Monday, March 24, 2008

Far West Open 2008

Good news, bad news. The good news is that I did rather well at the Far West Open this past weekend, scoring 3.0/6 in the open section against average 2125 competition with no one below 2034. The bad news is that success may breed complacency and undermine my motivation to study and get better. We'll see how the factors play out in the coming weeks.

My games were quite interesting and they were against a very interesting slate of out-of-towners: one world champion, one legend, a rapidly improving young expert who tied for second overall, and an old rival. My two losses were decided by sad blunders when I stopped playing real chess and went for promising-looking moves without looking at consequences, but all the games were very interesting.

The masters above me played some very interesting games also. As editor of the games bulletin, I get to see all of them. I might annotate a couple for this blog on top of my own games. That's eight games to blog about, plus a few thoughts on error, training, and tournament obsessions make it about eleven posts before I run out of material. So, my three readers, look for this blog to get busy in the next two weeks.

It was a good weekend with my state of mind remaining healthy because of the successes. But perhaps the best aspect was that I got to solidify some acquaintances more toward friendships. Congrats to chessloser for tasting some success. Reno is no longer a Waterloo. I look forward to reading his recap in his own words. Congrats to drunknknite for affirming that he's the real deal expert scoring 3.0/6 also (btw our seven-way tie for fourth expert prize payout was a whole $31.20).

The club championship is starting in about 10 days. It should be a class struggle with six aristocratic experts trying to hold down the revolutionary seven bourgeois A players and the three serf B/C players running the gauntlet (sorry, no real slight intended, I just had to go with my class struggle thought). I'm contemplating switching from 1.c4 to 1.e4, but it's just too scary, so I doubt I will. Still, the fun lines of the Sicilian and French will all be Greek to me, which seems like a small tragedy.


Wahrheit said...

Thanks for the quick report! I spoke to chessloser on the phone before the last round and it sounded like most of our friends and acquaintances were doing pretty well. Looking forward very much to seeing some games.

Phaedrus said...

Changing openings is always scary.

Sometimes it helps to list all the reasons you have to change (lines you fear, lines you don't know how to handle, lines you like about the new opening). And then list all the reasons you have not to change (lines you know well and like in your current repertoire, lines you fear or don't know how to handle in the new repertoire.

I did sometimes. Most of the time I decided to stick with the old stuff, but somehow it felt rejuvenated.

tanc(happyhippo) said...

Congratulations on your performance in the open section!

As for changing openings, I used to fear playing 1.e4, however, at my low level (I'm currently unrated so take my words with a huge dose of salt), I find the best way to meet my fear was to confront it.

The problem with 1.e4 openings is that there is a myriad of defences that I need to know and grasp and it is overwhelming once I consider the enormous possible responses Black has at its disposal.

There is nothing wrong with sticking to one opening but I find that sticking to just one opening limits my repertoire far too much for my liking and besides, i like dynamic, tactical battles and 1.e4 openings tend to lead to that.

Just my 2 cents. Cheerios

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Ernie, you probably have more readers than I do. :)

I primarily blog in order to keep focused during busy times. If you have three readers, I must have about 1 1/2.