FIDE Continental America's Amatuer Chess Championship

Jul 1, 2011, 7:12 AM |

I arrived in Chicago last night.  Staying at the Inter-Continental where the tournament is being held.  It’s a nice enough place, but as with all Chicago businesses the advertised price is never the final price.  Sure, the room is $85/night, but with parking at $22 per day and with $12.95 daily for internet it’s not that cheap of a room stay when all is said and done.


One thing I love about technology and how it has changed chess is that I was able to look at the pre-registrations.  Now granted, it’s 9:00am and with the first round at noon there are still two more hours to register.   But in theory if nothing changes I know who I’ll be playing in the first round.


Not only that, but I was able to find a recent game OTB game for my opponent posted online.  What does that mean?  Well, nothing really.  But it’s nice to know that if I play this guy and if he plays 1. Nf3 I’ll have some sort of inner sense of superiority since I would have “seen it coming.”  And since I’ll be giving up 450 rating points in this game I’ll take any psychological edge I can get.


It’s interesting in a way to think that I’m playing in a FIDE tournament.  My how the game has changed.  When I quit playing in 1992 I would have thought that the chance to get a FIDE rating would be the coolest thing ever! 


My preparation for this event has mainly consisted of learning more about pawn structures.  I was focusing on end games for a while, but I kept finding myself playing without a plan in the middle game, so it seemed like it was time to truly learn more about pawn structures.  We’ll see how much good any of that has done me.


I figured that in a larger seven round event such as this one, that my USCF rating of 1550 would put me near the bottom, but as it turns out I’m just about 10-15 under the cutoff, which is interesting since in theory it means that if we get enough on site registrations then I could wind up playing a much lower rated player in the first round.  Psychologically that would be HUGE since I’m playing for the $1000 top Class C prize and this is just one large open section.  So having a shot at starting out 1-0 instead of having to fight an uphill battle would be nice.  But the fates will dictate how all that goes.


Ah well, let’s have some tea and search out some breakfast and see what the day holds.