My Path to FM - Week 10/11
This is a double whammy lol. I didn't have much to write about last week so I figured I'd take a break. This blog will take on a slightly different format because I haven't been training in exactly the same way.
I should start by mentioning that I have a tournament coming up this weekend! It's a Sudbury tournament, so I'll be the top seed, but this time there will be some heavy duty opposition. The three seeds beneath me are all strong 2100 players, with one of them probably being underrated by a hundred points or so. I've been doing a bunch of prep for the tournament, but obviously I can't share it here until the tournament is over. They aren't too hard to prepare for, mind you. One plays Philidor/Reti in every single game, another plays e4 exclusively, and the last plays a lot of different stuff, but always d4 against me because he's afraid of my Dragon. I have enough of a rating lead that all three will be okay with a draw against me, so I need to have reasonably sane ways to play for wins with black, but I think it's safe to say I already had that in my repertoire. Anyway, I'm good to go at this point. The rest of the week I've made it my goal to try and relax so that I'm well rested and able to avoid complacency over the board.
I've also started work on a book! I've come to realize that, although I'm on the weaker end of the "Chess Master" scale, I do have a particular set of skills that might help me in writing a book. First, I like to write. Second, and more importantly, I've played and studied so many different openings on my way to the NM title that I have developed a very good feel for what works against 'Class players' (1400-2000, let's say). I've had a few different players and tournament directors point out that in almost every open tournament I invariably have a game against a weaker opponent that I win in less than 10 minutes or so. Anyway, the point is: I know what works in a practical game and I can create a repertoire for club players who want reasonable opening positions without having to memorize more than 10 moves at a time. As an added bonus I'm not so unbelievably strong that I take complicated lines/moves/plans for granted. I'm able to explain them to the 'Class' audience we're talking about.
I've got a proper sample of the book coming out in the next few weeks, but I thought I'd share one of my personal games against a high-end class "A" player based on one of the variations I'm recommending. The chess.com board feature is glitching tonight, so there are no notes. Consider it a little teaser of the type of games that you'll be seeing in my book.