Today is April 1st, and the April rating list is now in affect. For the first time since February 1997 I have a published rating over 1800. I don't even want to count that month because I was at my floor of 1800. They lowered the floor by 100 points and by April of 1997 I was sitting at 1702. To save you the trouble of going to the USCF website and checking on me, I offer the following:
If you're wondering whether or not I've been doing loads of hardcore studying and brushing up on tactics, the answer is no. Despite the miserable ending of 2013 where I scored a miserable 1/2 point (a 1/2 pointed that I lucked into in a hopelessly lost position) out of the last 5 games I played that year, I did not make any bold New Years resolutions such as "I'm going to study chess everyday for an hour." Even a little resolution such as "I will work on 5 tactics problems a day" was not promised. I don't make New Year's resolutions because all I would do is not keep them and then beat up on myself for not sticking to them. I'm not even sticking so well to promise to myself to write more often.
My first tournament of 2014 had the potential of being special. I drew with an 1800 in round 1 and beat another 1800 in round 3. Unfortunately sandwiched between those games was one of my usual time pressure induced implosions again Guy Colas. He's beaten me more times then his son Josh has. His son is rated 2350 or so. Admittedly Guy and I have played each other more often then Josh and I have. However I've lost to Guy 28 times and to Josh 23 times. It seemed like I could win the game. But with a second left on my clock I had this position:
He just played 57. Rb7. I replied 57...Kf6. The game continued 58. Ne3, Nd4?? 59. Nd5+! The clock resigned for me. Usually a game like that would leave me totally discouraged for the last round. However somehow I had some fight left in me and won the last round against a young kid who out rated me by a good 100 points.
Stay tuned for more details.