I'm going down to Agoura Hills, CA this weekend to play in the Western Class Championship. This year it's back to it's glory as a 7 round event (although I can't play tonight so I'll be taking a 1st round bye) after first being reduced to 6 rounds and then 5 rounds last year it's certainly a nice change of pace. Last time it was 7 rounds it got a very strong field, this year I doubt it will have as many strong players since the prize fund has since been reduced, but I imagine it will get the usual suspects from Southern California.
My goal for this tournament is to finish with a plus score, it won't be easy, but it shouldn't be impossible either. I guess in keeping with the spirit of my new year's resolution one of my other goals for the tournament is to reduce the number of moves where I spot critical variations only AFTER I move. So I guess wording it in an affirmative manner is make sure I'm actually calculating and not making superficial judgements. I know this may seem strange coming from a player of my rating, but I'm really not sure if I calculate more than like 2 or 3 moves deep in the deeper variations of my calculation except for when that is extended by forcing moves like checks, captures, or mate threats. I mean the latter part makes sense as those are the easiest variations to calculate. At the same time I don't want to start to become one of those players who spends ridiculous amounts of time on simple moves. Another goal for this tournament is to spend a little more time thinking in the opening. This doesn't mean I'm going to try to innovate significantly at the board, but I think spending 15-20 seconds at least on each move should help me get my wheels turning a little bit so I don't wake up in a middlegame position without having "warmed up". Should be nice to get a full 2 hours for the first 40 moves after my TNM game on Tuesday with only 90 minutes for the first 30 moves (believe me, although the ratio is the same it's a big difference).
Anyways, wish me luck.