I had a successful tournament and scored 4/5 points, much better that I expected. I was surprised how well I played, given that my work/life schedule doesn’t really allow for much time spent on studying chess. I went into the tournament thinking that I’d probably get my ass kicked quite a bit, but at least I was looking forward to learning a thing or two from my mistakes. But I did not lose a single game! I still took away a few key points that I will try to remember going forward:
● Play aggressively! Don't shy away from complications; don’t settle for dull “safe” positions. I started the tournament with a bishop sac in my very first game, making it a very exciting game. I went for the kill in every game except one, where my brain was just way too tired to calculate and I didn’t want to make mistakes brought on by complications. It ended in a draw.
● Initiative is key - keep it by all means, and don't allow counterplay. Sounds simple, but it certainly isn’t. I kept looking for moves that put me in charge, and I think it worked out ok . More often than not, it was my opponent reacting to my threats rather than the other way around.
● Calculate, calculate, calculate! Don't be lazy, don't move fast even when it's tempting. Don’t think a move that looks “simple” doesn’t require much calculation. I think for most of us patzers, there just is no such thing as a simple move. I often find myself getting lazy in later rounds, when fatigue starts setting in… But whenever I noticed it, I forced myself to be disciplined and calculate every single move, making sure I took advantage of the long time controls. I got up pretty much after every single move, got some fresh air, or just walked around to get my heart rate up a bit. Sometimes I would splash water in my face. Whatever it takes, just don’t settle for half-assed calculations.
Will try to post some games soon, stay tuned!
1 year ago