I was asked recently when I would play a regular tournament again. I don’t really know – I’m sure that I will play a tournament at some point, but I just don’t know when. At this point, it’s been 19 months (and counting) since my last tournament. I try to take the USCL seriously, but for these purposes, I’ll discount it because it’s not FIDE (or even USCF) rated.
I haven’t really been playing on ICC either. I wasn’t an ICC addict beforehand, and I regularly go months without ever playing a game on there. However, in the past month, I’ve played more blitz games on ICC than in those previous 18 months combined!
(As a side note, this isn’t even my longest break from tournament play. During my senior year of high school, I didn’t play a FIDE rated event for 8 months after the World Youth U-18 Championship. Then after a brief flurry of 3 events packed into 1 month, I didn’t play a FIDE rated event during my first two years at UC Berkeley.
Amusingly, I made my first GM norm after that 8-month break during my final year of high school. I made my second GM norm after another 8-month break, following my graduation from college. The pattern broke for my 3rd GM norm, but I also didn’t give it a chance as I didn’t play for a year after my 2nd norm. Does this mean anything? Probably not.)
Anyways, I thought I’d share some recent blitz games that I found interesting.
r1bqkb1r/pp1n1p1p/2p2np1/3pN3/3P4/2N1P3/PP1B1PPP/R2QKB1R b KQkq - 0 8)
This is from a game (I have the black pieces) against an FM in the 5-minute pool. White’s last two moves, 7.cxd5 and 8.Ne5, really surprised me. It took a little while for the old grey cells to start working, but I managed to come up with 8…Nxe5 9.dxe5 Ng4 10.f4 d4 11.exd4 Qxd4 12.Qf3.