The Ryde-Eastwood League competition has officially ended for me.
The competition has members being split into 3 groups of 9 rounds each.
The competition ran for 11 weeks. It definitely was not easy for me to juggle work, studies and fit in chess during this period．
In 9 rounds (including one bye and one forfeit), out of 7 games, my FIRST completed official tournament record stands at: +5-2=0 (5 wins, 2 losses and no draws).
I'll just give a quick recap of my games.
Round 1: Tan v Alan Marton (1366)
Summary: In attempting to trap my bishop, Alan missed a strategic idea and allowed me to create 2 passed pawns, namely, my e and f-pawns to march up the board.
Round 2: Vince Chiara (1389) v Tan
Summary: Vince had a slight advantage out of the opening. But he made a slip in the middlegame in attempting to drive out my Knight from its outpost allowing my Queen to invade the position. I did not choose the best moves in the position but did keep the advantage. Subsequently, Vince had to make an exchange sac or lose his Queen (R for N). From then on, Vince tried to create counterplay and defended like a tiger. However, after winning another pawn, I returned the exchange to win a second pawn to obtain a winning pawn endgame.
Round 3: Tan v Quinlan Vasey (1029)
Summary: Quinlan is a likable young lad but it is a mistake to underestimate him. His chess skills have made huge progress and I estimate his true rating to be well above 1400. He made me fight for the initiative but I managed to push his pieces back. His Queen fell after a tactical oversight and the game was pretty much lost from there on. This game was played out to checkmate.
Round 4: Argo Kuru (1716) v Tan
Result: 1-0 (forfeit)
Summary: I was hyped up about this game and I have made preparations for him. Kuru is a very strong player and I would have loved to match wits with him. Unfortunately, upon arriving at the tournament hall, I was informed by Bill Gletsos that he had forfeited. In fact, he only played one game (loss) and had forfeited the rest of his games. Bummer.
Round 5: Bye
Summary: Since it was a bye, I didn't turn up and besides, my final exam was the next day so I stayed at home to study.
Round 6: Dennis Hale (1591) v Tan
Summary: I should have believed in myself more. Out of the opening, Dennis made a move that I had not expected and my first thought was to play a more dangerous but highly tactical line (which would have put me on a slight advantage) but I turned down and from that point on, I was struggling. I tried to fight back but it was in vain. I resigned after allowing his Rook to take one of the pawns holding my position together. This was a great learning lesson from Dennis.
Round 7: Arthur Hyunh (1837) v Tan
Summary: I was feeling terrible on that day and was not in the mood to play chess. I wasn't making moves, I was shuffling pieces. Arthur won in a canter. It was a nice attack by Arthur. I should have pulled myself together for that game.
Round 8: Douglas Eyres (no rating) v Tan
Summary: I was initially wary of players with no ratings. However, after Douglas made a slip, his King was suddenly trapped in the center and unable to castle as both my Bishops sliced through his position making his defence difficult and it was only a matter of time before I invaded on another front and his defence unfortunately could not cope.
Round 9: Tan v Ray Kitchen (1456)
Summary: Ray made a slip in the move order of a Closed Ruy, losing a pawn in the process. He subsequently miscalculated and lost a minor piece and it was downhill for him from that point on unfortunately.
This result put me on 7 points (counting the bye and the forfeit) and currently 2nd on the board behind group leader Arthur Hyunh in my group. A few other players still have some postponed games to wrap up and it won't be till another 2 weeks before I know the final placings for my group.
The top 2 players for each group go on to play the other top 2s from the other groups.
My brother-in-law Steven has finished the top of his group with a few people currently vying for 2nd so there's a fairly good chance I would play him for the later stages if I retain my 2nd position. I played a couple of quick games with him this afternoon and the aftermath wasn't pretty (for me, that is). But it was plenty of fun, fun, fun!!!
On to not so good news, my studies have re-commenced and it's another final slog of another 7 weeks before I finally finish my course.