This past weekend was the King's Island Open chess tournament.
I had some hopes for this one. Whether the hopes were based on reality, is perhaps open for question. At the least, the results were not all I had hoped.
And, in the end, that's my fault, if fault could be found. At the least, I could have done better.
The first round game was one that up until the last few moves I would view as one of the best ones I had ever played. It was tight and intense, with my opponent putting me under some pressure on the kingside but I had a bind on him on the queenside. Things opened up and bit and we exchanged down, and in the endgame I was a piece up and should have won easily. But in a position when I should have spent a few seconds and calculate a little, I made a stupid move and we ended up drawing.
The second game was another intense game, with a good bit of back-and-forth. My opponent chose an opening that wasn't overly aggresive, but would give him a small advantage, and then things got a bit wacky. I thought I had some tactics that would have been good for me, but I missed a move at the end of it that was good for him and bad for me, and he got a well-earned win.
I guess I was a bit ticked for the last round, so I came out with a certain "attack quick and blow the guy away" attitude, and right at first I thought it was working. A few moves in, I had his king under pressure and then simplifid into an endgame-like position an exchange up, but it was still difficult, and I guess I handled that part wrongly. Anway, in the end we had a drawn rook-and-pawn ending.
So, three rounds, two draws and a lose. There were two more rounds on Sunday, but I decided to cut my loses (as in not needing to spend far too much on a hotel room) and withdrew.
I'm starting to realize some things. For one, if my results are any indication, I'm pretty much playing people on the level where I'm playing. I'm getting a lot of draws, and I'm winning about as much as I'm losing, so if my results are about 50%, then I guess that's an indication that my current level is the correct one.
Another thing, I need to start seeing that local tournament in which I tied for first as not really an indication that I am consistently that good. Looking back on it, of the four games I played in that tournament, one that I won I should have lost, and another which was a draw was maybe pretty close to being lost. It's not to mean that I downplay that result and discard it, it was a high mark in my play and I view it with something like pride, but it's not really an indication that I've arrived and that my game is really at that level.