Time to shake off the rust + May AMA answers
Get it? Time to SHAKE off the rust! :D (definitely gonna increase views...)

Time to shake off the rust + May AMA answers

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Alrighty guys! So where are we? I just finished Pan Ams... which was January 9th, this tournament was played on March 12th, so I had a two month gap in between tournaments. And, I'm writing this on May 9th, which means I'm very behind on tournament reporting.

My goal is to catch up this week (even though I'm in the midst of FiNaLs)... so once I start playing tournaments over the summer, the tournament reports will be more up-to-date, which I think is a better experience, both for the viewer and myself! 

So what was this tournament? This was Many Springs Open #126, which has been ran by the Tarrant County Chess Club at the North Richland Hills library. Sections would be determined onsite. Format was three rounds, G/60 with 5-second delay (or so I thought... more on that later).

I woke up the morning of, didn't have breakfast as usual, and drove from Waco to North Richland Hills. I pulled up to the library to see several players I recognized congregated at the parking lot. I was a little confused... it was probably 8:45-8:50 AM, right before round 1 was supposed to start at 9 AM. It turns out that the organizers didn't realize that the library doesn't open until 10 AM (they held tournaments pre-COVID, and were able to come in at 9, but that changed once they reopened apparently). So... we just hung out outside the library from 9 until about 9:45, when the doors unlocked, and we were able to get in.

As the usual good boy I am, I helped set up the tables/chairs, and chess sets. Because of the delay, round 1 would be changed to G/45;d5, then the remaining rounds would be G/60;d5. Honestly, the change didn't bother me. As I'm always in time trouble, more time would be nice, but I don't really think it's anything worth complaining about. 

In round 1, I was paired with Roman Navarro (1419 USCF). Time to get to the game! thumbup

Drawing a 1400 is never an ideal result. But it's MUCH better than a loss. I figured that there was some rust shaking off, and while I played well in some areas, there were definitely moments where my lack of recent tournament experience showed. There are two more rounds to go, and I can still recover.

In round 2, I was paired with Aamir Shaikh (1425 USCF). However, the rating only tells part of the story. He gained 80 rating points his previous tournament, just beat a 1700 in round 1, and has 1900-2000 ratings online. Gotta put my A-game on display!

It was nice to get the dub. I would say it was overall smoother than the previous game. I had some moments of overthinking... but we pulled through without any blunders, so I'm happy!

In round 3, I was paired with Brian Tineo (2054 USCF). I played him back in 2017 (when I was about 1600?), and lost that game. I remembered from that game that he played the King's Indian Defense, but it didn't really matter, as I barely had any time to "prep". Let's see if we can turn this tournament around!

I think this was an example game where my opponent's superior knowledge of the ensuing structures partly cost me the game. It wasn't a great game to end on, but the games were good to learn from.

I am not going to lie, I was a little ecstatic to see that I had only lost nine rating points from that tournament, given that I drew a 1400 in round 1. My opponents actually went a combined 6-0 against players not myself, so I think that their strong performance possibly helped mitigate the damage done to my rating. 

I was actually set to play in a tournament the following day (Sunday). I stayed at a friend's house for the night, and met up with a couple of my Baylor teammates in the Dallas area (they were home for spring break), we looked over the games, and hung out.

How would the next day go? Could I recover all of the nine points I lost? 1773 was actually my lowest rating since this horrendous tournament experience. Would it take an either greater free fall? 

Find out when I release my next post! Or just look it up on the US Chess website. Either way, I'll see you for the next post!

Oh, and here's the video for my most recent AMA post. Enjoy!