A Surprising Victory
So yesterday, I competed in the regional K-12 championship in my area. Due to my age I had to play in the full K-12 section, not the K-8. I started out as the fourth seed; the third seed was about 75 points higher, and the first seed was a full 150 points higher. I expected to have a strong chance at winning, but didn't think I'd actually win.
In the first round I was facing a player about 500 points below me (due to swiss pairings) with the black pieces. Despite the rating differential, he actually gave me the most trouble of anyone.
I was pleasently surprised to watch the number 2 seed lose on board 2, which made my job much easier.
In round 2 I now faced a 1300 player with the white pieces. He clearly had never seen the opening position before, and quickly had a large time deficit, in a G30 d5 game!
I played that game with almost no thought, simply because the structure natually favors white, and the winning plan is so simple.
I was also shocked yet pleased to view the number 5 seed get absolutely destroyed by a player 300 points lower. Unfortunately, the higher player had played the french, and in the third round I was paired against that same lower-rated player. I decided to not unveil my surprise opening for that game. I decided to leave this game free of annotations, although I will say that my opponent is definitely underrated and played quite well. At the best point in the game, I had maybe a .50 pawn advantage.
In round 3 the number 3 seed lost to the number 7 or 8 seed I think it was. This set up a match-up between the number 7 or 8 seed and the number 1 seed, since they were the only two players with a perfect score up to this point. This also set up a match-up between the only other person with 2.5 points and me (since I had just played the other player with 2.5).
We all expected the number one seed to prevail on board 1, simply due to the fact that he outrated his opponent by over 200 points. Thankfully, after another 30 minutes of playing after my game finished, they agreed to a draw.
This left a three-way tie at first place with 3.5 points, with another three or four people tied at 3 points. The downside of this was that I had to play the number 1 seed in the final round. However since this was the last round of the whole day and since he had a shorter break than I did, he did not play at top form. Out of courtesy for my skilled opponent I will leave the game clear of comments. However, I will say that his 16th and 28th moves were blunders.
The other player with 3.5 points lost in the final round, which left me in clear first with 4.5 points out of five. I therefore won a check for $200 and the K-12 champion title!