Kalamazoo Mini Swiss

Apr 5, 2013, 12:28 PM |

The Kalamazoo mini swiss took place on March 30th, 2013.  It was an all day, three round tournament, with time control of 90 minutes with a 5 second time delay.  It was a beautiful morning with the warmest day of the year thus far after a long cold winter that didn't seem to want to end. 
The sun was shining in the morning and though it was the warmest day of the year thus far there was a cool crispness in the air with the suns warmth slowly winning out over the winter.  When I got to the place of the tournament, a small church called Lift Him Up, there was some tables out by the road with free snacks and steaming coffee pots set up out by the entrance near the road.
Inside the church, there was lots of talking amongst the players as everyone greeted each other and engaged in conversation in small groups, with everyone moving around the church.
There ended up being 15 people players who showed up to play, so the minister of the church decided to sit out the tournament so that everyone could play every round.  There wasn't enough players for more then one section, so everyone played in a single section. 
The clock struck 11am, some final players showed up to make the 15 players, and then it was time to let the games begin.
The first game I was white and faced a 1599 USCF player, who played a caro-kahn defense.  I thought I played good out of the opening, but after reviewing the game, I don't think I did.  I ended up having a good position in the middle game, and couldn't find a knock out blow, or a solid playable plan.  Though in the middle game I realized I had chances to gain an edge in the endgame on the queenside, though I didn't know how to go about and setup the position to realize that advantage.  In the end, after some stumbling around, I was able to gain the advantage on the queenside in the endgame, but was down to about 2 minutes left on my clock and couldn't capitalize on the advantage and blundered in the end.
I liked the placement of my pieces, but again e5 can be difficult to meet.
My first game was the last to end in the first round, it took over three hours to play.  It was a long tough struggle.  After the game I didn't have much time before the second game was to start.  I sat staring at the board for a short time, I got up and went outside and called my wife and told her I lost my first game, and that I wouldn't be able to win the tournament, and that I was disappointed  She told it's okay, and to not to worry and to make sure to have fun.
 In the second game, I was feeling down that I lost the first game, especially since after the game, I thought I was much better for the whole game, so it was a major let down to lose, I had high expectations for the tournament.  In the second game, I played a 1429 player and I had black.  When the game started I was still mentally thinking about the first game, and wondering how I blew it, and I played the QGD as black in the second game, and came out of the opening in trouble.  My opponent blundered and I was able to gain an advantage and won.
I was happy I won the second game, but still I was feeling down because I knew I couldn't get first place.  Our game didn't last as long, so I found the reverand, and asked him if he wanted to play, he said sure, so we played 4 or 5 games with 15 0 time control.  We had fun and were laughing a little too loud, and were shushed often since other games were still in progress.  I didn't eat anything the whole tournament, even though my wife had packed me a lunch, because I didn't feel hungry, probably due to the feeling brought on by the tournament took away my sense of hunger. 
My third game started and I played white against a 1529 player, who used the Sicilian defense.  I came out of the opening in trouble, my opponent was rolling with force, marching down the kingside, and I felt I was going to be steamrolled and pushed off the board.  My opponent couldn't find a way to continue the attack on the kingside, and after a desperate attempt to create some counterplay on the queenside, I was able to gain an edge, and win the game.
My game ended, and one other game was still in progress.  I went outside and the sun had already set.  The air was still warm outside and it felt nice.  I called my wife and I told her I was done and was just waiting to find the results.  I told her I won my last two games.  She asked me if I had eaten, and I told her no, and she got on me about it and told me to get something to eat.
The results were posted, and I tied for third place with a score of 2/3.  I left, and stopped at McDonald's and got myself a mcdouble and a small french fry, and got my wife a medium strawberry shake.  I got to my driveway, and I realized how much fun I had that day, and even though I was tired and disappointed I was happy to of spent the entire day playing chess.