Co-Champion of League Ice-Breaker Tournament!
Earlier this month I participated in the Mason-Dixon Chess League's Ice-Breaker Tournament. As the first League tournament of the season, this tournament is always a fun, "who is the opposition?" type of tournament. I traveled to this tournament with 5 other members of New Oxford High School's chess team. We played against players from three other local school teams. As most of the schools had graduated their players, this tournament had a lot of new faces making their debut appearance. Seeing all of the new League members almost made me regret that this was my last year on the team - almost ;)... college will bring a whole new chess experience :)
Our three Reserve players did well in their section with one of them placing second. The other two were new to the team and enjoyed their first-time tournament experience. Though there were some jitters, they respectfully finished with scores of 2 and 3 wins out of 5 games.
The other three of us represented New Oxford in the tournament's Open section. The Open section only played four games. For the first time of being on the same team, my younger brother played alongside me in the Open section. That in itself was exciting and fun. Last year he had played in Reserve and did very well.
This particular tournament turned out to go very well for the team. For, by day's end the three of us from New Oxford seriously rocked the Open section! After the completion of the third round of play, all three of us were still undefeated. We were the only players with perfect scores. Unfortunately, that meant two of us were paired for the fourth round. The directors decided that my brother and our fellow team member would have that "honor." That match ended up with my brother losing, but I'm very proud with how well he played. The game was a pawn ending with a "who promotes first wins" situation.
I ended up playing one of my friends from another team for my last match. Needless to say we played a very relaxed game with lots of joking and small talk. Although I ended up the victor, the game was very close throughout. It could have very well ended up a draw under different circumstances (and we even joked about making it one from the first move!) Due to the level of seriousness by which we played, I feel a little bad that I won... but at least we had fun and there are no hard feelings.
As a result of New Oxford's stellar performance we snagged first, second, and third place in Open. My fellow team member and I were named co-champions of the Open section, while my brother took third. Again, I am very proud of my brother's placement. Oh, hope I don't embarrassing you bro ;) Anyway, as a sophomore 3rd board on his first Open section appearance, he managed to beat out all the 1st and 2nd boards placed against him. If the 1st and 2nd boards from his own team hadn't been present, then he would have walked away with 1st place. Now, doesn't that say something about his ability? So, when the two of us graduate at the end of this season, my brother will be left to take control... yeah, I think I could live with that. Ok, mushy-gushy brother love part is over. That wasn't so bad now, was it? ;) Now onto the games!
Interesting Fact: My brother and I played this tournament with 0 hours of sleep from the previous night!
We were at an all night youth lock-in and we were up since 8 PM the previous day... so, when the lock-in ended we immediately went to the tournament. Although I managed to catch two quick (10-20 minute) naps between matches, my brother didn't fall asleep. Lol, maybe we play better chess when we're tired? I'm not testing that theory!