The Chess Pistols chess club held a G/60 +5 SS tournament on June 4. I took my 1244 provisional rating into the tournament determined to come out with at least one win.
The first game was typical ... I blundered early ... was moving too quickly; not paying attention to the threats after my candidate moves. I went down a bishop. But, I kept fighting and came back big time.
I equalized the game by trapping his bishop and then later on, I sacrificed a pawn to clear the way for my rooks to do some serious damage. I eventually was able to trade a rook for his queen.
From there, it was even more stressful. I had to win the game now with limited time on my clock. I managed to screw myself by not managing my remaining pawns well. We dropped the pencils and focused entirely on the board. I kept giving check. My strategy, at this point, was either to force him to lose on time, force a draw by repetition. But I managed to maneuver his rook and king to the edge of the board and with my king and my solitary pawn, I was able to mate him. I honestly didn't see the mate until after I made the move. We were both in shock that the game was over.
Later on in the day, I found that he was rated over 1800 - making this the biggest win of my entire chess career!!
Game 2 and 3
With my extraordinary win in round one, I was paired with one of the top players in the tournament. He was rated over 1900. I got crushed in 23 moves. I wasn't so disappointed in the loss per se, but rather in the lack of effort on my part.
Game 3 was pretty much the same. I played a 1700 player; blundered and then got blistered on a brutal checkmate. That game also went a measly 23 moves.
I was finally paired with someone with about the same rating - a 1400. This game was a slog-fest going over 60 moves. I managed to find a crucial tactic that secured me a pawn lead. I went on to force trades of the remaining pawns and then cleared a path for my remaining pawn to queen. He resigned before I could queen.
So I went 2-2 and placed 2nd in the U1600 division and scored $10!
Now - can someone answer me this: how did I get paired with an 1800-rated player in round 1 when there were 1400-rated players? Hind-sight: I'm glad I did, but I would think that they would pair me - a 1244P player - with someone around my rating.
Here is a link to some pictures of the tournament. My rating is now 1434 after 13 games.