Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Houston Swiss Open

Just found out about another tournament here in Houston.  The Houston Swiss Open will be Saturday August 13, 2011 at the University of St. Thomas.

Three rounds; G/90 w/ 5 second increment.

I'm planning on it.

By the way, if any of you are interested in playing a G/120 or G/90 on-line - or even in person - sometime, drop me an email or leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Chess Pistols Tournament at Rice University

The Chess Pistols chess club held a G/60 +5 SS tournament on June 4.  I took my 1244 provisional rating into the tournament determined to come out with at least one win.

Game 1

The first game was typical ... I blundered early ... was moving too quickly; not paying attention to the threats after my candidate moves.  I went down a bishop.  But, I kept fighting and came back big time.

I equalized the game by trapping his bishop and then later on, I sacrificed a pawn to clear the way for my rooks to do some serious damage.  I eventually was able to trade a rook for his queen.

From there, it was even more stressful.  I had to win the game now with limited time on my clock.  I managed to screw myself by not managing my remaining pawns well.  We dropped the pencils and focused entirely on the board.  I kept giving check.  My strategy, at this point, was either to force him to lose on time, force a draw by repetition.  But I managed to maneuver his rook and king to the edge of the board and with my king and my solitary pawn, I was able to mate him.  I honestly didn't see the mate until after I made the move.  We were both in shock that the game was over.

Later on in the day, I found that he was rated over 1800 - making this the biggest win of my entire chess career!!

Game 2 and 3

With my extraordinary win in round one, I was paired with one of the top players in the tournament.  He was rated over 1900.  I got crushed in 23 moves.  I wasn't so disappointed in the loss per se, but rather in the lack of effort on my part.

Game 3 was pretty much the same.  I played a 1700 player; blundered and then got blistered on a brutal checkmate.  That game also went a measly 23 moves.

Game 4

I was finally paired with someone with about the same rating - a 1400.  This game was a slog-fest going over 60 moves.  I managed to find a crucial tactic that secured me a pawn lead.  I went on to force trades of the remaining pawns and then cleared a path for my remaining pawn to queen.  He resigned before I could queen.

So I went 2-2 and placed 2nd in the U1600 division and scored $10!

Now - can someone answer me this: how did I get paired with an 1800-rated player in round 1 when there were 1400-rated players?  Hind-sight: I'm glad I did, but I would think that they would pair me - a 1244P player - with someone around my rating.

Here is a link to some pictures of the tournament.  My rating is now 1434 after 13 games.