Monday, October 15, 2007

My First OTB Tournament In Over a Year

Yesterday, Sunday, 14 October, 2007 I played my first OTB tournament in about a year and a half. Fortunately, because I have been playing online I wasn't that rusty. In Round 1 I got paired against a guy rated 2009 and had Black. I lost in 22 moves. In Round 2 I got paired against a kid that looked like he was 8 years old. I was told that he was from India and he looked like he was. His rating was 723. I haven't played someone rated that low since I was in high school! Obviously, I won but it took me 58 moves to mate him. In all fairness to my opponent he played more like a 1300 than a 723. I am guessing that he is provisionally rated and that his rating will go up just from having played me. Unfortunately, I wasted my only White on him. In Rounds 3 and 4 I got Black both games. In Round 3 I got paired against a guy I kind of know and won in 71 moves. Normally, if I have a game go that long I believe that I missed a win earlier in the game. This game would have lasted another 20 moves if he had made me play it out to checkmate.

My opponent from Round 2 was about to lose on time when I checkmated him. He had about a minute left on his clock in a sudden death time control. Part of the reason that he ended up in time trouble is because he kept forgetting to punch his clock after making his moves. I let the clock run on some obvious moves and it cost him about 10 minutes. His lack of experience showed in his forgetting to punch the clock and in how he played the endgame.

My opponent from Round 3 also got into some time trouble and had less than 5 minutes remaining when he resigned. In the final round I got Black again against a guy rated 1654. I kept score of the game up to move 50. I got outplayed and was down material when my opponent had about a minute left on his clock. I knew that if I could avoid checkmate I could run him out of time. In the time scramble he let me win back some material and it ended up with him having four pawns versus my Bishop and pawn. If I remember right, he had 8 seconds left on his clock when he offered me a draw. I accepted the draw because we were playing with a 5 second delay on the clock. As long as he moved instantly he would never run out of time. I was saved from losing by the blunders he made during the time scramble and he was saved from time forfeit by the 5 second delay. I ended up with 2.5 out of 4 and won the Under 1600 prize. I got my entry fee and gas money back, but that was about it.

I will post the actual games from this tournament in the near future.

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