My second chess competition - The October Open - Day 1

Oct 13, 2014, 1:09 AM |

October Open - Rothwell

The nice little school hall we played in.
Hey everyone Mark here with an overview, breakdown and analysis of my second OTB tournament ever played in Rothwell (near Brisbane, QLD, Australia). The tournament location was a 2 hour trip on the train away, so I was hesitant about signing up, but my friend and study partner Jay was already going so I figured why not. 
I had to be up and ready to go by 5am each morning (two day event) so I wasn't happy about that, but I also had plenty of time to sleep on the train if need be. Public transport in Australia is actually pretty high quality though, so it wasn't as bad of an experience as I'm making it out to be :P
Jay and I were given a lift from the train station to the tournament hall by none other than the President of the CAQ (Chess Association of Queensland), Mr Mark Stokes. Mark is a really great guy and we had a lot of fun hanging out with him over the weekend, and would definitely be up for it again. The whole atmosphere of the QLD chess community is really positive and friendly, certainly not as drab, boring and serious as I'm sure many chess communities are. I was treated really well by everyone involved and even though I am a newcommer to the tournament scene and chess community, I immediately felt included which was great.
I haven't received an ACF (Australian Chess Federation) rating yet as I only just became active and the ratings list won't come out until December 1st for the period while I've been playing. I have been given an "estimated" rating in my last two tournaments of 1500, but I expect that my actual rating strength is closer to 1750. Just thought I'd mention why my rating is 1500 in the games below.
Round 1
In round 1 I was matched up with a lovely girl (maybe 15 years old) named Anneliese McConnell.

Round 2
In round 2 I was playing a nice guy who has by far the coolest name I've heard in a while - Xavier Barroso.

My body language says it all - Yep this was taken after my blunder.

Round 3
Round 3 saw me playing the strongest player I've ever had the privilege of playing against. 2512 rated International Master who played board 2 for Australia in the 2014 Olympiad - Moulthun Ly.

So yes, not the most pleasant experience playing chess of my life, compounded by playing at a sub-1000 level, but nevertheless it was a great learning experience for me. Moulthun is a great guy and I had a few cool chats with him about his life and chess and he's a really genuine and humble guy. I look forward to giving him a better challenge in the future!

Overall I had a great first day. I felt like I played well (the majority of the time) and only a couple of major blunders were made. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of Day 2!