I was defeated by Arkia Bayati last night in the final round of the Reno CC Ch. Qualifier and thereby missed qualifying for the championship matches. I will apparently advance my rating by about four points to approximately 1612, as a result of the tournament.
This was a very encouraging game in some ways, but given the competitive stakes and the way it went down the outcome was also very disappointing. A. Bayati was the 2005 club champion, was rated well over 2000 USCF until recently (currently listed 1953) and according to this even has a FIDE rating of 2113. Yet through good, careful play as Black I was able to match him for the first 30 moves and obtain a perfectly even ending with two bishops and six symmetrical pawns for each side...then with minimal calculation I moved my King toward the center and allowed a short tactical sequence that completely wrecked my position. It went something like "Well he has this check, but I just go Ke8, continuing toward the center, and I'm fine," but then he had a check with the other Bishop, driving my King further from the Kingside pawns, which dropped off.
So I'm not pleased with the result, but I'm encouraged that I can play with anybody around here if I just play "Real" Chess (Dan Heisman) EVERY move, and not just 97 percent of the time. In this game I played 30 consecutive "Real" moves and then 1 "Hope Chess" move, and that was it. It's extremely tough to keep it up, move after move for an entire five hours if necessary, but I know I can do it, and I will. (h/t Secrets of Grandpatzer Chess - see this post of his for more valuable thoughts on this topic).
I think I have good positional knowledge, and enough calculating ability and pattern recognition, to go a long way up the ratings ladder if I'm able to be really, truly consistent, each move through every game, no matter how tired, the atmosphere, the opponent's rating or anything. No human, not even a grandmaster, can truly do it 100.00 percent of the time but I gotta move from the 97 percent of last night to about 99.8 (about one loose, sleepwalking blunder every 10 games. I don't know if more than that is humanly possible).
I'll get the game posted within a day or two.
BTW, I'm starting a new Label called "Real Chess" as it's what I need to focus on more than anything else!