Thursday, October 4, 2007

Open tournaments stink

I hate open tournaments.

There. I said it. I've been keeping that little thought deep inside for way too long.

For someone with a low rating like me, the first four or five rounds are an utter waste of time. It's only by the final few rounds that I'm even playing people even remotely close to my strength.

In the USA, because they had more players, they were able to split the players up into groups: U1200, U1400, U1600 and so on. That way - in a seven round tournament you at least got to play seven people that were within 200 rating points of your rating.

The only consolation for me is that at least I'm getting the hang of pacing myself and saving my best games for the last few rounds where it really counts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hard work pays off

For all those who were dubious about the seven circles - doubt no longer.

In my last two tournaments, I finished 3rd in the Blayney U1200 division and 2nd in last weekend's Ryde-Eastwood U1400 division.

To make sure that my recent successes were due to tactics and not anything else - I purposely changed my normal openings. I switched from the French to the Sicilian and from the Queen's Gambit Accepted to the Kings Indian.

I can assure you, I know only five moves of each of my new openings - so the rest is purely down to tactical training and the confidence that comes from repeating common positions over and over again.

I've got at least two more tournaments between now and the end of the year - so I'll keep you posted on progress.