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WA Open 2019 | Introduction | Back from my Hiatus

Hey everyone! My name is Rithvik Bharath, and this is my first official blog post!

As i've advertised on some other platforms, I will be creating a blog... on my experiences as a flourishing chess aficionado.

I started playing chess in 3rd grade, where I attended Alcott Elementary. I attended the chess club ran by Michael Hosford at the time and became a 1300 scholastic player averaging 4/5 at the State Championship every year until 6th grade. After elementary school, my chess endeavors took a hiatus as other activities consumed my life. In high school I briefly played again at the Redmond High school Chess Club ran by Samuel and Daniel He, however I wasn't to serious about progressing or playing at the time.

After high school, I took a couple of years off, and 2 weeks before the 2019 Washington Open I hit up Mike, my old coach, and asked him what I should do, and he told me to attend the Washington Open. I look at the roster, and sure enough, Daniel and Samuel were playing in it! I thought they were busy at college, but I was thrilled to see my old peers still actively playing. In summary the Washington Open was a learning experience for me, I scored near the bottom with 2.5/7 points, starting the tournament with 2 wins and ending with a draw. Unfortunately as a kid I had a poor habit of misplacing and keeping bad track of my notations, and I thought I'd be more prudent automatically this time but upon analysis my notation was not only messy but sometimes missing! Luckily I took pictures of most my games, and for the Washington Open I'll create a LiChess study,


with the games and my various annotations corroborated with my friends ideas. What I got from reviewing my games was that I had to work on my middle and end games as I wasn't converting decisive victories because I was uncoordinated with my advantage, which I will delve into detail in the study.

Another interesting thing that happened at the Washington Open was that I saw many familiar names from tournaments I had played in 10 years ago as a scholastic player in public school. I also saw some familiar faces from Crossroads, such as Ignacio Perez, and it was good talking to him and seeing his love for the game transcended with me as well.

Another interesting event that happened at the Washington Open was that at the blitz tournament, I coincidentally met someone, Dakota Dixon, who had known of me from another game which we played and both competed on called RuneScape. This only got me more psyched about chess, because it was motivating seeing someone who was a top competitor in the game I used to play also succeed in chess, as he is a NM, moreover, he won the Blitz Tournament, I believe tying with Ignacio. I won a couple of games myself in the tournament, and the only reason I played was because 2 players coaxed me into playing by paying more than 50% of my entrance fee! After all, as a new player, I didn't want to get whooped back to back for 25$! But for 10, sure, I'll be a good sport and play ;).

Anyways, I hope this summarizes my introduction to chess and my early experiences and my most recent, as it's a starting point. I think I ended the tournament at a rating of 840 (ouch) because I played in the U1400, but at least it's only up from here! Or... I hope...

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I have some exciting news! Although my performance in my first 2 events, the WA Open and the PNCC club event, were abysmal, I learned a lot about my strength's and weaknesses's at the event. I woke up this morning with a text from John Rossell asking me if I wanted to attend the National Open in Las Vegas.

At first, I was hesitant. I had just gone 2.5/7 in the WA Open, and in the PNCC event I hung my Queen. I've been performing pretty badly for my rating; 1300's don't hang queens, I dont care what you say! But in hindsight, I've only been back into chess for less than a month and the amount of time I have to study, although plentiful, isn't consumed by the myriads of other activities and endeavors I pursue that aspiring players are using on chess. This is no excuse; I've created this blog to make my study more serious, encourage actively entering my games online so my readers can view the games - it's a snowball effect.

But, alas, he coaxed me into…

Friday Night G45 Duel @ PNCC

After getting crushed at the Washington Open, I decided that if I refine my playing etiquette, I could probably have a higher chance of converting my winning positions at least. And the only way to do that is to play in more tournament environments! Not as nervous as I was last weekend for the Open, but I still want to make sure I get 2 solid games from going and not 2 blowouts, but we'll see. Round 1 starts at 7 PM, it's currently 2:33. Wish me luck!

Edit (12:26 PM, 06/1/19):

Haven't been to a Chess Club since Chess4Life was poppin back in the early late 2000's. Was definitely a fun experience. I lost both my games, which can be found in this study:

https://lichess.org/study/7oxcRFXY

As you may be able to discern from my notation, some of the moves are impossible! This makes it extremely difficult for me to review my games, as I'm trying to figure out what was played. At this event, the boards had no numbers or letters, so I was struggling to try and piece that duri…