My Tournament Hiatus is OVER
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My Tournament Hiatus is OVER

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Welcome to my blog, and to the three month anniversary (plus some days) of me not posting! I assume that my blog just naturally dies and goes extinct without anyone noticing... but... I realized that's not the case as I entered a tournament today, and I get endless questions about "On a scale of 1-10, how dead is your blog?", "Next blog when?", "Will you blog this tournament if you do good?". That's when I realized that I'm somewhat missed. You know who you are!

So since I last posted, life happened. I graduated. Yay! But that's not important, when we have seven(!) tournament games to go through. Pretend that I'm not going to post a cringe graduation photo for no real reason!

Just joking... it's not cringe... but just don't let me in your nightmares! :)

So actually... before my two regular-rated tournaments, I did play in a local blitz tournament. 11-round double round robin, so 22 games. I scored 21/22. Yay!!! I couldn't really make a blog about that because the blitz games weren't notated. Most of the opposition was significantly lower rated than me, but I had to fend off some solid opponents to go undefeated and win the tournament.

So what really counts is the regular rating. I signed up awhile ago to play in the 2023 Waco May Swiss. I figured that after graduating, without the stress of grades, finals, school, and the pressure of being on a chess team, it'd be a good opportunity to play some games for fun. However I do, I just want to get back into playing tournaments, like the "good old days."

Although, before the May Swiss, there was going to be a local quad for chess club participants to play in. They happen sporadically. I even had to convince the guy to open up the quad, and promised that I'd play if he opened it up, and he did. The quads are a "first come, first served" basis, and I immediately signed up. Eventually, the spots were filled up. By who? Since this is competitive chess, we don't care about the names, we care about the ratings!! (just joking, kind of). I would be competing against 1573, 1474, and 1444. That's actually pretty good competition for a local quad. According to the ratings, I should go 3/3, but the ratings (should) mean nothing when it comes time to play moves! 

Look at me!!! :D

In round 1, I was set to play my friend, and ex-Baylor teammate Jorge Ramirez-Vasquez (1474 USCF). Uhh, let's see how the game went! 

Certainly a shaky start. Obviously, my opponent played well. I also think I just put myself in a bad position, locking up the board, and leaving a vulnerability (17. Bh4) that gave my opponent all kinds of opportunities. 

A draw is not the worst result, and I get to try and rebound in round 2 vs Tanish Seelam (1573 USCF)

Overall, a clean win, even given the opportunities I missed. It happens. My only remaining obstacle to finishing the quad undefeated, and possibly winning clear first is my final opponent, Andrew Henson (1444 USCF). He was on 0/2, certainly having it a little bit rough, but it's important to take each game seriously! 

So I finished the Quad with a final score of 2.5/3, coming in clear 1st place, and winning $25. Yayyy!!! 

But now... after the quad... the tournament recap you've all been waiting for...

The Waco May Swiss was a pretty big event. 55 players in all showed up, I believe 19 in the Open section. I was seeded #5 (if I remember correctly). So. Pressure? Ehh. 

In round 1, I was paired vs Lyric Barai (1563 USCF). Let's see how the game went! 

Yes, we agreed to a draw in that position. I had ways I could have played on, but I saw ways for Black to get counterplay, and I was lower on the clock!

In round 2, I was paired vs Julian Joseph (1362 USCF)

Wow, two draws vs lower rated opponents, and missed opportunities in both. I guess that's what I get for being out of practice. The quick draw meant that I had a relatively long lunch break, and when I came back to see the pairings, I saw that I would be paired against my buddy Mark Mettler (1710 USCF)! Mark also graduated from Baylor when I did, he used to be the President of the Baylor Chess Club. We would play at chess club and hang out multiple times per week. It'll be interesting to see how this game goes! 

It was a bit anticlimactic. Not only beating my friend, and sending him from undefeated to 50%, but the way I won. Yes, time pressure is 100% a component of competitive chess... but... idk. At this point, I'm at 2/3, and if I win the final round, I will finish at 3/4, put myself in the prize pool, and likely redeem my rating from my first half duds. 

My final game of this monster of a read is against Greyson Abrams (1586 USCF). Fun fact, I've played him three times, and every game was in the final round. Funny how it works. 

That's it! Seven tournament games in one post. My record ended up being 4 wins, 3 draws, no losses. Seems like a good record on paper until you realize that my three draws were significantly lower rated. My rating went from 1732 to 1744

It's good to be back in the tournament scene and in the blogging zone! My next tournament starts in two days... the Texas State and Amateur Championship. I'm obviously in the Amateur section because I'm no good at chess!   I've wanted to do it for a few years, but just never got the opportunity. I'm excited, as I'll be participating with some ex-Baylor teammates, so it should be fun! I might have another tournament the week after, but I'll have to see how I feel after state and amateur.

Thanks for reading! I hope you either learned something or were entertained... probably the latter. Be on the lookout for my next post in six months... and shoutout to the individual who begs me to post... you know who you are!

Hello to all, and welcome to my blog! Visit my profile for more info about myself!


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