Sunday, June 18, 2006

Upcoming Tournaments

Besides the monthly tornadoes in St. Pete and Orlando, the June 2006 issue of Chess Life lists two tournaments in my area that I would like to play in. They are The 14th Annual Southern Open and Florida State Chess Championship. The first one is August 4 through 6 and the second one is September 1 through 4. There are several side events at the Florida Championship that I would be interested in as well. However, I probably won't make it to either one because they are rather expensive to play in. I live about half way between St. Pete and Orlando so both drives are about one hour for me. Factor in gas at about $3 a gallon and that can be expensive to drive back and forth for 3 or 4 days at each event. Then, there is the wear and tear on both my car and me. Fatigue has been a problem for me in past tournaments so driving back and forth every day would probably kill my chances of winning any money in the Under 1600 sections. Staying in the hotels where the events are being held would reduce the fatigue factor but cost even more than driving would! It sucks that there are no tournaments anywhere close to where I live! There is no club anywhere close to where I live either. The closest club that I know of is in St. Pete.

Back in 1986, right after getting out of the US Army, I played in the state championship and won the Under 1600 section with a perfect 6-0 score! That was part of and 8 game winning streak that I have not been able to duplicate ever since! I played in the state championship once since then and did rather poorly. That event put my rating below 1600 and I have been below 1600 ever since!

I played in the Southern Open a couple of years ago and lost every game that I played! My only point came from a bye! Again, fatigue was a factor. I stayed in a hotel room by myself, but it was about a mile from where we were playing so resting between rounds was sometimes a problem. Also, I had trouble sleeping at night because I was used to staying up half the night. I still haven't posted those games from the Southern Open to my chess site.

For several years I have wanted to play in the World Open or some other really big money tournament. Again, cost was the main reason why I have yet to play in them. I have wanted to become a professional chess player for over 20 years now but I am not good enough and simply cannot earn enough money to go pro any time soon.

Back in my Senior year of high school I played in both the Southeastern (Region 4) High School Championship and the National High School Championship. I played in the Under 1400 sections of both championships. I liked the excitement of playing in a really big tournament and of being part of a team. I miss both now!

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