Swiss 11 -- Round 1 -- THAT'S ITALIAN and I'm LOVING it!
Okay, so for the first round in a Swiss, I'm paried naturally with someone a lot stronger than me. I'm not expected to do too much and I'm certainly not expected to win -- I just want to do my best. My opponent is almost 500 points or so higher than me. I was paired with this opponent in the last swiss as well and what a disaster that was!! I was almost embarassed to show my face again. I won't say that I was DREADING the game but I was quite nervous about it as I was worried I'd have another horrible game like the last time.
As has been our habit of late, my teammates in AoW have been helping me to prep for my matches. We did our homework and saw that my opponent usually plays the Sicillian as black.
Really?? REALLY? Well, Cris Angel, if you want to open with e4, you're going to have to face the fact that some folks like that Sicilian so you're going to have to learn at least a little about it.
Dex has been going over some ideas with me. Gunners2004 and JRTK73 also did some practice games with me. I (briefly) toyed with the thought of playing a different opening but that would probably be a bit foolish on my part. I'm simply more familar with e4 so that's how I'll start my game. Bearly Pink Floyd is here. She's supposed to stop me from blundering.
Let's review my goals and see how we did, shall we?
1. Focus as much as possible. Feel that I'm doing my absolute best given my skills and abilities. CHECK!
2. Do NOT give the opponent an easy win. Make him work for it. CHECK!
3. Survive the opening. For cripe's sake, make it more than 15 moves. CHECK!! It was even EQUAL at move 15!! And I had a "strong center" too!
Because I HATE Sicillian, Dex was trying to come up with a way for me to be able to deal with it. We tried a few different variations and they were mostly disasters. **sigh** Then, Dex got the brilliant idea of doing something a little different.
Dex decided to try to show me something called the "Rossolimo" variation of the Sicillian. Says Dex, "The development pattern is very similar to the Ruy Lopez." Since the Ruy is the opening with which I'm most familiar, Dex figured I might not have too much trouble grasping the ideas behind it.
So we practiced. I did seem to have an easier time with it. Okay then, if that's the opening my opponent chooses to use, I'll go with it!!
Well, as luck would have it, my opponent DID choose to do a Sicillian. So I tried it. My opponent DID write in the chat that he wasn't expecting what I did. He deviated from what I practiced with Dex and I'll point this out in the annotation, but Dex was right. It was a lot like the Ruy insofar as development and as a result, I survived the opening! Goals 2 and 3!
Transition to middle game is very dificult for me. This was no exception. In the end, I'm simply not experienced enough to know that something isn't going to work. By that point, I was hungry, my girls were after me that they were hungry and I knew my goose was pretty much cooked -- but I felt I gave as hard as a battle as I could and then I got the ultimate compliment from my opponent:
"I can't believe you're rated under 1,000..." :) WWWOOOO HOOOOO!!!!
Here we go. This was the best I could do. (oh, and the green color scheme is because of Christmas -- I'll get back to the pink before long, no worries)