About one year ago I started playing competitive chess again, after a hiatus of almost a decade. Because of the hiatus and some change in the organization of chess in Italy, my status from that of candidate master (with an Elo rating of about 2120, which however would correspond to something like 2020-2050 in fide rating) was taken back to the status of a first national category, with an Elo in the lower 1800's.

Of course I want to gain back at least part of the lost rating in the near future, but I am taking it easy - playing in first-category tournaments is nice as I can usually fight for first place, while as a candidate master I used to play stronger tournaments where my chances of winning were slim to totally absent. Ultimately, though, I prefer playing against stronger opponents, since the challenge is much more exciting.

Since this is after all my blog, I like to use it at times as a diary. Hence let me list below the result of the few tournaments I have played in the last 14 months.

- November 2011: Autunno Scacchistico Veneziano, Open A - 3/5 (+2 =2 -1)
- January 2012: Open A Noale, 4/5 (+3 =2), 5th place
- May 2012: Open A Mogliano Veneto, 5/6 (+4 =2), 1st place
- November 2012: Autunno Scacchistico Veneziano,  Open A, 4.5/6 (+4 =1 -1), 4th place

Overall this means 16.5/22, or a round 75%, with 13 wins, 7 draws, and two losses, against
competition with Elo rating in the 1800s. I take it to mean that I have not lost much of my
chess strength in the last ten years, since the performance rating equates to about 2000.

Now the next tournament is the 15th Open "Citta' di Padova", a 9-round international tournament from December 16th to December 23rd. Unlike the other tournaments I have played in listed above, this is an event where I will compete with a very strong opposition. So far the pre-registered participants are 43, and they include 10 grandmasters. Only 4 of the players have Elo below 2000, and half of them are above 2300.

My goal in such a strong event is to do +1 with respect to my expected score -which of course will depend on what players I get to play against. This might equate to doing 3/9 or 3.5/9. Regardless of the rating of my opponents, I think that if I got to 4/9 it would be an extremely satisfactory score for me, while anything below 2.5 would be bad. I plan to put here my most interesting games, so if you like chess come and visit this blog in two weeks!