83rd Southwest Open: Day 2
Day 2! There were four people left with 3/3, Me, Aaron, somebody named Ethan and someone named Aarush. I thought I would get to play Aaron for round 4 but the pairings computer thought otherwise. I guess it wanted to raise the stakes by having us play each other at 4/4? Anyhow, I got paired against Aarush.
A draw! No! Aaron had won and was now in solid first place. 3.5/4 was still good but my hopes of going 7/7 were broken. I would just have to beat Aaron and hope someone beats Aarush. Despite the disappointing result, I felt much better about my play than I did yesterday.
Throughout the tournament I had tried to smile, be cheerful and generally be a blessing to everyone I met. (the opposite during games) I wanted the TDs to think I was beyond reproach and the players to think that RAR was great! I asked the busiest TD if there was anything I could do to help and she gave me a job. I was supposed to, starting at board 75, make sure the boards were set up right. When asked whether to make my way up or down she told me "up." I took it at first to mean that the board numbers should increase. It wasn't until board 104 that I realized "Wait. Board 1 is considered the top board. I should be working my way to board 1." I went to board 74 and continued all the way to board 1. Somewhere around boards 5-7 the TD came up to me and I gave my report on my progress. She said it was crazy (in a good way) that I had inspected so many boards. She also told me that she had meant "up" as in the number gets bigger. I hurriedly finished the top boards and went back down to the lower ones. Unfortunately round 5 started while I was on board 134 or 136 (I forget which) I had straightened a lot of pieces up but had only found two incorrect setups. The black kings and queens were switched on boards 14 and 15. In a way I did RAR tip #3.
My round five opponent was no surprise. We had been waiting to play each other since round 2. I got to play the last person with all wins. I was paired vs Aaron Peters!
I had won! Aarush had won as well. Aarush and I were leading the tournament with 4.5/5. The engine says I played the best move 69% of the time and was never even slightly worse in my game vs Aaron! I felt like Bilbo when he said "I do believe the worst is behind us."
Louis Reed is the man wearing the red Texas Rangers shirt.