2010 SC/NC Border Battle

Apr 15, 2010, 11:42 AM |

I joined a group of South and North Carolina chess players for a weekend "border battle." The match would pit the state champs against each other, as well as the high school champs, and two pairs of players from each class. I was one of the class D players. I had spent spring break camping in Florida and not playing any chess, and I was a bit rusty for the match.

The first two games were against a boy of maybe 10. He was no slouch and played aggressively. The class games were played as game in 90, which is shorter than I'm used to for tournaments. I think that slightly faster game played a role in my performance. I need to make decisions more quickly!

In game one, I played recklessly and it didn't pay off.

In game two, I went with my standard d4 opening, termed "boring" by my friend Drew. I don't care if it's boring if I win the game! The boy gave up a lot of material, but kids tend to make you checkmate them and not resign. So we played it out, and then he immediately pointed out I missed mate a move earlier. I should have seen it but I'll take the 1-0 anyway.

Saturday night we played a G/5 blitz tournament and I got destroyed by nearly everyone. I think I managed two wins out of 16 games.

On Sunday, game three was against a "grown up." He played the Bird opening on me, which I've played a few times at the local club, but I never paid attention to the lines. That ate up some opening time. I managed to win a pawn and might have battled it out if I'd had more time, but I ended up offering a draw, which was accepted.

I felt pretty good for game four. I had the white pieces and thought if I could have drawn as black in game three, I could win this. I think I played it pretty well, but wasted a lot of time in the middlegame which led to huge mistakes at the end. It was one of the last games and it's sort of fun to play with an audience, but it would've been better if I had pulled it off.

It turns out the entire tournament was a tie! I need to get better with shorter time controls, and make sure I've had some practice just before the tournament.

Congrats to my friend Drew from NC who went 4-0 in class E!