Okay. As noted, this weekend was the Greater Boston Open chess tournament. In a pleasantly surprising turn of events, I won my first three games, beating players rated 2100, 2250 and 2330. Unfortunately, playing for first place in the fourth and final round, I got drubbed by Esther Epstein (2165) so I wind up either second or tied for second.
Well, final round aside, that’s still a fantastic tournament for me. Here are my chess improvement takeaways.
1. Being lucky doesn’t hurt. Chris Chase was slowly strangling me and then made an oversight leading to instant CML. (Catastrophic Material Loss.)
2. As a general rule, you’re going to score well in familiar positions and poorly in unfamilar positions. Nothing magic there. So learn new positions. If you’re old and you have a day job, this learning process will be slow, but that’s okay. I am way more familiar with my Black openings these days, and whaddya know, I’m winning with Black.
3. Hard work pays off, eventually. You just don’t know when it’ll be. Might take years. Gotta keep plugging. My rating could plummet next time I play – doesn’t matter, I’ve proven to myself that I’ve still got some upside left.