2011 South Carolina Open

Jul 7, 2011, 6:29 AM |

This is my first tournament where I had a go at "playing up." My rating is in the 1300s and I decided to play in the under-1800 section instead of the under-1400. A few weeks earlier, I had played poorly in a one-off rated game against an 1100 which I was happy to draw. So I was nervous that I'd be destroyed in this tournament.

I arrived Saturday morning in Greenville to find I was the odd-man-out in the pairings. So I got a full point bye for the first round. They offered to let me play a rated "extra" game, but I had other stuff I wanted to do in the city, so I took the opportunity. Perhaps it also saved me some mental strength for my first battle.

My first game was against a player rated 1676. I think he may have underestimated me some...he seems to play pretty loose here. It turns out that he would win the U1800 section, and this game is the only one he didn't win:

I was happy to draw a much higher-rated player, but exhausted after theĀ four-hour game. After a hasty dinner, I was hoping for a shorter game on Saturday night, and I got it:

Another draw against a 1600-player. I was feeling like I could compete with these guys.

I started Sunday morning with a 4-mile run around the Greenville Downtown Airport. Maybe it was too much, but I did feel pretty good going into my game. This time against a 1700. I was too comfortable in my usual opening and overlooked a simple threat:

My final game was against a 1400-rated player. A see-saw game. Once I got the lead, overconfidence and time trouble sent me to my most frustrating game ever:

It was definitely not the way I wanted to finish. But I did learn that I can hang with the U1800 group, so I'll be trying it again until I start winning! Thanks to the Greenville Chess Club for putting on a good tournament.