8th Annual Austin Chess Club Championship 3.5/5
So, I'd like to start with a little personal note.
I loved my interactions with little Kalia and Tianwen during and after their games...they are hands down some of my favorite to watch. I've played them both and it was a treat to watch them play one another. Kalia would check on me to ask how my games were going. It was nice seeing all the people from chess club after over 7 months of not being there. It was also surprisingly nice to see so many more female players of all ratings. And Lori was an amazing TD.
I felt I was pruning slightly faster in this tournament than previous tournaments. Slightly. This doesn't mean I was seeing brilliant moves; it means I was spotting crap moves faster and dismissing them earlier. I still have massive problems with notation...I'm beginning to suspect one of those weird isolated defects that some people have in other areas of learning. I'm not quite sure what it is because I was an above average student in geometry and trig. That said, my play wasn't particularly high quality. grrr.
I liked most of my opponents despite one of them being a little troublemaking demon child. I even liked him but his mother was overbearing. He failed to tell me that he had not put the increments on the clock until I was down to under 1 minute. Not to mention some other shenanigans earlier in the game. Not fair for my game but it worked out fine in the end so I'm not too bitter about it.
Game 3 was very painful for me because I knew I had a win and I threw it away. For anyone who has read my blogs, you know that I find that more torturing than just being behind the entire game. I attribute it to a hand-waving dismissive arrogance that I have no good reason for having, but seems to be a big part of my personality that I have to control better. I think I am getting better.
My close friend NM Todd Freitag warned me before my first game to "look more at what your opponent is threatening...you don't give that enough attention and it's one of your weaknesses". I realized immediately that he was completely correct...I spend an iota on my opponent's plan while using all my energy looking for some tactic or creativity (when I'm not spent). We've also been keeping tabs on when I tend to peter out mentally. And Jeremy was supportively sweet and reminded me to "take your time before each and every move".
My personal notation: BM = Best Move. EM = Expected Move (move I expected my opponent to play and they did).
Game 2 (too tired to do personal analysis but this game had a massive blunder by each of us and wasn't really a quality game; but I did enjoy getting to play the French Exchange as it is one of my favorite openings).
Game 3 (this game was probably the most painful for me; I threw away a massive advantage by just handwaving arrogance coupled with a little fatigue and careless miscalculation). This is my second time playing Black against this opponent. I have our first game in a previous blog.
Game 4 (Another French). I've yet to analyze this game but I plan on doing it sometime this week. It was actually strangely dynamic and we may have missed something he had.
A painful game to some degree but definitely one I can learn a lot of concepts from. Trading down stuff was new for me to witness. Being reminded of the serious threat of rooks on the 7th rank was there. And careful calculation is another thing I need to do more often near the end of a game.