Ok, so it's an online tournament, but still a tournament. I signed up last minute for the September KGS tournament Saturday. Originally I thought it was at 2am, and was seriously considering staying up for it. Luckily it turns out that I was looking at the Asian timezone division.
For the American daytime divisions, I had two choices: open and handicap. Given that I'm maybe a 16k on KGS, there really was no choice -- handicap division it was! I had to throw in $15 for KGS Plus for 3 months...
It was a Swiss tournament, and only about 17 people were in the division I was in. I was by far the lowest rank at 16k (next lowest 13k, 11k, etc). Looks like I'd be playing with a large handicap for all rounds.
I couldn't play the first round (had guests), so I took a bye. I was a little nervous before the round began, although I don't know why -- there really wasn't anything at stake beyond a normal ranked game. But still...
My first round (second tournament round... stay with me) went well, I was paired with a 13k and given a 3 stone handicap. I was actually alert and did well, winning the game. It was an exhausting hour and a half though.
That left 3 rounds on Sunday, back-to-back. Sounded intimidating. I could have taken another bye (preferably between two games) and not have knocked myself out TOO much. Would have improved my score if I had. But hey, that's not fighting spirit, eh?
I got brutalized in the other three games, losing by 107.5, 237.5 (!) , and 104.5, respectively. Brutal. I wasn't in good thinking shape during these, certainly not for the last two. The 237.5 blow out was with a 7 stone handicap playing the eventual division winner. It was almost worse than that, originally he marked my one remaining group (in center) as dead, but they in fact had several eyes.
Still, it was fun. I hope I didn't screw the results of too much for the better players!
I will attempt next month's KGS tournament if possible...
Here's my 237.5 point loss to Verda and score graph:
That was from a 5 stone handicap :P
Note, with that score, I might as well played the landslide fuseki for a 244.5 point loss!