The Times They Are A'Changin
A couple of weeks ago I played in my second tournament, the Seattle Fall Open. I played some bad games, and some semi-bad games, and some semi-good games. The observant reader might ask if the last two are the same kind of game. Luckily for everyone's sake the topic of this blog is not ontology but chess, since I'm an even worse philosopher than chess player. My result from the Open wasn't objectively good (1 out of 5), but since I played in the open section and actually used more than an hour of my clock in a couple of games, subjectively I feel good about my performance. Well it appears chess and philosophy are inextricably linked. QED.
My first game was against Addison Lee.
I used 45 minutes on my clock, a big improvement over Seafair, and I think my position after move 22 while not great was OK, or even semi-good.
The next game was white against James Frasca, who played up from the reserve section (maybe because I wouldn't have an opponent in the open otherwise?). He castled queenside and then attacked with all his queenside pawns, and I was able to score a win.
Round 3 I played badly against Vikram Ramasamy.
I feel a little bad because I dragged this game out in a lost position, but I really wanted to play more than an hour on my clock for some weird reason (I missed by eight minutes).
So Saturday ended with a win, a semi-good game, and a bad game. Sunday started with an interesting semi-good game against Vignesh Anand.
I almost can't believe it but I used an hour and ten minutes on my clock this game. The times they are a'changin!
My last game was against Jason Zhang, and once again I said what the hey and played the Scandinavian variation of the Nimzowitsch. He played an unusual (in my limited experience) early c3 and that developed into a strong queenside attack.
Looking at the game afterward I wondered if instead of Nc8 at move 25 I could have played a5, and running the engine just now that indeed is the top move, though it all leads to an advantage for white. Perhaps I could have stayed alive longer.
I also spent an hour and ten minutes in this game. Jason used an hour and fifty. Obviously he didn't spend all this time on the game (it seems like most of the younger players spend a good amount of time during their game hanging out outside the playing room), but most likely he spent more time on the game than I did. So while my clock use got better this tournament there's room for improvement.