Chess in Sugar Land!
Sugar.

Chess in Sugar Land!

DanielGuel
DanielGuel
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14

Sugar!  Well, OK, let's be serious for once. My most recent OTB tournament which I have alluded to in the past was in Sugar Land, Texas... near Houston. 

In my opinion, it was actually a very grandiose event. Eighty players showed up, including a staggering seventeen unrated (first USCF tournament) players... possibly a result of the recent chess popularity?! One of the city council members of Sugar Land really likes chess. He helped make this event happen, so he deserves a ton of credit. It was an outdoor event, inside a tent, overlooking the Sugar Land City Hall.

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Not gonna lie, it was nice. The ambiance and general excitement for chess were great to witness. Yes, there were some outside noises like traffic, but I actually think once I got zoned into the games, it didn't really matter to me.  It was very refreshing especially after a not-so refreshing 2020. 

Just a few random disclaimers.

1) If you were one of my opponents for a past, present, or future tournament, and you don't want your name published, please send me a kind message saying so, and I will remove your name... I don't get this issue much, but I understand some people are concerned for their privacy  

2) I don't use my blog as a platform to reveal all of my opening prep... I don't get paranoid about it either, because who really spends their free time preparing for ME?! But joking aside, I do believe my "prep" will show up in games anyway, and my games are no secret, so if you want to know what I play in a specific opening, just look through my games!

3) I didn't get this post out as soon as possible after the tournament, because I wanted to give myself time to properly analyze the games before publishing them...

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OK, about the games. My first game was against Jonathan Rosenzweig, (1544 USCF). I think he had only played in one tournament in July 2020. So his rating was as provisional as it gets, let's take a look at how the game went! 

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Not a bad start to the game! On to round two, against an expert, Ganesh Kumarappan (2011 USCF). He played the King's Indian Defense as Black, I played this line that my coach showed me, and we had a fight! 

Losing to an expert is never ideal... however, I was proud of the way I played. I am glad that I was willing to sacrifice a pawn for a better position. There were just better ways I could have managed my position!

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My final game was against Daniel Yang (1589). Young opponent, with a huge upside in the future...

It was somewhat of a lucky win, as my opponent did have an advantage... but, that's why I'm almost 1800... I fight back!

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Time to make you jealous and hungry about my post-tournament dinner!

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Here are some general lessons I learned from the tournament.

  • My first game was crisp for the most part. However, my coach did point out how 18... h6, kicking away the Knight on g5 could be an improvement to stop all counterplay. 

  • I did have some moments where I lost my concentration, and my coach also made a good point that it tends to happen when we are either overjoyed or frustrated with our position. Because a lot of emotion is involved, so it can be easy to get delusional over the board. So I need to work more on playing the best moves regardless of what is going on. 

  • I learned some opening prep against the Queen's Gambit exchange variation ... which is for me to know, and you to find out

  • Overall, I was proud of the way I played. I feel like my piece coordination was fluid, and I played with energy.

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I hope you enjoyed reviewing the games! My next tournament is this coming Saturday. It's technically a "secret" invitational tournament... so I'm gonna leave it at that!  I will let you know how it goes... probably on Wednesday or Thursday, as after the tournament, I want to give myself a little bit of time to review the games before posting them and analyzing.

Have a great day, week, year, life, whatever. I will see you soon for the next post!