This was my first tournament after coming out of Chess retirement. I knew I wasn’t prepared but I figured if I didn’t try it now, when would I? I didn’t get to ease myself in gently since my first game was on board 1 against IM Vicente Lee (2349). I was surprised that with a 1787 rating I was on the bottom half of the players list but I didn’t get too stressed out about it. I just assumed I would lose and played it as a warm up (against the strongest player I ever played). I resigned with black after 32 moves when I lost a third pawn. 15...Qc7? [¹15...Qd6±] 16.Qxd5+- Be6 17.Rxe6 fxe6 18.Qxe6+ Qf7 19.Bxh7+ Kf8 20.Ng5 Qxe6 21.Nxe6+ Ke7 22.Nxd8 Kxd8 23.Rb1 Kc7 24.Be4 Nc6 25.f3 Rd8 26.g4 b6 27.Kf2 Ne7 28.Rb5 Rd6 29.h4 Ng6 30.Rg5 Nxh4 31.Kg3 Rh6 32.Rxg7+ 1–0
Round 2 was against an unrated player MacKendrick,Callum and I won in 32 moves. 12.d4 Qxe6 13.dxe5 Bxe5 14.Bf4 Nd7 15.Bxe5 Nxe5 16.f4 0–0 17.Rxe5 Qxc4 18.Qd5+ Qxd5 19.Rxd5 Rad8 20.Rxd8 Rxd8 21.Nc3 c4 22.Rd1 Rxd1+ 23.Nxd1 b5 24.Kf2 Kf7 25.Ke3 Ke6 26.Nc3 a6 27.g4 b4 28.Ne4 a5 29.Kd4 b3 30.axb3 cxb3 31.Nc5+ Kd6 32.Nxb3 1–0
Round 3 was against Andrew Boik (2166). After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 I was already out of my book. By move 14 I was losing and I resigned on move 29. Position after 15...Ba6? 16.Qd1?? gives the opponent counterplay [16.Nc4 Nc2 17.Nxb6 Bxe2 18.Nxd7 Nxa1 19.Nxb8 (19.Bxa1 Bxf1 20.Kxf1 Rxb3 21.Nxf8 Kxf8–+) 19...Rxb8 20.Rxa1 Rxb3 21.dxc5 Rxb2 22.c6³] 16...Bxf1 17.Bxf1 Nc6 18.Rc1 Nxd4 19.Bxd4 cxd4 20.b4 a5 21.bxa5? Qxa5 22.Nb3 Qa4 23.Nbxd4 Qxd1 24.Rxd1 Bxa3 25.Kg2 Bc5 26.Re1 Rb2 27.Kg1 Ra8 28.Re2 Bxd4 29.Rxb2 Bxb2 0–1 That ended day 1.
Day 2 started against another unrated player Amasaid Magdi but he was a very strong player and had already beaten Roy Yearwood (2137) in round 1. I played the Philidor Defense and was outplayed but after several errors by both of us I missed several chances such as 44...Rd6?? [¹44...Rd1+ 45.Ke2 h3 46.Kxd1 h2µ] 45.Nd4+- h3?? I thought I had calculated this correctly but I was wrong 46.Nf5+ Kf3 47.Nxd6 h2 48.Rf5+ Kg3 49.Nxe4+! Nxe4 50.Rh5 Nd2+ 51.Ke2 Ne4 52.Kd3? Nf2+–+ 53.Ke2 h1Q?? The final mistake with 10 min left. I still don’t know why I did not play Nh3 because I had seen it earlier. After this the knight cannot stop all the pawns. [53...Nh3! 54.Rh8 h1Q 55.Rg8+ Kh4 56.Rh8+ Kg4 57.Rg8+ Ng5–+] 54.Rxh1+- Nxh1 55.a5 Nf2 56.a6 Ne4 57.a7 1–0
The last round was a win against Myron Loke, a nice kid rated 1252. 18.Qb5+ Qd7 19.Nxd6+ Ke7 20.Qxd7+ Nxd7 21.Bb4 Kf6 22.0–0 a5 23.Bc3 Ke7 24.Nxb7 Ra7 25.Nxa5 Kf6 26.Nc6 Ra6 27.f4 Kg6 28.Nxe5+ Nxe5 29.fxe5 Rd8 30.d6 Rd7 31.a3 Kh6 32.Rf3 Raa7 33.Rd1 Ra8 34.Rd4 g6 35.Rh3+ Kg7 36.e6 1–0
Overall I didn’t play anyone with a rating within 400 of mine and only 1 game was close. I only lost 8 rating points to drop to 1779 and I didn’t embarrass myself so mission accomplished.