Back in the Saddle
After taking a little time off in my quest for 2200, I'm now ready to get active again. Accordingly, my first tournament "back" after a six-month layoff was the 2009 Southern Open in Kissimmee, FL (7/31/09-8/2/09). Thanks to the TDs for an excellently run tournament.
For me, this tournament was the debut of a sizable shift in repertoire, notably from the white side. Out with 1. e4, in with 1. d4. After considerable success with the London System as a backup opening, I was now promoting it to first-string.
The switch was prompted by my frustration at learning various systems for the French, Sicilian, and Caro-Kann, any one of which covers enough theory (current and changing) to fill ANY chess library. In my middle-age, I've become a fan now of simple (read: economical) chess. Sure, the flashy attacks are wonderful and can still occur from time-to-time. But for the most part, I now would like my repertoire to reflect my maturity -- accumulate small advantages and allow the position to tell you when its time cash in.
I've never lost with the London in a tournament game. Of course, I've drawn some people I probably shouldn't have, but overall, very positive results. The unbeaten string continued in the Southern Open, where I got two whites. Results: 1.5 points. London performance rating: 2395.
Since I finished the tournament with only 2.5 out of 5 (a respectable score to be sure), that certainly says there were some struggles with black. Consequently, I'm looking to make a change with Black to a similar universal system, that can be played against 1.e4 or 1.d4, where the result will be detemined by who understands the position best. I've made a choice, which I will likely write about in my next blog entry.
In any event, here is my best effort of the tournament, a first-round draw against Eric Rodriguez (2290).
'Til next time!