I played two rated OTB games that were 30-minute games with 5-second delay (not increment). These are dual rated for USCF as both rapid and regular games. Normally on Monday’s I would play three games, but someone dropped out so we had an odd number of people playing.


I lost both games. However, I was winning both of them for most of the games, which gives me hope. Yes, I need to be able to hold on when I’m winning, but the fact that I could get an advantage and hold it for at least most of a game against two higher-rated opponents shows me that I am getting better.

Key Take-Aways

One big problem I had in both games was getting very focused on my plan, and getting tunnel vision. I would have a plan, try to execute it, only to then see that I had forgotten about one of my opponent’s pieces. This happened in both games and I blundered away my advantage.

I also had a bit of a problem with time management. This has not happened to me before in games. This stressed me out, especially in the second game. I think this is a big part of why I lost that game. Earlier in the game I took a long time on a couple of moves, which in these faster games I do not have time for. Next time I will need to be more conscious of this.

Game 1

I played this same opponent about a month ago, and was outmatched. I easily lost that game. In this game, despite an early mistake that lost a bishop, I fought back and was winning. I just was unable to convert the advantage into a win. I feel pretty good about my improvement, and I think I will be able to beat this opponent in the future!

Game 2

This game had me winning for most of the game. I was +9 (or -9 for black) at one point before I started giving it away. I wasn’t outplayed, I just could not finish the game when I was winning. I fought hard for a winning position, then I lost focus.