First and Last
So, I never managed to blog my last round game from Biel, but it was a loss. And after the tournament when I was thinking about my performance, a pattern that became crystal clear to me is that I don't perform very well in first and last rounds of tournaments. In the first round I had drawn with a low-rated opponent, from rounds 2-10 I had played at 2600+ fide level, and in round 11 I lost to a GM. Even though I had black in those two rounds, they were the rounds in which I think I was least comfortable and did not play the best. So even on a week when I was in very good form, somehow the first and last rounds eluded me again. This happens very often, and I think that statistically it probably represents a significant drag on my rating that I am very very often losing 5 rating points fide in the last round of my tournaments.
So my #1 goal for my next tournament was to do well in the first and last rounds; to play them with the same focus and energy and determination as any other chess games. This morning, I took on the first half of that challenge, against a talented young player, Sarah Chiang, rated 2180, so I guessed that she was shooting up and just on the cusp of making master.
So, that's down, now we have to wait until round 6 to work on my goal. Just kidding, I have another goal for the other 4 rounds here. But how I do in round 6 will be the most important thing in this tournament, as it is Goal #1.