Monday, September 2, 2013

350+ Points in 90 days!

First and foremost I would like to start this post off with an apology. I know I promised to be active on here but as we all know life sometimes gets in the way. I will do my best to post more often, but can't promise a daily or even weekly update as I may not have many interesting things to say (haha).

When I started playing again back in May, I fully expected to progress slowly. My rating was 1135 USCF. I had set small goals for myself and the first of which was to reach 1200 USCF, then 1400 USCF. I had imagined the first goal taking me only a couple of months and the second goal taking anywhere from 6-9 months to achieve with constant study and practice. Needless to say, I not only shocked my opponents during my May 26 tournament, but I shocked myself even more. I did not expect to perform that well and because of it, my first goal was realized: Reaching 1200. As a matter of fact, I nearly reached the second goal of 1400 as my rating post-tournament went up to 1396! I started going to the Denver Chess Club every tuesday and have made some awesome friends there. Colorado chess players are a different breed from the New Mexico players that I'm used to; they're much more friendly here.

Since return to chess, I've played in 3 weekend tournaments and have played in 3 Denver Chess Club tournaments(3 months = 3 tournaments). My results in the weekend tournaments were absolutely horrible and have given me something to work on. I have yet to score above a 2.0 in any of the three weekend tournaments but I have been performing REALLY well in the Denver Chess Club's monthly tournaments. I believe this is due to the fact that the DCC only meets on Tuesday nights and it's one-round per week. Let's give some examples:

Weekend tournaments:

  • Lost to a 900
  • Drew another 900
  • Have yet to score more than 2 points
  • Have amazing positions until I blunder. 
  • Lack of focus after 2 rounds.
DCC One-round per week monthly tournament:
  • Full concentration 100%
  • Only lost a couple of games.
  • Beaten 1800's, 1700's, 1500's and 1600's
Last week at the DCC, I beat a good friend of mine, Andre Patin(1825 USCF). The week before that I beat Dean Clow(1758 USCF) and got Game of The Week honors....

So why am I doing so well at the DCC but so terrible in the weekend tournaments? The only logical answer I can think of: HEALTH! 

I'm so far out of shape it's not even funny. There's nobody to blame but myself and I have not a single excuse for my current state of health. I have some serious lung issues due to the fact that I'm overweight and smoke a lot of cigs so any kind of medium to heavy cardio is out of the picture. The only way I can see myself fixing this issue is by taking a 30 minute walk on a daily basis. Maybe this will work, maybe it wont... All I know is my weekend tournament results will continue to be poor unless I get my physical stamina up to par. What are your thoughts on this? Bobby Fischer was always quick to say "healthy body, healthy mind"...

Needless to say, thank goodness for my results in the DCC. This has allowed me to bounce back from some embarrassing losses in my weekend tournaments and has allowed me to bring my USCF rating to 1493! That's an increase of 358 points in 90 days of active tournament play.  

During this time, I opted to not do the 7 circles program as of yet due to time constraints but I perform solid tactics practice on a daily basis. All of my wins against my higher rated opponents have been awesome tactical blows as you will see shortly. 

Now lets get to the notable games:
I hope you guys enjoy viewing these games as much as I enjoyed playing them. The last game against Andre was quite brutal and was later annotated by LM Brian Wall and he showed how I blundered quite badly out of the opening. Fortunately for me, Andre also missed the combination that would have won him a piece on move 14! Andre is a good guy and a friend; he was quite upset with this loss. Hopefully he can have a positive bounce back from the loss. 

List of upcoming tournaments:
  • September 28-29 - New Mexico Open
  • October 5-6 - Tri-lakes Open
  • October 19-20 - Denver Open
Here's to working on my health and finally performing well in a weekend tournament! 

- Sir Nemo

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