And so, after a vacation and various technical difficulties, we now resume our quest for chess blogging excellence with the news that:
I WON my game last night in the Reno CC Championship qualifier and the only thing standing between me and the championship match round is...another win Thursday against the 2005 club champion Arkia Bayati.
Last night's game, postponed due to my being in Arizona for a few days, was against Barry Brandt (1900), who was the first Expert (over 2000) that I ever defeated, back in 1985. I was 1698, he was 2040, and I still remember the excitement of winning against someone I considered to be a really strong player. Neither of us is rated as high now as we were then but this was still the best win for me, in terms of rating, since I returned to tournament chess 18 months ago.
I'll get the game score posted tomorrow; as Black against his Trompowsky (1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5) I chose 2. ... d5 because I was pretty sure he knew more about the theoretical line 2. ... Ne4 than I, didn't blunder any material (the big key) and with Queen, Rook and opposite Bishops was able to blockade his passed d-pawn while my c-pawn ran to glory, costing him a Rook. He resigned on move 40.
So I feel pretty good about the game not just because I won but because I felt that I saw more than I have recently, was careful and calm, and seemed to concentrate more easily and for longer periods than is usual lately. I think that counted for more than doing a few hundred tactical exercises the day before the game (though I think those are important , too).