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I was honestly too embarrassed to write this...

I was honestly too embarrassed to write this...

DanielGuel
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30

Or I simply made excuses to put off writing this... honestly, if I had the tournament of my life, I'd write something within 12 hours or so. But that's chess, peaking one month, then disaster the next. And what exactly happened? Normally, I go through the games/storylines, then make a reflection, and let you all either celebrate or sympathize (the latter in this case)... however, I'm going to get to the point:

Three weekends ago, I lost 58 USCF points! And on top of that, I think I just played some of the worst tournament chess in recent memory. So what happened? I think I know (I hope I do because I've been working dang hard to fix this). Going into that weekend, I lost focus. I would train calculation, but more "go through the motions", which is extremely counterproductive. And when I played, I just had a bunch of junk on my mind which definitely deterred my play (you'll get some more context about this later). OK, so let's get to the story:

I had a 773-word rant (yes, I counted) about how frustrating my trip to Dallas was. However, I decided to delete it, and focus more on the chess. Long story short, I signed up for the DFW Premier on Saturday/Sunday and decided to go to the NTCA (North Texas Chess Academy) for one of their weekly Friday evening tournaments. I try to check in to the hotel Friday afternoon where the DFW tournament is being played, but they won't let me in because I'm under 21, which was not made obvious on the hotel website, and I may be naive, but I didn't know hotels turn people down under 21. Weird... stressful... I end up finding a nearby hotel and staying there. Then I door dashed Chick Fil A over, and they got my order completely wrong. (however, doordash was courteous and gave me DD credits as compensation, but it was still annoying). 

OK, 126 words, not too bad!

So I drive over to the NTCA, they have their own space, which is neat! I arrived a few minutes early, and round 1 pairings were up, and I'm pitted against Oscar Li (1417 USCF). I played him in Arlington, I believe late 2019. Let's see how the rematch went!

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OK, so draw vs 1400 is disappointing, but not the end of the world. In round 2, I was paired with Faris Zafar (1587 USCF). Let's try to make a comeback! 

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I dropped out of the final round. I was very frustrated, probably the angriest I've ever been after a chess game (I didn't really show it at the tournament, but once I hopped into my car and drove to the hotel, it was obvious, lol). Like it was so bad that evening, I seriously considered retiring from chess! However, please don't take that out of context lol, it was "in the moment", and now I have zero thoughts of doing so. Gotta try to put that behind me for tomorrow morning, but clearly that was going to be impossible. I woke up Saturday morning, drove to the massive hotel, and sat down for round 1 sluggish, discouraged, but trying to hide it.

I was pitted against Rudransh Rajaram (1966 USCF) in round 1.  

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Not an ideal result. However, I need to get on the scoreboard at some point or another. Maybe against Mirza Peljto (1923 USCF)

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0-2 was not a great place to be in. Can I finally win a game against Mark Anderson (1789 USCF)??

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I was happy that I got on the scoreboard, but unhappy that I failed to win, when I probably should have. It just wasn't my event. It was the last game of Saturday, and rounds 4-5 were set to take place on Sunday. Well, I woke up on Sunday moring to a 1-point bye in round 4 🙃 I had mixed feelings about it. I was glad to get some extra time to myself to focus for the final game, but it was also one less opportunity to try and nail a win in the tournament.

I was ready to play in round 5. However... while waiting around, I started to feel sick. (I'm vaccinated from COVID, so it shouldn't be that). I had a headache, sniffles, sneezing, and coughing. I had a couple of hours before my final game to try and get better. I tried drinking some hot tea from the hotel lobby, it kinda helped my throat, but I was still sick. I really wanted to play the final game, but I decided to withdraw from the final round. People probably assumed I withdrew because I was playing poorly (and I don't blame them, that was true), but it was soley cause I was sick. OK, so how much damage did this do to my rating? Let's get this over with... 🙄

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After NTCA

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After DFW

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So I lost 58 points over the span of five games And at this point, I'm on a 6-game non-winning streak. So what happened? After taking to my coach (who was very helpful talking to me about my performance and "whipping" me back into shape, in his words lol), it was clear that I had not studied as much as I should have leading up to the event. I was gonna need to change something. Also, my coach pointed out that G/30 (the time control for the first two games) is very volatile, and probably something to avoid. And come to think of it, it's extemely weird that G/30;d5 and G/90+30 are rated the same. I guess I can't complain too much since I benefited from a G/45;d5 event. A friend (who's about 2100) also confirmed to me that the NTCA kids are underrated, which I believed once seeing past tournament results where a 1200 would beat an 1800, and things like that. I don't really make excuses like that, even if it's legitimate. It's on me to gain those rating points back!

Anyway, I played in the Texas July Open this past weekend, two weeks after my disaster. Would I be able to gain back some rating, let alone win a game??? Actually, you can research and find out, but look out for my next blog post coming very soon!