Recent Nebraska OTB Tournament

Jun 29, 2010, 8:51 AM |

Hi all,

I just finished playing in an OTB tournament here in Nebraska, and thought I would write a little about it.  I started playing in OTB tournaments about 1.5 years ago, and have played in maybe 5-7 since then.  I got married and bought a house last summer, so I wasn't able to play in many after that.  This last weekend I played in the reserve section (<1800) of a Nebraska tournament.  Going into the tournament my rating was around 1480, which I felt grossly underrated my abilities (though I'm sure most people feel like this).  I felt my rating was lower than it should be mostly because I feel like I've developed a lot from playing online here, and studying/learning a lot through the training videos, tactics trainer, chess TV, etc.  

In any event, I won my first game against a 15-yr old girl, though I probably didn't deserve to.  I won a pawn early but then struggled to convert the advantage, and found myself level on material and in a time scramble.  Luckily for me she made a bad blunder and I was able to mate her.  Afterward she remarked at how calm I seemed to be in the time scramble, and I told her I attribute it to playing 5min blitz and learning how to think under pressure.  That said, I also believe blitz has often detracted from my improvement in "serious" chess, but that argument is for another post.

In my 2nd game I had black and found a pretty nice tactic to win 2 pawns, then my opponent got flustered and tried for an attack that just wasn't there and dropped a knight.  The rest was pretty routine.

My third game my opponent again made a pretty serious blunder in the opening phase and was forced to drop a knight to avoid mate.  (1. e4 e5  2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bb4+ 5. c3 dxc3 6. bxc3 Be7?? 7. Qd5!).  The rest was pretty routine as I just simplified as quickly as possible.

That brings us to the fourth game, when I had black against a player rated around 1760.  I felt this was one of the best games I've ever played OTB or online, and is posted here.

I spent about 20 minutes annotating this game, and right when I was about to insert it told me I had to save my post and wouldn't let me insert it, and I didn't want to annotate it again.
After this was the final game of the day, and I just needed a draw to be the clear winner.  Unfortunately I was tired of playing chess and was just eager to head home, so I don't think I played as correctly as I could have.  In any event, here is the 5th game, please feel free to analyze/critique.