A Bad Chess Tournament

A Bad Chess Tournament

Hikaru Junction

A Bad Chess Tournament

First off, I apologize, because this blog is about me. I try to keep it about things that my small readership will find instructive and useful. Another reason is that it may help all of you play against me. Here is my reason for breaking my own rules: I played the worst chess I have in a long time, and I feel like I need the catharsis that having this (even sparsely read) soapbox will give me. My second reason is that perhaps, if not using these games to show you how I play good chess, I can ask you to not play like me.

I played four games, starting on 11/20/15, taking a bye in a three-day, five-round tournament. The time control was 90 minutes + a 30 second increment for the first 40 moves, with 60 minutes left to finish the game. This was by far the longest tournament I’d ever played in, and it was meant to be an experiment. It wasn’t a total disaster. There were good parts. But I hope this will help. This is my first game. I was White.

HikaruShindo–NN 11/20/15



NN–HikaruShindo 11/21/15




HikaruShindo–NN 11/21/15



NN–HikaruShindo 11/22/15



Altogether, I think I have mainly identified the factors leading to my poor ¼ performance.

1. Poor opening preparation: I practice what I preach, which is establishing the principles of an opening and having minimal memorization. However, it is clear that I need to simply develop my openings better. Each time I came out of the opening already with a substantial disadvantage, even as White.

2. Basic tactics: I simply missed them. Once, I missed what should have been the game-winner, and eventually lost, and other times, I was unaware of the blows coming my way. It is clear that I need more practice with tactics and deep calculation.

3. Trust and focus in my mental process detailed two posts ago: Once I started losing, I came apart. I need to learn to stay resilient, and also to not get lazy. Just to focus on my questions and be constantly vigilant.

Best of luck in your RHP and OTB play,
HikaruShindo

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