Friday September 30, 2011
After a long day of work, I drove down to Hobby Airport at the Hilton. A cold front finally moved through South Texas and the weather was perfect in every sense of the word. It was a great night to watch a football game and look at the stars. But I had other things on my mind - the Class C section. Round 1 for the 3-day was that night.
The G/120 game started at 8:00pm. For me, it lasted well past midnight. I played an older gentleman who was a little late for the start. I started the clock and then he showed up a few minutes later.
I didn't get off to a great start and was quite rusty. My pawn structure was all awry and he took full advantage of it. I went down a pawn very early. Later in the game, he left a pawn en prise and I returned the favor by not taking it (smack to the head!). After I made my move, I realized I should have taken the pawn. Then my whits really started failing me. I held on for a few more moves only to commit an outright blunder by leaving my rook undefended. I immediately resigned. He was very cordial and reviewed the game with me for the next 45 minutes. In the course of talking to him, it was apparent he had a lot of knowledge of the game. He said he was retired and that was all he does anymore - study and play chess for several hours each day. He seemed like the person that might win the Class C tournament.
Saturday October 1, 2011
I tried to get some sleep after that tough loss. I didn't get much. I woke the next day, went on a walk in the crisp morning air, returned, mowed the lawn and then watched some football on TV. I headed back to Hobby around noon to start round 2 at 1:00pm.
|White pushed back|
We traded a few pieces, he attacked, then I counterattacked and then be blundered. He thought he could check me and capture my rook, but he failed to see that my queen was defending h8. But by this time, my clock was down to two minutes. So I quickly promoted and mated him.
After I won my first game, I got away from the place and ate some dinner - a nice sirloin steak - and watched some more football and baseball. I went back to Hobby feeling pretty good.
So I went home Saturday night with two wins under my belt! I didn't feel deserving of both of them, but I took them all the same.
Sunday October 2, 2011
I drove to Hobby again feeling anxious. My unspoken goal was to get three wins, and I wanted to win round 4 and then still have round 5 for a shot at earning some prize money.
|Queen stuffed in the corner|
I cannot lie - I was feeling really good. The only way I can describe it is how Harry Potter must have felt after taking that "feel-lucky" potion. I just felt I could do no wrong. My confidence was to the point of brewing over - border-lining on genuine hubris! I failed to mention earlier, that I was the lower-rated player in all these games coming in at 1434.
|28. e7 and Black resigns|
I had about an hour left on my clock and he had over an hour left on his - it was a "quick" game both by time elapsed and moves.
|The people in Black and Gold were the Saints fans|
Finally the games in Class C finished and they put up the final results. I came in "4th" and scored $150! I checked the tournament results tonight and my rating went from 1434 to 1617! Indeed, it was a great weekend.