In the first round I played one of the IS 318 girls with a 1255 rating. I've learned from past experience, don't take any of the kids from that school lightly, regardless of rating. I had played one of the boys from IS 318, and he did a number on me in time pressure. Fortunately in this tournament time pressure would not be a factor. The time control was 30/85 followed by G/60. For a "cracktion" addict like me, that's eons!
Linuxguy made the following comment on my last post. I think his observations on kids are pretty interesting.
"Personal chess coaches aside, I think one of the things that young players have (besides a cheering parent or coach) is that they can play so fast.
I have begun to see chess as more of a performance/experience art, than just plain analysis. How many games do you make terrible moves in time-trouble after playing a quality opening (or at least quality versus your opponents')? When have you ever seen a kid's play go south because they were A) in time-trouble? B) energy level drop? Despite the possible feigned boredom, I've personally never seen those things happen from a very young player.
I would not want to get in time-trouble versus youth. Keep it solid, let them mix it up first, don't give them a solvable advantage."
In a tournament with this type of time control, staying focused and keeping one's energy level up is crucial. I'm finding that my endurance for longer games is not what it used to be. I think part of that is some problems with sleep, and not doing my long distance walks and bike rides. I got to get back into that routine. This first round would be a test of my patience and endurance.
I was Black in the first round, so I'd get to see early on if she would play aggressively and attack like crazy, or play solid positional chess. She played the c3 Sicilian against my 1...c5. However instead of pushing e5, she played f3. I don't come across that line very much. The pawn duo on e4 and d4 is solid, but I find e5 gives me more problems because I don't have a knight on f6 to cover h7 after castling. As it turned out, picking off the e pawn after she pushed f4 would be the deciding factor in this game. This game was a 70+ move positional battle that came down to promoting a pawn for the decisive advantage.
I used to get annoyed at players who wouldn't resign even when there is no chance for time pressure cheapos. Now I look at these games as a chance to work on my "mate in x moves" skills. It's also good to look for possible stalemate chances for the opponent. I didn't come up with the quickest mate, but it got the job done.