On Sunday I went to my monthly seven round swiss tournament at Box Hill Chess Club and came tied with four others in the lower section of the adult field! And won $5…! A professional at last although it costs $15 to enter the competition.
It was an enjoyable tournament where I wasn’t beaten convincingly by a small child and I had a few good games with better players. My best game was my last one against a much better player where I was down to 1 pawn, a knight and a king to his 3 pawns, a knight and a king. I managed to claw back to a King and Knight vs. a King, Knight and pawn ending with the intent of snatching his pawn for a draw but I didn’t manage. I find knight endgames very tricky but I felt I did well.
The club is also starting a Sunday afternoon tournament with one longer game (1hr) per Sunday over seven Sundays which is designed for adults and good juniors and I’ll join that. I’ll also maintain my weekly competition at Glen Eira Chess club.
In other competition news my son was in the Victorian Junior Championships and he played some great games but also some games that fell apart because his near fried liver attacks weren’t quite near enough. A salutory lesson on not going for gimmics, even in the under 10 groups. It was amazing to see how well some of the better young players play. I doubt that in the future there will be any great players that don’t start at a very young age – their minds are like sponges.
Finally, while I was at the tournament, I overheard one chess teacher saying to a parent that he had “…a couple of good students but they don’t play in competitions”.The parent replied “Are competitions good” and the answer was “Yeah, if you want to improve you really need to do competitions…”. I paraphrase but I do think competitions focus the mind and give direction.