Chess and Luck
Posted by hyperpat on October 19, 2007
I played in the Western States Chess Open in Reno this last weekend. For a change, I played in the Class A section, figuring I was strong enough to do reasonably well there. Apparently not a good assumption, as I ended up with one win and three losses, even though I thought I played well. I had no obvious blunders, I calculated the tactics well, but strategically I was just outplayed – although one of the losses probably should have ended in a draw if I’d handled the end game slightly differently. But it was a good tournament, with something like 19 GMs and IMs in the open section, a large overall attendance, well run, with no big controversies (at least that I was aware of ), a pleasant playing hall, and friendly people. Plus it never hurts that when the chess game is over, the other games are right there, just waiting to grab your money. I suppose you can be lucky in chess, but skill’s the thing there, and I think you need to save the luck for those other games (not that I was very successful there, either). But it looks like I need to go back to the books again, and do some real work if I want to do better on my next outing.