Montana State Championship 2017 - Round 1
Chess, like life, is unpredictable. I went into the 2017 Montana state championship feeling stronger than ever and ready to prolong my reign for another year. For whatever reason (too much drink, too little sleep, overconfidence) I achieved my worst score ever, a measly 2 out of 5 points. In all of my games I had a strong and winning position, but I made mistakes at critical moments that proved fatal. I avoided risks I should have taken, and I took risks I should have avoided. The funny thing is that I wasn't alone, as several of us top dogs got lousy scores (Scott Caldwell was rated over 1900 and scored only 1 out of 5; Darren Stacey is mid-1800s like me but scored only 2 out of 5).
But through it all, I enjoyed myself and played some exciting (even if sloppy) games. In this first round I played Mike Muller, a gentleman who was having a losing streak right up until the last round, when he defeated a rampaging Sherwood Moore who was poised to become the new champion.