Back in the Saddle

Aug 4, 2009, 1:24 AM |

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!