Recent Nebraska OTB Tournament
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.