Thursday, February 10, 2011

Alive and Well in Bermuda!

Greetings from Bermuda.  I'm here for the Bermuda International Open. 

To answer Chess Tiger's question.  I am alive, and blogging will resume.  I've had an incredibly busy January.  Lots of chess.  Some of it good, a lot of it ugly.  (So what else is new?)  I never did get back to reporting on the Liberty Bell Open.  It was an interesting event both chess-wise and psychologically.  I got off to an excellent start playing up a section.  Started out 1.5 out of 2.  In round 3 I got paired up against one of my former students.  I was up two pawns out of the opening. However he got a lot of counter play, and I messed up.  It was a quasi-train wreck.  I didn't think it was a terrible loss until I started analyzing the game later.  Unfortunately I had made the mistake of looking at that game right before round 4.  I went into that game not in the best frame of mind, and got smashed.

I then lost two more games in a row and was horribly depressed.  I did bounce back in the final round, but overall I was a bit discouraged.  I realized that getting off to a good start may have not been the best thing for me.  When I play up and start off with a string of losses my mindset tends to be "It's okay.  I'm playing up and I'm not expected to win many games."  I'm relaxed and don't put pressure on myself.  However if I start off well then my expectations go up.  I put more pressure on myself and I tense up.  If I have one of the moments where I've lost focus and lose a winnable game, then I get down on myself.  That feeds on itself and then I hit a miserable losing streak.  It's hard to get out of that rut.

Hopefully I will avoid such pitfalls this weekend in Bermuda.  The social aspect of this tournament makes it enjoyable regardless of the quality of my play.  Last year I did win my class.  We'll see if I can repeat that feat.  I will settle for not playing like a moron, and not blowing a won game.


Ivan said...

It's amazing how much you get around! Best wishes for a repeat performance!

chesstiger said...

Another good title for this blog would have been chess globetrotter.

Pity you put pressure on yourself if you have a good start. I thought one would enjoy the tournament more since you already had some points on the scoreboard.

That is the case for me, if i already scored points i tend to relax more since the dreaded zero is gone. While if i am not yet on the scoreboard i put pressure on myself to score points.

Anyway, good luck in Bermuda. And like you said yourself, have fun with the extra events!

Anonymous said...

Just a piece of advice about your comment about doing poorly playing up.Yes, you don't want to put too much pressure on your self when playing up but at the same time you don't want to lose self confidence thinking that who you are playing are a lot better and its "okay" that you lose. Just a thought.. Enjoy Bermuda!


Polly said...

I was actually relaxed playing up until I blew the round 3 game. There are less expectations when one plays up. Even though the third round game wasn't one of my classic train wreck games, I just didn't seem to recover too well from it. Live and learn, but I seem to do more living and less learning.