Seafair Open Games
Photo of the Seafair, an annual air show held in the Seattle area.
Since I've lost my humor, I've decided to make a blog showing my games at the Seafair Open, and I will follow it up with a more standard blog. This way, you might actually learn something about chess, and I might learn more than if all the focus was on me trying to make bad jokes.
So, here are my games at the Seafair Open:
Paired up against Everett Wang, a 1295 whom I've beaten once before in another first round, I was the clear favorite, and managed to prove myself to be the better player, while also trying to be the quickest to win:
I played Jason Zhang, rated 1646, whom I've drawn once before. Sadly enough, I wasn't able to prevent it from happening again, I was nearly losing.
What I learned: I need to start using more of my time in critical positions, even in the opening. Jason managed to get me in a positional bind quite early, due to carelessness, and I had to rely on luck to pull me out of it. Also, I missed 8...Nb4 in the opening, practically winning the game immediately. I need to focus and not be surprised if I see a blunder, and exploit it.
In a pretty good game by me, I managed to beat another prodigy, the 10 year old Matthew Hwang (rated 1591) in a nice Sicilian crush.
What I learned: Young players don't necessarily know theory in sharp openings! They might just be scaring other players into playing something passive. Also, knowledge of typical ideas in the opening and middlegame (Black should play ...Nbd7, not Nc6, playing g6+h6), is critical. I used to think that knowing ideas in the middlegame was overrated, but unfortunately it's not. Now I have to waste more time studying chess!
Going onto the next day, I was hoping to face someone lower rated than me, but my luck seemed to be against me, as I was paired against Vikram Ramasamy (2143-2135), an expert who was almost became a master, only to have evil prodigies make his task much harder. I made it even more difficult for him by playing a good game:
What I learned: Never be afraid of higher rated players! Sometimes it's possible to just crush them (though it does help to have a much better position to start out with). Achieving even just a slightly better endgame gives great winning chances. I managed to solve my time problems, using up a lot of my time, and as a result made no mistakes.
You might have thought that after that good game I would continue to play well. Nope. In most embarrassing game in really recent memory, (I used to blunder checkmate every event earlier this year, so this wasn't as bad) I played Brendan Zhang, a 2094 player whom I have a long time rivalry with. Unfortunately, I got crushed
I lost the game, result is marked incorrectly
What I learned: Opening preparation, and understanding of the opening, is really important. I was completely clueless, and after a couple moves that weren't obviously bad, I was already pretty much lost. I need to understand my openings better, and if I don't know what is going on, I need to think more about the position.
In the end, I gained one rating point, reaching a new record high rating of 2005. It seems I have a lot to improve on, but at least when I'm playing well, I can put up a good fight with anyone.
Hope to post a full report on the event soon! Feel free to tell me how great I am in the comments below (Anything else is subject to deletion).