Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Lets see now... I was in a U1200 section among the highschoolers with mostly people 4-5 years older than me, I faced two people below me and 5 people above me rating-wise, and I ended up with 4.5 out of 7.


That's right, I had two upset wins (an 1140 and an 1180) and an upset draw, (a 1328!!) bringing my rating up a whole 88 points. My only losses were to people that placed individually, and I got a win against the 18th place player. Our team placed 12th place overall, beating Christian Brothers Academy, the high school's arch rivals, by one place. Chris, a guy on our team, scored 6 wins out of 7, landing 7th place. Since he got that trophy, the team trophy was given to the second highest score on our team.


Frankly, I'm pretty satisfied. My rating went up a little bit over 450 points in a single year. I'm not even done with the first phase of my training and I've already shot above my expectations. This really does work.


I am ridiculously glad I studied that endgame book for a few days before this. Both my upset wins were the result of a marginally won endgame (I.E. one pawn). While tactics certainly helps, in a four-hour game you can't expect your opponent to make a tactical mistake. My first loss was a result of me trying too hard to keep the queens on the board and that led to my losing a rook.

Now that all my goals are complete, I move on to the goals set by my coach and peers.

1 - Achieve second board as a freshman
2 - Overtake Scotty, Junior rated 1400, as first board
3 - Reach 1623, highest rating achieved by our program, by senior year

Sadly, one of the Sophomores playing in the U1200 had a bad tournament, scoring 1.5/7. Had he done better, we may have been 2nd as opposed to 12th, realistically, but it happens to everyone.

Another thing I didn't like was that godawful blitz tournament. The rounds took no longer than 20 minutes and the pairings took nearly 30 minutes to print out and be put on the board. Not to mention the mob of people who thought it was a great idea to riot to see their pairings first. Add that to the delay added from a tornado evacuation (!!!) and the tournament director adding on another round. Now add THAT to ruined plans for sushi due to it closing moments after said tournament ends. Awful. I did end up beating a 1700 though, but that was about it.

All in all, a fun trip. No more major tournaments for the rest of the season, until summer, possibly. I am in line for middle school MVP, and middle school most improved. I doubt they'll give me both, but I'm definitely going to get one of the two.

Other team successes included...

Austin, who won most improved last year, got an individual trophy in the U750 (He was rated 800-ish). The ironic thing is that he gained virtually no rating points the entire year.

Lizzie, a little girl, won an individual trophy in the K-6 U800 section going in as a 300 and winning 5 (!!!)

Chris, a 1200 who played with the U1200 and won 7th place and the signed book from Kasparov for best overall score.

Alex, a 900 who played with the U1200 and won 3, beating 300 1100's, winning the signed book for most upset points and gaining 107 rating points. (The book came down to a coin flip between him and Brice Bartling, who was 1500 going in and beat a 1800 and a 1900. I personally believed the book should've been his, but nonetheless Alex did do amazingly well.)

AJ, an 800 playing for the U750 who won 5.5 games an an individual trophy. (which surprised everyone, since he normally hovers at below or at a plus score.)

And the high school Varsity, who played up from the U1600 to the open and did amazingly well in that section, while they could've all scored easy 7's in the U1600.

As a group we did very well, and many of us got trophies despite us going around 2.5/27 in the last round as a group. Now I'm off to take a much needed break from chess, considering the club will not meet for two weeks and there are no tournaments, I see no reason why not to. Games with analysis will come soon.


Blue Devil Knight said...

Way to go!

likesforests said...

Congratulations! :)

Chess Student said...

Very nice work! I really like this blog. I have only one criticism, though. Set your bar higher for your rating. With as much work as you are willing to do, if you are able to improve your thought process so that you verify check, captures, and threats on every move and improve you analytical skills a bit, you will be over 1700 quickly.