I've arrived at the World Open chess event an hour early. I tried to take my time this morning: washed dishes, made lunch, browsed the internet, took the long route to the convention center. But now, I find myself waiting. Its time to prepare my thoughts for the upcoming match.
I'm 13th of 26 in the field starting today. Being just over the half mark probably effects the strength of my opponent, but I can't remember if it is positive or negative. I doubt that it even matters, I'm here to play my best.
Playing my best is all I can ask for. Sure, I'm playing to win–always do. It is this competitive clash builds character. Lessons are learned whether you win or lose. No pressure, but I want to win.
I am both excited and nervous. I am feeling tentative and so a bit defensive and reserved. My strategy this first game is to develop and watch alertly for a place to take the advantage. Take it and go!
It's game time. I've prepared well. Focus. Achieve clarity. Make every move deliberately. Go.