Monday Nights at Meijer's

Jun 25, 2009, 9:06 PM |

Stephen Dillard, scholastic chess coordinator extraordinaire, runs a weekly tournament at the Meijer on S. Hurstbourne here in Louisville. I checked out the crosstables, and there's usually a good turn-out between 10-25 people every week. On the first and third weeks they use slower time controls and treat them as a single event. On the other weeks, it's 3 rounds of G/30, and a pleasant atmostphere.

I played on 6/15, and unfortunately was listed as rated 890, so I played in the U1000 section. However, I didn't know this until AFTER I won my 3 games. Since it was all done, Mr. Dillard still gave me the $10 prize.

On 6/22, made sure to use my June 2009 Supplement rating (which is still a little low, because of my performance in the KY Open), but kept me above the U1000 mark. However, due to an odd error I actually got placed in the Open section for the first round, not U1600. Stephen said "you'll get a Buy for the round, but this game will still be for rating." Excellent.

I played a tough game that ended in a time scramble for my opponent Ron Lipman, 1624. In the end I used that pressure to mate.

After the game I had a chat with him, and I truthfully told him that I was worried the entire game. If it were a longer time control, I'm sure he would've defeated me easily.

After this wonderful start to the night, I returned to the U1600 section. In Round 2 I played a young kid who could not wait to found out what my rating was. When I told him, "I'm only a 1080 right now..." he literally jumped and said, "Oh! I'm over 1400!" and then ran to his board and began setting it up.

Then the poor kid slipped up time after time. To his Sicilian, I played Smith-Morra, which he declined to even accept the d4 pawn. It would be his doom from move 2. He wasn't happy after that game. He did make me play it out and mate him though... tough little guy.

My third round I played one of the local secrets. He's right above 1500 right now, but he's purposefully avoided playing higher-ranked players for a few months now, keeping his rating "low" for the World Open in Philly this weekend. By this round I was tired (I was tired at the start of the night!) and I completely misplayed my French defense, with which I usually prove strong. I wished him luck for the upcoming tournament and instructed him to share the winnings!

So unfortunately, I did not earn my entry fee back on Monday, but I did learn a valuable lesson about where I"m currently ranked. I'd definitely say I'm around 1400. I just need some more opening theory, and I think I'll quickly enter Class B with vigor. In actuality, the two Meijer tournaments moved me from 1149 (post KY Open) to 1249 (pending re-rate.)

Not sure I'll be playing in tournaments any time soon. July is busy for me with teaching the local marching bands, and school starts in August.

I have decided that I definitely want to play in the King's Island Open in November.

So until then, happy playing.