A 1796's adventure in the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championships!
Hi everyone, I had an opportunity to represent my school at the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Championships in Cleveland, Ohio Dec 26-30, 2015. My School was University of Toronto, and I played top board for Team B. I was rated 1796, going into the tournament which made me one of the lowest rated Top Boards in the entire tournament. I wasn’t nervous or intimidated about it though, I was more excited to play against much higher rated players, since tournaments in Canada generally get sectionalized, and I generally never get to play anyone rated over 1800 in an U1900 section of tournaments. My teammates were Sowjanya, Amir GH, and Nathaniel “Tanny” (in that board order).
We arrived to Cleveland the night before the tournament, and I got to play some blitz games against a fellow 1700, Mustapha from U of Maryland-BC (that one is a chess school tbh). This kind of boosted my confidence, as I was able to hold on against someone around my rating. A week prior to this, I participated in the Hart House Holidays Open, which conveniently started the day after my last exams. However, I lost to a 1500 in a tricky endgame, and was completely outplayed by a 1600 which made me lose a lot of confidence.
On the day of the tournament, it was cold and windy but our team went to a Mall (the Great Northern Mall on North Olmsted) close to our hotel to grab a bite to eat. We knew we were up for a grind because we were seeded low, meaning we will be paired up with a much stronger team this round, according to the swiss pairing system.
Turns out, we were correct we played U of Texas RGV B team. All of our opponents were 2000+ and I played an IM for the first time in my life!
So yeah I lost, but the A team members of my team congratulated me for putting up a good fight against a 2400. I was feeling good about myself J I glanced over to see the board next to me, Sowjanya’s game…
Wow, she made the 2100 work hard to win! That’s good but I was also surprised that she played the Scandinavian, which I used to play for the past 4 years… I decided to give it a try the next game.
So yeah lost the game, though there were many things I learned from it so that’s good. The next game was a disaster for me, and will probably be one of the many reasons why I don’t play the Colle regularly as White (60-70% of my games end up in some form of Anti-Colles).
At this point, I was on 0/3 although my opponents were much higher rated than I am. My teammates were not doing good either, although Sowjanya managed to draw a 2100 later on. I kind of wanted to win a game before the end of the tournament, but I did not expect much from it. Little did I know, I got my wish – twice.
Round 6 – I managed to mess up as White against another 1900, that it is not blogworthy. I was satisfied with my results at 2.0/6 with a 1929 performance rating. I would like to thank my school and chess club for letting me participate in such a grandiose event.