2012 MI Open

Sep 9, 2012, 4:54 AM |

Hello! This is my first blog post on chess.com! I recently played in the 2012 Michigan Open, the first OTB tournament I have played in since 1985! I hope to post the tournament games here as I get a chance. Going into the tournament I was a little uncertain as what to expect since I had not played in so long. The TD was very friendly though.

I played in the 2-day Reserved section, for U1800 players. I was tempted to enter the Open but that section only had 3- and 4-day rounds. My daughter entered the 2-day Booster section unrated in her first tournament. My rating of 1427 from 25+ years ago still applied in this tournament; I was expecting a significant drop in my rating and had low expectations going in, but hoped to win a couple games. My chess.com rating was hovering in the low 1700s and from what I heard that meant my USCF rating would be several hundred points lower than that. I had some good practice online in live and online chess with my friend Renny54 prior to the tournament though, so was not totally unprepared.

Anyway, enough about my pre-tournament jitters! The 2-day section played the first 4 rounds with a G30 time control, and the first 5 rounds were played on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012. I was a little worried about how my daughter would do her first tournament game, which helped to keep me worried about my own game! Smile The first round I was paired up as white against a 1776 rated player. He was very nice as were all of my opponents. We got our clock and pieces set up and shook hands and started playing our first move when the TD came in and started making announcements. We stopped and listened to the TD finish, then started back up again:

This was probably my best game of the tournament; I thought I was lost until move 38. Kc4, when I saw I could break through black's ranks and queen my pawn.

I will post more games later. 

Round 2

After the first round finished, I was pumped up. I began having thoughts that I might do much better in this tournament than I had expected. My second round match was playing black against a D. VanHorn, an extremely nice player who ended up finishing 6th in the Reserved section. I think this game might have kept him from finishing higher, as it had a lot of back and forth excitement in it! 

I had many winning chances but blew them! It was a fun exciting game though! Smile

Round 3

After the second round, my heart was still racing with all the back and forth! We had about a 20 minute break before the third round started. My third round was against N. Wood, another very nice player. I was still recovering from the second round but felt like I still had a chance before the game started. We chatted for a few minutes while waiting to start and discovered we both were chess.com members. Here is the game:


N. Wood played very well in this round and the entire tournament. I had my chances but could not capitalize on any initiatives. It was a fun game. Even though my record is 1-2 now, I felt better now thinking I had chances in the 2 losses to pull out victories. More rounds to follow later!

Round 4

It is now 2:30pm Sunday; I have played almost nonstop since 10am. This is the last of the G30 rounds, then at 7pm we merge with the 3- and 4-dayers for Round 5. My next round I play black against a player rated 1162. I have had excellent luck by getting matched up against very nice players. My daughter was not so lucky, but that is a different story. I have finally recovered from my Round 2 loss, and am feeling confident again even though I am 1-2 so far. I am looking forward to the break until Round 5 to get dinner and meet some online friends from Team Michigan for the first time in person. So far all of my matches have gone on for a little over an hour each (about 70 minutes each). Here is the game:


The game continued for several more moves, but unfortunately I made a mistake in recording this next move so can't show it! In a nutshell, I was able to get a passed a pawn which I advanced to a3 before white resigned. I was very fortunate to win this game as white could have stopped me numerous times.

Round 5 - Time control changes!!!

After Round 4, I met moosemane in the lobby, then we went to an excellent restaurant, Kona Grill, with my wife and daughter. The food and company were both excellent, and allowed us a chance to talk and relax. I also had a couple beers, which helped me stay relaxed in my Round 5 game. Foot in Mouth Anyway, in Round 5 the time controls changed to 40/2, 1/SD so it was a much slower time control. I played white against an unrated player who played really well and ended up with a post-rating of 1460! Without further ado, here is the game, which lasted from 7:30pm until 11pm:

Whew! By now I was exhausted! It was another fun but grueling game of back and forth. I am now 3-2 after 5 rounds and ready for some well needed rest.  

Monday, Round 6

It's another new day, with 2 rounds remaining. I am feeling confident after my Round 5 game. This round, I will play black against an opponent rated 1706. Again, another friendly guy. This game was a wipeout from the beginning though. Here is my shortest game of the tournament, where my opponent taught me a few things about chess openings and tactics. Laughing

This game lasted about 30 minutes max. Laughing MY opponent was very nice and gave me good pointers after the game, which I will remember the next tournament. The good thing was that I had lots of time to enjoy lunch at the Melting Pot. Yummy cheese and chocolate fondue. Cool

Round 7

It is now 3:30pm and I am starting to worry about when we are going to get back home. My daughter starts the third grade the following day and has to be at the bus stop by 7am, and we had a 90 minute drive to get back home. I played white the last round against a 1126 rated girl who was very nice and a rising star in chess. I was hoping she was a fast mover but I was wrong! She had lots of patience and took her time making moves, unlike myself. Laughing During the game, I offered here a draw twice, when I thought my position was good enough to justify it, but she refused. She played very well and had control for almost the entire game.

At this time it was after 7pm! It was a long but fun game and tournament. I can't wait until the next one! Smile