Saturday, September 01, 2007

Langley Chess Open: Day 1

Day 1 of the tournament is over. I got there on time but the first game didn't start until about an hour late due to setup issues. However, both games got played and everyone seemed to have a good time.

How did I do? Well, before I get into that, some details. There are somewhere around 50 people playing in this years tournament, quite a few more than were on the website list. I was surprised to see a lot of younger kids there, looking to be between 10 and 12 years old.

I was a bit nervous at the start, not knowing how things worked, and only a few people who were there. But eventually things got underway and it was fine from there.

So, I sit down at the board for my first game, and it's a young Chinese boy, I'm guesing he's about 10 or 11 but I'm not much good at ages. The bottom line is, he's the youngest person I've ever played. I'm fairly certain he's younger than I was when I first started playing Chess.

Anyway, I said hello, asked him if he'd played in tournaments before, etc. That turned out to be a foolish question which you will see. The game started off well, and it was obvious he knew what he was doing. Actually, he was really good and I found myself putting much more into the game than other casual games I play. The game went on for about two and a half hours, and after much play, I was ahead by a pawn, and had two passed pawns. The game seemed to be in hand, but I was getting worn out and wasn't playing as well as at the start. I missed a defensive move, got caught off guard, and the game fell apart within a couple of moves. I played on for a few more but when I began to lose huge material, I resigned.

I was feeling disappointed, but after reviewing the game, realized I'd played really well, just miscalculated on a move. Later I asked him what his rating was. When he told me it was 1800, I felt even better because I figured I would be playing below 1500 but I was able to manage against an 1800 player.

The second game was a bit shorter, and I wasn't completely focused. I didn't take the initiative when I could have (we analysed the game afterwards) and after 23 moves, I was in an impossible situation and resigned. However, I learned a great deal from that game which I hope will help me for the next few I have to play.

One thing I wasn't expecting from this tournament was the amount of pressure when in a serious game. The battle that takes place on a chess board is one of very equal forces that even the slightest mistake can topple, and it's quite draining, mentally and physically. But it's very exciting and I look forward to the remaining four games.

Score after Day 1: 0.0 / 2

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2 Smart Remarks:

Anonymous Stephanie said...

Good try Andrew!

Wow..sounds like these tournaments are quite lengthy for each night!

All the best on your next game!

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Sciurus said...

Hi Trooper,
nice report! These young kids really shouldn't be underestimated. Sometimes I think they take it more seriously then the old guys. What time control are the games? Playing two long games a night must be something one has to get used to first. Anyway, all the best for the coming rounds!

11:02 AM  

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