Face off with a prodigy.
I played this past Labor day weekend at the Illinois State Championship. As tournaments go, it was strong and had around 185 attending. With sprinkling of GM's, an IM, a handful of FM's and more than a dozen 2000-2200's I was definitely in the lower caste with my meager rating of 1815.
My first round was rather disappointing. It was my first time playing the King's Indian Defense and, like most first time KID players, it ended in failure when I missed my chance at opening the kingside the right way.
In the second round I missed an opportunity to press my higher rated opponent and it ended in a draw.
Third round was another King's Indian Defense. I played better this time but was still worse for a long time. I was finally able to break out of my self imposed prison after some maneuvering and achieve a draw.
This brought me to my game against Patrick Rao. When he was nine years old he was in the top 20 worldwide for his age. Now at ten, or eleven, he was rated 1926. When I saw my young opponent sit down across from me, I was not excited. Playing and loosing to children, no matter how gifted, is not fun for the ego. So, with my pride and ego on the line, we began.