Alabama State Championship

Sep 5, 2017, 1:57 PM |

Hi all! Me again. The Alabama State Championship took place September 1st - 3rd. In the week prior to the tournament, I studied intensely. I started reading a chess book called "Art of Attack in Chess". I've found it very captivating and I wanted to read more of it. So, I read the first hundred pages in the last four days leading up to the event. Hope you enjoy! 


Day 1: We arrived at a very nice hotel and headed to the playing area. We signed in, and I got myself acquainted with the environment. The first round was to start at 6:30 CDT. Once the pairings were posted, I looked and I saw that I would be playing the 1st seeded, John Lewis, rated at 1588. I would be playing as black. I sat down at the assigned board number and he already had his set out. We used my clock though. How did the game go? Let's find out.


Over all, I felt that the game was well played and that I played better than him. It's just that when you have 2 minutes and 10 seconds, it's hard to win a decisive endgame. I was told several times after the game that continuing with Ke4 was the right way to go and that I did the right thing. My opponent was apparently very impressed with my play and he loved the fact that I thought out the the endgame and decided to go for the win. He also said that my play was way stronger than his. I don't mind that I lost. I played well to the important point of the game and lost because I didn't know how to win that kind of endgame. So what do I need to learn from this game? How to win that kind of endgame. And that ends day 1! 


Day 2: I woke up very tired. We arrived and I found out that I would be white, playing Joel Hodge who was unrated. I sat down and I found out that he was a friend of my first opponent, John Lewis. I got white, so I could play the English! Yay! 



So then I was 1 for 2.


Round 3: I played Victor Lundy, a 1464

 I've stopped doing commentary cause it's taking to long to write this...


Round 4: I played Ethan Smith, rated 1498. I had lost to him a while back as white. I got white again so I hoped to even our score. 

I took a half-point bye on round 5 and a zero-point bye one round 6. (So that I was still eligable for prizes)


I ended with a final score of 3.5/6. I did end up winning $25! I went up 97 points and now I'm 1388.


I know it's short and simple, but I just wanted to do at least some sort of recap. If you've made it this far and you went through all my games, thanks a lot! 


I set a goal at the beginning of the year of getting 1400 before 1218. Just 12 more points! 


Thanks for reading!    

 --Joshua Shepherd