Over the weekend of 20th and 21st July I took part in my very first 'Major' section of a tournament and this was the 'Major u160's' which is for anyone with an ECF grade of 159 or below, or under 1930 FIDE equivalent strength.
My grade hasn't been updated yet and is still 116 (1578) so I could have entered another section. The 4 sections were 'Minor u115's' (u1570), 'Intermediate u135's' (u1730) this is the lowest section I could have entered being a 116 ECF still and a section where I would have had awesome 1st or =2nd place podium chances, nothing's ever a certainty but still great chances, then the major section I entered, and the hardest section was the 'Open' for anyone of ANY grade/rating.
I chose the major section purely for experience, no other reason. I couldn't play all 5 rounds anyway due to travel issues and distance etc, and thought the major section would give me 4 very hard and tense games, and for me that = FUN!
I'm still very much in the learning process and it's not often I get to do a weekend congress so I do like to challenge myself - but if I was able to do 12 a year instead of just 2 atm then I would enter the lower sections more definitely, but I do love the challenge these harder sections bring me because I'm not a fan of easy wins. So, here's my 4 games!!... I hope you appreciate I analyzed all my games myself without any engine as to improve my self-anaysis skills except where I say an engine was used because parts of my games were analyzed by a friends engine at the tournament
My first game had me up against a player graded 149 ECF!
So although it didn't go completely as planned at the end, I still managed to get a rated draw against a 149 ECF player which I hadn't ever done before!
Here's round 2 against a 152 ECF!
So a blur in my tactical vision (tiredness) cost me the game, I should have held a draw with queens still on the board but yeah, that was the worst move I played of the whole tournament lol so with my 3rd round bye, I headed home for some proper food and rest ready for my 4th and 5th round games the next day!
Here's round 4 against a 144 ECF!...
I feel like I should have won this, but after some extensive computer evaluation I realized that only an expert with hours on his clock could have really worked some magic with this awesome position, ah, hate time trouble lol
So for the final game I really needed a win, well wanted one at least, and I faced another opponent rated 152 ECF...
So, this position where the draw was agreed, he thought he had a slight advantage having 2 minors for my rook but I thought I had a slight advantage having the only heavy piece on the board and a more active king. But I realized neither of us could make progress without making holes in our position, and so did he so he accepted my draw offer. But still another great draw because I had never drew with anyone over 150 ECF before, not in a rated game!
So overall I think I did myself justice with 2/5 (1.5/4) in a very hard section and it was a great weekend for me, now I'm just waiting for the 2013/14 season to start for my club where I will be on board 1 or 2 for the second team and board 5 or 6 for the top team.
My TPR was 137 ECF (1746 FIDE equ.) which I think is an accurate measure of my true strength anyway And another great thing I only lost a single game all weekend against much stronger players!
Analyzing these games has been almost as much fun as playing them I appreciate any constructive comments