Path To Chess Prosperity #4: 10/7/2017 Tournament Analysis
The Brazos II logo. Photo courtesy of Serious Chess Players, which is the affiliate for this event.

Path To Chess Prosperity #4: 10/7/2017 Tournament Analysis


Hello, guys!

Last weekend, I had yet another tournament. This was a competitive team match between chess players in North and Central Texas. Each participant plays two games against an opponent of a similar rating and the team with the most points wins the match. 

The match is called "Brazos" because our teams are on opposite sides of the Brazos River. This our second year doing this. Our first match took place last year.

I was paired with Zachary Graber, who happened to be my opponent last year. I lost to him 0.5-1.5 in the first edition, though I improved my score 1-1 this time. 

Enjoy the games as well as photos! All tournament photos unless noted otherwise were taken by fellow teammate Carmen Chairez


Round 1 of Brazos II in action. Extra brownie points to the one(s) who can spot me in the picture! 

Some notes:

  • Though most of the time moving a Knight to the rim is indeed dim, sometimes the resulting positions are fine and the risk is worth taking.
  • Especially when working on opening prep, PLEASE DO NOT play a risky move just because the computer "likes" it (your chess coach may hate it!). Qxb2 instead of gxh6 is a classic example.
  • In situations like mine, all I needed to do to win was slither my Queen to a safe spot and nurse my material edge. Sometimes life is that simple.
  • I feel like my opponent got psychologically thrown off in the end, which was part of the reason White did not play great moves in the end. Keep all your mental energy up to the end!


My Queen went "Chomp Chomp".

So that felt good. Solid opening prep, I contributed to my team, but most of all, I got that coveted win I was searching for. So I thought, I was in good position at this point, playing White next game with the psychological edge (last year, my draw was with White). But as we know, the color never really decides the game.

Some notes:
  • I liked my safe and methodical approach with Nc3 against the Benko. If I had some prep done, I may have taken the pawn, though sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry!
  • Sometimes, it is simply better to lose the pawn than the exchange.
  • It's often a bad idea to play over-aggressive under pressure like I did with Ng5. You may leave some space behind! I know Ng5 did not immediately lose, though my risks increased then which lead to my eventual downfall.
  • Sometimes, a spy pawn seriously is an aide for your position, even if it seems uncomfortable! 


Probably the best shot our awesome photographer got of me partly because I cropped it! 

Well, that's about it for now. I think Tarrant County beat McLennan County (our team) something like 14.5-10.5. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the games and pictures! And thanks, Mr. Chairez, for being our excellent photographer for the event! 

And supposedly, the TD had a date set for Brazos III? Whenever it is, I hope to play in it once again!