I traveled to Charlotte, NC on Labor Day weekend to play in the North Carolina Open tournament, just two weeks after a so-so performance in the Columbia Open. I was hoping to play better and tear up the Under 1300 section. I decided to play the two day schedule, so I had to be there early Saturday for a shorter G/75 game. It was against a kid, as all my games in this tournament would be. I ended up with an advantage but very little time, and I finished the checkmate with like 2 minutes left on my clock.
I felt good going into the second game, but then the start was delayed an hour by computer issues. The organizers ended up pairing 200 players by hand. When we finally began, I was glad my opponent played into my preferred line as black. But his chess etiquette needed some work. First he asked me on my clock where the water fountain was. Then he started writing out variations on the border of his scoresheet, which is illegal. I called him on this, and he stopped. Later, when my time was getting low, he said "your time is getting low." Several distractions, but the mistakes are my own.
Having yet to play well in a Saturday night game, I took a bye, and the opportunity to visit friends in Charlotte and drink beer. Probably my favorite part of the tournament! Sunday morning I was ready for a win. I played the Queen's Gambit as usual. My opponent threw in an early c5 which always seems to give me trouble later. I need to work on that.
I was tired and not excited for the last game of the tournament. I was hoping it would go quickly. This game got off to another late start due to some dispute in the higher section. My opponent played d4, which nobody had played against me in a tournament before. I decided to play into a Grünfeld but couldn't remember much of the line. I threw away a pawn early and was really on the verge of just packing my bags. But for some reason I kept at it and eventually the tides turned. We played into an endgame that I knew I would win, but as usual with kids, they make you checkmate them, so I ended up playing my longest game of the weekend. But it was worth it and nice to go home on a positive note.
I've decided that I'm going to play in the next higher section in a future tournament. I know I can compete with 1400s, sometimes anyway, and I'd rather be losing to them than 1100s. Thanks for reading and catch you next time!