All the Way Up... to 1800
If they ask where I live, point to the hills and say, “go all the way up!”
I’m all the way up!
Fulling expecting to reach or barely crack 1800, I didn’t quite do that. I did surpass 1800, but no mere cracking occurred, I steamrolled this barrier. I don’t mean that in the sense of making it to a significantly higher rating peak than 1800, though I am sitting pretty at 1819; I mean that the fashion in which I did it was brutal, devastating, and anything but quiet. My opponent was an old man (1900), who long ago peaked at 2175, and told me of designs he has to reach his old form and better –and he’s certainly devoting plenty of time to the endeavor. Aside from our game, he had a good tournament at the New England Open, finishing in a tie for fourth, and, excluding my game with him, he sported a 2028 performance rating. Let’s take a look at what happened in my game with him. (Note: I’m not really worried about USCF competition that might come across my game, because I don’t study openings, and, now that I’m in the A-Class, I’ll very likely begin studying openings to develop a repertoire –and I should certainly say the repertoire won’t be what I have toyed with in a the past few tournaments.)
I joked with my coach, and said that it was a 2300-level performance. His response was a little more serious than I expected, and it amounted to something like this: Look, you had a big advantage against a 1900 who peaked at almost Master, and who otherwise had a 2000+ performance, so it is very legitimate to say you played Master-like chess. Obviously, my coach knows how to say kind things to keep me filling his pockets. I do think that I could be at 2000 in just a few months' time, considering my tournament win the week before. I played so consistently that it was a little startling for me, because I've never been consistent, ever. I won't share all of those games, but I will share one, and then not that in another I goofed and went down a piece, only to increase complication, brutalize the opponent, and then force mate. The miniature from the later round is more aestehtically pleasing.