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Good afternoon everyone,

*This is my first post on this forum, so if I placed this in the wrong section, please let me know.

I used to play regularly back in high school and stopped once I started college. I found my passion again and finally started training/studying again in the past few months and noticed there was a tournament coming up not too far away from where I live.

It’s the 7th Annual Reno Larry Evans Memorial (https://sites.google.com/site/renochessclub/lem/tournament#EntryInstructions)

I personally feel my chess has improved (definitely personal opinion), but I haven’t had the opportunity to play OTB in a while, so the majority of my games have been online.

My USCF rating back in early 2008 was the following (this was based on 46 games):

  • Regular: 1,376
  • Quick: 1,352
  • Blitz: Unrated

My Lichess rating from the past few days have been:

  • Classical: 1,748
  • Rapid: 1,722
  • Blitz: Unrated

I completely understand that online ratings are definitely inflated, so I’m assuming my rating is much lower than the 1,700s. I was considering entering into the tournament and it looks like I would fall under the “D” Section. And this leads to my questions:

  • I regularly play 30+0 games and am definitely more comfortable with longer times compared to shorter blitz games. This tournament is 40 moves/2 hours, SD/1 hour, 5 second delay. From your experience is this a drastic change?
  • If I apply for the tournament now, would I be in the “D” Section even if I haven’t played in a tournament in over a decade?
  • If I apply under the “D” Section now, join a chess club and in the 2 months prior to the competition get a rating over 1,400 would I automatically be placed in the “C” Section?
  • I’m assuming I need to be a USCF member before I apply, correct? If so, how long is the process?
  • Do you think if I prepare for the tournament for the next two months (reviewing end-game/middle-game, tactics, and at least one game per day), I will do well? $150 entry fee is on the larger end for me, so want to be sure I justify it for the wife.

I know this was quite a lengthy first post, but its has been a while and want to understand the topic before committing. I appreciate any feedback or suggestions. Thank you!

  • If you like playing you will go for it anyway, you know it :) – ferit Feb 3 '18 at 20:55
  • I had to know the ending to the story, so I looked up the tournament crosstable. OP went to the tournament and scored 3.5/6 in the D section. I'm guessing that's not as good as he hoped but better than he feared. – D M Jul 21 '18 at 19:47
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Regarding your questions:

2+1 hours is a big difference to 30-0, which is basically rapid chess. With 30-0 you'd rarely think at a move more than a minute or so. At your level this should be enough to avoid obvious blunders, but the longer time control allows you to invest say 10-30 minutes or so at a complicated position in order to really delve into the position and to calculate longer forced lines or develop long term plans. Might be worth playing some games at the longer time control prior to the tournament.

I'd ask questions 2 or 3 to the organizer unless it is specifically stated in the tournament regulations.

USCF membership seems to be required. It says, New memberships/renewals available at site. so that should not be a problem.

Too many unknowns to say how you will perform.

  • Thank you for the quick reply! Longer timed games are already relatively rare, do you have any suggestions on finding games that would be comparable to the tournament? And just for my clarification, does "40 moves/2 hours, SD/1 hour, 5 second delay" mean, 40 moves within 2 hours, and unlimited moves until the additional hour is used? And each move adds 5 seconds to your time? – JaKuzhi Feb 1 '18 at 21:13
  • "And each move adds 5 seconds to your time?" - Not quite. The clock won't start until 5 seconds have elapsed. You don't gain two seconds if you move in three seconds, but no time will come off your clock. – D M Feb 1 '18 at 21:17
  • That makes much more sense. And last question, just for full clarification. I understand that we are supposed to take full notation of the game until either I or my opponent has 5 minutes left in the game. Are these score sheets provided or do we bring our own? – JaKuzhi Feb 1 '18 at 22:04
  • In my experience, most tournaments provide notation sheets. In a pinch you could use a blank sheet of paper, although I wouldn't recommend that. Personally, I bought a couple of notation books with room for 50 games each for $2-$3 bucks each, so I can more easily go over my old games. – D M Feb 1 '18 at 22:25
  • @JaKuzhi You can play longer time controls (including correspondence games) on lichess for instance. However you might have to wait a while to find a partner. – user1583209 Feb 1 '18 at 22:28
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I regularly play 30+0 games and am definitely more comfortable with longer times compared to shorter blitz games. This tournament is 40 moves/2 hours, SD/1 hour, 5 second delay. From your experience is this a drastic change?

40/2 SD/1 d5 is a rather drastic change from even G/60, let alone G/30. And it's not just the fact that you have more thinking time in a particular game that matters. Two games that each last 6 hours means twelve hours of chess in one day. Given that some rounds start at 7pm, that means you could be playing until 1 am. Fatigue can be a factor.

If I apply for the tournament now, would I be in the “D” Section even if I haven’t played in a tournament in over a decade?

Yes, unless you choose to play up. USCF ratings don't expire even if the membership does.

If I apply under the “D” Section now, join a chess club and in the 2 months prior to the competition get a rating over 1,400 would I automatically be placed in the “C” Section?

It depends on when exactly your rating goes up. According to the USCF, "Official ratings lists are generated on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and become official on the 1st day of the next month." The tournament starts on March 31, and the third Wednesday in February is February 21, so I think any ratings change wouldn't affect your section unless it occurred before February 21.

I’m assuming I need to be a USCF member before I apply, correct? If so, how long is the process?

You need to be a USCF member to play; I'm not 100% sure whether you need the membership to register for the tournament, but it seems likely. The process shouldn't be too long. The online form for USCF membership is currently here, and it's mostly just basic information (the one thing you might not remember is your old ID number, but there's a link to the search page from that form, so you can look it up if needed.)

Do you think if I prepare for the tournament for the next two months (reviewing end-game/middle-game, tactics, and at least one game per day), I will do well?

That's impossible to say for sure. It depends on your expectations, among other things. In a six-round tournament, just one game can be the difference between a slightly good result and a slightly bad result, or a slightly good result and an awesome result. But you do have recent games (it's not like the tournament is the first time in 10 years you'll be playing chess), and you do have previous over-the-board experience (even if it's old.) You'll generally know what to expect, and that helps. I'd be cautiously optimistic.

  • And by the way, you can email the TD if you need clarification on something like whether you need your USCF membership first. I'm guessing that you could include it with your entry, if you mail or phone it. – D M Feb 1 '18 at 22:37

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