Road to 100: Congress battering

Dec 3, 2014, 10:09 AM |

Hi.  Still on a mission to try and get to a 100 ECF grade (1450 FIDE).  Modest perhaps, but hey I read a lot of people talking about how they're trying to get to GM: that isn't v.realistic given my talent/application.

I entered a congress in the minor section, max grade 130 (1675 FIDE) so knowing I would probably take a battering to some extent, given my rating of 91.  And thus I did, in the short term reducing my rating, but hopefully learning some things that will lead to a long-term increase.  If you're also out to improve, or are a little ahead of me, you might find it interesting to have a look at these games and add some feedback.

Game 1 was against a 118.  I tried a Dutch defence against 1.d4 and had my Stonewall agressively opened up, not sure whether it was accurate but she put me constantly under pressure, and exploited all my mistakes.


Game 2 and I had white against another higher graded opponent, who took me into the rare Owen's Defence.  I couldn't remember much other than seeing a game where Paul Morphy walked all over it.  I'm not Paul Morphy.  Don't know what I was doing my queen in this game.  Plus he got far too much play on my King's side


Due to some issue with pairings a lot of people got the same colour first thing Saturday morning as Sunday PM - a longsuffering arbiter was on the receiving end of some complaints - but hey if it's good enough for Carlsen and Anand...  I checked on the website before getting in the car and saw that the Swiss pairing had finally matched me to a lower-rated opponent after my 2 losses, an ungraded player.  I think she suffered from moving too quickly and actually I think I knew slightly more of the opening as a 1.e4 player it's pretty normal to be met with a Scandinavian Defence - a true example of the oxymoron of a non-book opening.

Game 4 against a 107 was the one I felt like I should have won.  Yeah, if I'm aspiring to 100+ then I should be able to compete at this level.  Plus my fellow club-members fed back that I was winning at the end.  So a bit disappointing at the time, but I haven't quite got my head round how I could have won, from move 45 or so - don't I need to keep my King involved in preventing white's king from getting in and attacking my c pawn?  Thus how do I free it up to attack the pawns on the Q-side.

Anyway, overall not too bad after the first day's smacking.  A tournament performance rating below my normal grade, but I was outrated 3 out of 4 games.

As ever, interested to hear any thoughts on the games - I haven't touched most of them with an engine so sure I've missed a lot in this analysis.