Remember how I said I planned to go to the Arlington open last post? I really did but @logozar talked with me and convinced me to go to the 83rd Annual Southwest Open. He really wanted to play in it but the hotel fees were big and the word "loan" appeared in our conversation. He was even willing to spend the weekend in a complete stranger's house! (of course, his parents weren't though) In short, it was @logozar.
I broke into my savings account and registered in advance. (to save money) Being 1558 in the live ratings I hoped to be the first in years to get 7/7 in the novice section. I checked the advance registration list almost every day for @Logozar, GM Conrad Holt, GM Jeffrey Xong sandbaggers and possible threats to me winning the novice. I didn't find much. There was someone whose peak was 1479 and someone who was making huge improvements.
I thought of so many things to bring and used less than half of them. I did bring a certain creation that my brother made out of LEGO. (yes, it LEGO and not LEGOs)
I had it on the table next to the board almost every round. Most of my opponents were young kids so they thought it was interesting and asked me if it was mine. I brought about $30, (which I didn't use) my trophy, (which I didn't use) my positional chess book, (which I didn't use) and my chess set which I did use. (but not that much) One of the biggest dissapointments was that there wasn't as much chess in between rounds as I expected. I kind of had the impression that there was bughouse between the rounds but I hd been to schoolastic
tournaments and there was no bug. I thought for sure that at this tournament with so many people and such long waits between rounds that there would be bughouse for all! There wasn't. It was after the sixth round that I suggested it to a group of people (rated 1800-2300) and loaned my board and clock to get the games going!
I got paired against 1071 Logan He
. I was white and RAR worked better than in @Joseph_Truelson
's luckiest game!
(is that a bad thing?)
I still had a lump in my throat from being down two rooks for a knight (with more material falling) when I walked out of the playing hall. A win was a win, I could still get 7/7. I realized just how right Joseph was.
The wait between the rounds was long! Round 1 started at 9:00 am, round 2 started at 2:10 pm. Most of the novice section had to wait about three hours for 2:10 to come around. I noticed something there that I had missed before. The novice (U1400) section finished their games first, the U2000 second, the U2400 and International sectons last. Everyone had the same amount of time yet the weaker players used significantly less of it than the stronger ones. I'll try to remember that.
Round 2 finally came and I was paired against Yu! Justin Yu
was 1263 and I had black.
A good, if slightly uniteresting, win. 2/2 is much better than 1/1.
I asked around and found a kindly TD who let me borrow her phone to call my familly to tell them how I'm doing, ask how Texas vs Maryland went, etc. Texas had lost 41-51 and I was kind of glad I didn't see it.
A boy who was also 2/2, Aaron Peters, ( @aa-ron1235) offered to go over my round 1 game and we did. He went through it quickly and reminded me of @RookSacrifice with his knowlege of positions. He chalenged me to a game and I accepted. We didn't use a clock although it probably would have been good if we did. He spent 3-5 seconds per move while I spent about 5-10 SPM. (Seconds Per Move) He played the Sicilian and won a pawn in the middlegame but lost it in the early endgame. He lost another pawn and we traded down to vs with kings and pawns all on the kingside. He offered a draw but I declined, RAR wins draw endings you understand. I ended up winning. We both thought we were unstopable and would get 6.5/7 if not 7/7. We asked what would happen if we drew each other and won all our other games only to be dissapointed, the money would be split. I'd just have to beat him.
I played Ming-Ruei Richard Jang. Another RARed game.
Whew! Day one is done! I'm 3/3 as hoped, but I was in losing positions too many times for my liking. (just one is too many) I was still pretty confident because I hadn't actually lost yet, but I knew that I couldn't keep getting into lost positions if I wanted to get 7/7. (or could I?)
Days 2 and 3 are coming.