few ply further than my opponent. (He surely was capable of calculating it also, he just didn't for whatever reason.)

Here is my third round game against the Expert.