Some things never change. I ended 2008 on New Years eve playing kids in the last three rounds with mixed results (1 win, 1 loss and 1 draw), and I started 2009 on New Years Day with kids in all four rounds with crappy results (1 win and 3 losses). Boris Privman was my lone adult opponent over the two days of tournaments. He beat me for the 17th time. Sigh.
I think the thing that bothered me the most about Thursday's tournament was how poorly I played with the White pieces. In both games Black grabbed the initiative quickly and I spent most of the game on the defense. That's not supposed to happen. Lately I've been very unhappy with the positions I've gotten from both the English and the Colle. I'm starting to think I may have to do some radical like opening with 1. e4. I haven't played 1. e4 since March of 1990. Another one of those things on my 2009 "chess to do" list.
In the first two rounds I played kids who I first saw when they were in kindergarten or first grade playing the scholastic tournaments I direct. They started out with three digit ratings. Now they're teenagers and out rate me by 300 to 400 points. As what would be expected when a player is out rated another by 300 to 400 points, I lost to both of the teenagers. Before anyone says "Don't pay attention to the rating.", I don't take the attitude of "I'm going to lose because this guy is so much higher rated." In fact I have a decent record against my first round opponent. I've been 2100s before, and I'll beat a few again. However if I keep getting positions out of the opening like this one, I'm not going to beat anyone.
In round three I finally got paired down. I played a much younger kid who I had not seen before. He played way too fast, and kept hanging pawns and pieces. He's been playing in tournaments for less then three years and his rating has shot up from 100 to 1460. In the past year it's risen almost 400 points. I suspect as he gets more experience and matures, he'll catch up with me.
In the last round I played a fifth grader who I've seen around the Marshall a lot. Surprisingly enough this was actually the first time I've played him. Having played a crappy English in the first round, I decided to play 1. d4 in the last round. Again I let my initiative slip away, and his attack on the king side proved to be more effective then my attack on the queen side.
In looking at these two games I played as White, I can see that I made some indifferent moves early on which allowed my opponents to grab the initiative. In both cases I should have hit the center sooner then I did. I've noticed a tendency on my part to sit back, and allow the opponent to dictate play. I need to play with more purpose in the opening. It's time to look at some grandmaster games in my openings. I need to get out of this rut I find myself in.
PS. Everyone should be proud of me because I resisted the urge to go into NYC today and play in Steve's game/30 that he was running tonight. It was tempting to do so, because I have a tendency to try play myself out of these ruts. Eight games in two days was enough. I need a little break. No chess games for a week as hubby and I spend a few days in Chicago seeing friends. Chicago in January brings new meaning to the phrase "cold turkey".