A Great Tournament Result!
Hi all! On March 16 I went to a USCF tournament. I decided to share my games and thoughts because I had a great result.
About a month and a week or two before Mar. 16 I heard about the tournament and planned on going to it. Before this tournament I've only played in a few scholastic tournaments and a in the reserve section of a tournament. My USCF rating was 1553.
I looked at some of my loses and made a plan for how to improve. Here are some of the things I did:
- Exercise. I walked or ran at least a mile per day and did 50 push ups.
- Reviewed tactics. I went through most of the book Winning Chess Tactics by GM Yasser Seirawan. I also solved several tactics on chesstempo each day.
- Played slow games. I played one 45|45 game per week in the DHLC slow quads quads and also played a few 30 minute games.
- Tried to make chess fun. If I don't enjoy chess I usually don't improve or do well.
- Studied the middle-game. Usually before a tournament I would cram as much opening theory into my head as possible. This time I decided to fight my fears and only briefly study openings after live games and during correspondence games. My parents gave me IM Silmans book, How To Reassess Your Chess. I read it and learned a ton from it. Now I'm not afraid of leaving the opening theory I know. I'm confident I'll be able to find a middle-game plan, or at least learn something.
The day before the tournament I took easy. Usually I've done as much chess stuff as I can right before the tournament, but I decided to try taking it easy. I think this was a good idea as it relaxed me and helped me not worry about the results so much.
Anyway, here is the first game:
All the games were G/50 with a 5 second delay.
I didn't expect to win playing against a 1900. I was very happy after this game.
Since it was the last game to finish, I didn't get much of a break between it and game #2.
Now I have 2/2 against 1900s! I was very happy and decided that even if I lost my two remaining games it was still a good tournament result. Most of the players were quite surprised that I had won two 1900s. I was too.
I had a break for lunch before the next game.
The pairings were up a few minutes before I the third round started. I was going to play the top player in the tournament, a National Master rated 2212!
During most of the game he moved very fast. On move 20 I think he'd used only about 5 of his 50 minutes.
After the game several players told me I should have tried for a win, but I was still very happy about drawing with a 2200. I've drawn with titled players in correspondence games, but this was the first time OTB. I was happy!
In the last round I played the second highest rated player of the tourney. His rating was 2196. I wasn't sure if he was a National Master, but I thought he probably was. He is a National Master.
I think I ought to say thanks!