My First Legit Tournament, Part 2 - The North American Open 2019

My First Legit Tournament, Part 2 - The North American Open 2019

aranhawaii
aranhawaii
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Alright, so in my first post in this series (you can find it here: https://www.chess.com/blog/aranhawaii/my-first-legit-tournament-part-1-the-north-american-open-2019) we reviewed my first game of the tournament in Vegas.  Even though I lost that game, it was a great learning experience and set me up for the rest of the tourney.  I got a feel for how much I can calculate within the time control (2 hours to get to move 40, then an extra 30 minutes is added, all with a 10 second delay each move).  This was the longest amount of time I'd ever had to play a game, and now I knew how to pace myself. 

I also had a feel for the tournament hall, the potential distractions, and made some decisions about how I would behave.  I would give myself time every now and then to walk away from the board or otherwise "walk away" mentally from all the analyzing.  I'd look at other piece sets and think about whether I liked the design or not.

I stared at the chandelier and thought about the process they probably followed while installing it. Are all the little glass bits assembled by some cool kind of machine, or do people slide them down their strings by hand?  I found this helpful. Having the occasional "zen moment" allowed me to relieve some of the stress and emotion that comes with a touch choice, returning to my analyzing whenever I felt more calm and ready to dive back in. 

Let's go straight into showing you the game, because it was my first rated game that I won, not just in this tournament but ever!  I play as Black.


As mentioned in Part 1, I didn't know the ratings of my opponents until after the game ended and I reported the score.  I'd asked for my friend to find my pairing for me so that I would not see their rating and be potentially affected by it psychologically.  After reporting my win, I saw my opponent was 1237!  Not only was I surprised by this, but I also found that he was the #3 rated player within my section (U1250).

I was very proud of this being my first win OTB.  I'd beaten one of the highest rated players in the section as Black with the Qd8 Scandinavian.  Side note: After tweeting it, IM John Bartholomew replied, calling the Scandie "the Cadillac of openings."   I could not have asked for a better first win.  I'll never forget it.  I felt like I could lose all my remaining games in the tournament and still be happy about it. 

But this isn't the game that I left Vegas with the most pride.  Stay tuned for that game later in this series!  Thanks for reading, and more posts are on the way.