It was the beginning of a new year.
I was eager for a new tournament, not having played since November.
So I find the Chesapeake Open, a 7-round tournament with score-based prizes, hosted by the Maryland Chess Association. I like their tournaments, as they provide the top sections with first-class wooden boards and DGT clocks.
I register and go on to play, setting a goal of 5.5/7. If I obtained that score, I would earn back my entry/hotel fees.
When I saw the pairings for the first round, I was happy.
“I’ll be playing against a 1700. I’m glad they didn’t start me off with a hard game.”
My overconfidence was sorely punished.
After that round, I wasn't too disappointed. After all, there were 6 more rounds to catch up in!
I go into my round 2 game, optimistic about my chances.
I learned something from that game. NEVER underestimate the Dragon Sicilian.
In order to reach my 5.5/7 goal, I would have to win all 5 of my remaining games. Would I be able to?
OK, so that's one goal I can't achieve. I was at 1/3, so I just decided that I should try to just salvage my rating.
Well, that was an amazing recovery.
I go into my next game, careful not to let overconfidence cloud my vision. After all, I stand on 2/4, which isn't so bad, right?
That was satisfying.
The next day, I stand at 3/5. I won't be able to get 1st, but I'm recovering pretty well.
As a general rule, don't play the Closed Sicilian against me, as you have seen with my game against Stephen Jablon from last year's Chesapeake Open.
Another funny thing I noticed: The last time I played Philip was in the 6th round, as Black, of the 2016 Chesapeake Open. Weird, eh?
So, I was at 4/6, and thanks to the score-based prizes, after I finished my last game, I could go home. If I won, I would get $300.00. If I drew, I would get $100.00. If I lost, I would get $30.00. I decided to try to win.
It looked like I was going to lose for a while there, but things turned out OK. I finished on 5/7 and my rating actually rose a bit, to 2081.
Plus, ending with a 4-game winning streak isn't bad either.
A pretty good end to January, don't ya think?