National Master Title & Upcoming Schedule
After some disappointing performances in the past few months, things finally went my way and I won my latest tournament with 4.5/5
I didn't really do anything spectacular in this tournament, no offence to my opponents... Mainly I just played solidly (I was never much worse in any of my games), and I capitalized on all my opportunities (except in the last round when I offered a draw in a much better position... more on this later).
Actually, I didn't mind the draw, since it clinched my 3rd "master norm" and officially gave me the National Master title. This is the highest title given out by the Chess Federation of Canada. To qualify for the title, one needs to perform above 2300 in three tournaments (each one based on 5+ games), and achieve a CFC rating over 2200 at some point.
Although it's something I've been working towards, the title itself is more symbolic than it is prestigious. Among the chess community, the titles of IM and GM are widely known as much more difficult to obtain, and thus more worthy of recognition. However to the general community, to be a "master" of anything is looked very highly upon. If I tell cousin Joe, a non chess player that I'm a master, I might as well say I'm a grandmaster and it will have the same effect. It sounds a lot better than saying I'm a chess expert with 2 master norms anyway ;)
I'm not quite on track with my goals that I made when I started this blog, but I have progressed a fair bit:
2014: 2300 (FM title)
2016: 2425 (IM title)
2019: 2500 (GM title)
My FIDE rating will be around 2130 after the next update, which puts me 70 points behind my target. But I'm planning to play a lot in the new year, so I'll have a good opportunity to catch up.
Here is my tournament schedule for the beginning of 2013:
Jan 4-6 - Hart House Winter Open 2013 http://hhchess.sa.utoronto.ca/hhopen
Jan 7, 14, 21, 28, Feb 7 - ACC Polar Bear Swiss http://annexchessclub.com/2012/12/acc-polar-bear-swiss/
Jan 8, 15, 22, 29... - GTCL Premiere League http://www.chesstalk.info/forum/showthread.php?t=7992
Jan 12-13 - Canadian Universities Chess Championship http://ssmu.mcgill.ca/chess/cucc-2013/
Feb 9-10 - Guelph Winter Pro-Am http://www.chesstalk.info/forum/showthread.php?t=8058
Feb 22-24 - Hart House Reading Week Open http://hhchess.sa.utoronto.ca/
Here is my final game against David Southam, which clinched the master title and a 2418 performance. See if you can spot the move I missed!