What a beautiful Stonewall ;)

I haven't written a post in English for a while and since I am back in the U.S. to complete my already fourth semester (crazy how time flies by), I said to myself why not. So, I played a tournament over the weekend very close by - the Baltimore Open. I actually played it last year, too, and I liked it. Contrary to most U.S. tournaments you don't have to bring your own pieces and clocks (we even played on DGT boards, a rare sight at U.S. chess tournaments), rounds start on time and it reminded me of the standard I am used to from Europe.

What is interesting about the tournament, which was only five rounds long, is the prize-giving. You are paid for points and not for place. So, if you score 5/5, you take $1600 with you, if you score 4.5 $800 and so on, with the lowest score still getting money 3.5.

My teammate Raj and me playing magic chess (it would take too long to explain the rules, but in case you wonder, it is definitely not helpful to be down material ;)

So, the tournament in itself actually didn't go that well for me. As the top-seat I started off with a draw in the first round, because I overlooked a counter and was even lucky to achieve a half point. I won the second one, but lost the third against IM Sarkar, who pretty much crushed me. So, with 1.5/3 I was pretty frustrated, but of course I still wanted to win the last two games. And I managed to do so and especially the last game went pretty well and actually inspired me to take the effort and write this little report.

The manager of the UMBC chess team, Joel DeWyer, is urging me constantly to record more analyses in English. So, here you go, Joel, you better watch this ;)

It was fun to play something far off the mainlines, but I noticed that I spent way too much time just exploring the different possibilities. Fortunately I still had enough time left to find the last accurate moves.

My next tournament will probably only be in almost two months when the UMBC chess team will play at the Final Four tournament in New York!

By the way, in case you wondered about the British flag at the beginning, this is supposed to help you separate my English and German posts more easily. See you!