During the Easter weekend I played in the 10th Philadelphia Open. I haven't played in large tournaments such as this one so I was quite rusty. To get an even score would be an acceptable result, but in the end, the result was very disappointing. The tournament started OK. I took a half point bye in the first round, and then I played white against a grandmaster to begin the tournament. I played well in that game and I got a draw. In rounds 3 to 5, I played three players who have higher ratings than me and I got drew all three. However, the turning point was the 6th round. I blundered in the following position:
I played 37.Qe5?? and immediately lost the bishop. Can you see why? After the terrible loss in round 6, I played badly in rounds 7 and 8 and lost another two games. In the last round, I managed to draw with my friend Runya, ending up with 4.0/9. Though I lost a couple of rating points, coming out of the tournament, I know where I need to work on to get better. My junior year is coming to a close so I should have more time to study and improve. I already plan to play another big tournament, the 4th Cherry Blossom Classic over the Memorial Day Weekend.
The good news during the Easter weekend is that I was named one of the five winners of the 2016 Scholar – Chess Player Awards. According to the USCF (US Chess Federation), "Chosen from among a highly competitive field of twenty applicants, the five winners—three seniors and two juniors—display a superb combination of scholarly accomplishments, chess achievements, and a record of consistent service to the chess playing community. Each winner receives a $1,500 scholarship created from donations to the US Chess Trust." I am honored to receive this reward, which encourages me to keep improving myself and contribute more to the chess community.