I'm back from my weekend and Laurieton and unfortunately the news is not so good. I only scored 5 out of 7, winning third place. The tournament started badly in the first round, when I found a way to blunder in a completely won position, only to win because my much lower rated opponent didn't see a fairly simple winning move. In the third round I played the third seed, got a fairly good position and effectively threw away the game. In the fifth round, I had to play the top seed and I got outplayed pretty much from the opening. My opponent played a fairly obscure line that I wasn't all that familiar with and I got a passive position fairly quickly.
Even though I didn't cover my expenses for the weekend, I was able to learn a few extra things:
1. I really hate it when people driving behind me keep their high beams on. (Incidentally, if you're one of those inconsiderate people who do that, then please stop.)
2. I start a weekend away with notes and end my weekend with lots and lots of coins.
3. While I'd still prefer to win at things, I'm far less competitive than I used to be.
4. You can really begin to enjoy yourself when you force yourself to socialise.
5. For some reason, I feel compelled to buy food and/or drink when I pull in at a service station, even when I'm not hungry or thirsty.
6. When I'm at a chess tournament, I always plan to do something constructive between games like reading, but this never happens.
With all these things learnt, who can say that my weekend was a disappointment?