Chess Diary #0005: Over the Board Experience

Another tournament took place on August 21. This was the second tournament I participate in this year. The venue was in Deir El Harf, a small village in the Mount Lebanon Governorate. We played outdoors. Surrounded by stone pines filled with singing crickets, it felt like a picnic.

This time the format was 10|3 Rapid, and I scored 3.5/6. That’s equal to 3 wins, 1 draw, and 2 losses.

Here are my notes:

I am not doing so well when I play the Sicilian Dragon with the black pieces. Although I am not having trouble in the opening, I keep losing. My middle-game is weak, especially when I’m playing against people who know what they’re doing. I need to learn to come up with better strategies over the board. I was only trying to find one good move at a time, which, of course, is not the best way to play chess…

On the other hand, I’m dismantling the French Defense pretty masterfully, or so it seems. I’m going for the Advance Variation, and I’m getting comfortable positions. The pawn structure often gives me chances for strong kingside attacks.

As for my answer to 1.d4, I still don’t have one. I was learning the Slav, but I think I’ll switch to King’s Indian. I read somewhere that Sicilian Dragon players will be comfortable playing the King’s Indian. I hope I don’t give up playing the Sicilian Dragon though. If I keep getting negative results with it, maybe I will. That would also mean giving up on the King’s Indian…