Bluegrass State Games 2011
I played in my first tournament Saturday, the Bluegrass State Games. I was in the beginner section and I scored 3 points in 4 rounds. These are my games with my postmortem analysis.
The first game, my first tournament game, was full of blunders by both sides. Fortunately for me, black missed tactics that I blundered into, and black blundered away a rook that cost him the game.
The second game was better for me as the black pieces. I seized and held onto the initiative and won by checkmate. I made one serious mistake after I was winning that would probably not cost me the game, but my opponent missed the tactic.
Game 3 I had the white pieces and even though it was mine to lose after move 3 I blundered and almost did just that. My opponent missed the tactic though.
Going into the last game, I was pretty happy with my achievement of 3 points so far, and I believe this led me to play somewhat complacently. I was also playing the strongest player in the section. I learned that chess stamina is very important because the hardest game is likely to be last! My opponent played very well and I lost with the white pieces. I don't want to take anything away from my opponent's victory, but I really feel like I defeated myself in this game. I got an opening that I know and love, the morra gambit, in which my opponent seemed to be unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I had an advantage early on and through more miscalculation and error threw that away. We used most of our time so stopped taking notation, but when I was down a piece late in the game, my opponent did not let up.