My Games From The July 13, 2013 Tournament

Jul 17, 2013, 6:53 PM |

Hi all!  Last Saturday I went to a tournament.


Before the tournament I felt like I was ready, but I don't really think my studying was all that great.  It wasn't consistent.  I need to remember that it doesn't do any good to have a good study plan if I don't follow it.  Also, I'd won several pratice games which made me happy, but I didn't really consider how well I'd played.  I only thought I played well because I won.


Anyway, I was somewhat nervous before the tournament because I hadn't been to a USCF tournament since April.


The night before the tournament I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep.  I don't want to make this an excuse for the mistakes in my play, because if I did, I wouldn't improve, but it is a fact that I didn't sleep too well.


In the first round I was paired with a 10 year old who had a rating of 1603.  I was quite happy with this because I didn't want to start with a hard game.  I think I underestimated my opponent.

Wow!  That wasn't too good!  In the rest of the tournament my opponent drew a 1900, drew a 2200 (who I think is the state champion!), and won a 1900!  His rating soared to 1763.  This makes me not feel as bad about the game, but at the same time there is no denying that Bxe6????? was a very bad move.

I wasn't feeling too great about my play, but I decided to try to make the best of it and move on.


In the second round I was paired against a guy who had a rating of over 2200, but it was only based on 4 games.  A friend told me he was a Chinese master, and I heard he was a FIDE master, but when I asked him if he had a FIDE rating, he said he was unrated.  Another story I heard was that he'd only learned chess recently, very recently, but was improving very quickly.  A 1900 player who has played him twice and also seen some of his other games said he thinks his rating will probably settle between 2000 and 2200.  By his play and responses to my asking him if he was rated, I'm inclined to think that he probably hasn't played in tournaments until recently, but has played chess for awhile.

So now I had 0/2.  So far, every tournament I've gone to, I won first or second place in my section.  I knew this wouldn't be the case for this tournament.  I was sad, but not really suprised about the result of the game.

I had lunch, rested in the car for twenty minutes, then took a walk.  I think this really helped me.  I felt more rested, energized, and ready to try again.  I also had no pressure to win since I could no longer win the tournament.  I hoped to win my next to games so I'd have an even score, but I think I kind of stopped caring as much.  Now I was just trying to make sure I had fun and enjoyed myself.

My next opponent was a guy I've met before, but never played against.  I decided to try to not try too hard this game and just relax and have fun.  I think this is very good.  When watching titled players play and talk at the same time, I usually have no trouble following what they are saying, and sometimes I see tactics before they do.  I think this is because I have no pressure on me.  If I can better manage my emotions and think objectively, just imagine what results I can get.  This will be a priority for me in the future.

Well, I was very glad to have won that game.  Before the last round I decided I'd try to get an even score by winning, but I would mostly just try to keep enjoying myself.  During the game my opponent was shivering since it was very cold in the building.  I saw several people shivering.  I felt sorry for them.

So, I finished with 2/4.  I was the fourth highest rated player of the open section (of 17 players) and finished in the middle of the standings, so it wasn't too good.  I only lost 6 rating points (bringing my rating to 1796), but my play was very bad in my opinion.   One of the advantages of not doing so great in a tournament is that I have gained more experience and learned a lesson.  Another one is that I no longer fear losing.  I still strongly dislike it, but I don't fear it anymore since I've done it and it's not so bad.  In the future I think I'll be more relaxed about results.

I need to make sure I've learned my lesson.  I'd rather not do this again.  If I stay focused, I'm sure I'll do better next time.

Something I need to do is change my study plan and then stick to it.  I'm going to be looking at the games and figuring where my time will be best spent.  One thing I'm sure of is that my study plan will include many more tactics than I've been doing.

Well, that's it.  Feel free to offer comments, suggestions, or questions!

All the best!