I won't cheat, but if my kids walk in the room, they may offer suggestions. I will greatly discourage this, so it would happen rarely, but I can beat any of them blindfolded (literally), so they're very unlikely to be of any help. Also, the two best are teenagers, so they have the self-control not to say anything.
Don't get scared, I've played some blindfold chess, but I was only USCF 1600 or so at my best with my eyes open, which I'm not at anymore.
I looked at all the games before I left work yesterday. Y'all like unorthodox openings.
I've never had anyone answer my d4 with f6 before. It was very tempting to go look up the opening so I'd know how to handle it, but, for the record, I chose not to. We'll see how this goes, and then I'll go look it up.
There's a link so you can leave yourself notes. For example, when I moved my rook over to pin your bishop, I left myself a note about my other rook that said "Don't let the B take the R on d1. Either keep the bishop pinned or free the rook to move."
Since I generally check on the games here and there as I'm working, I'm thinking about getting back to work, so I've been only taking 30 sec's or a minute in between tasks at work. That's probably not a good idea in a tournament when you actually have 3 days to think.
Dragon Sicilian, to be specific. I like to play that defense, though I really don't play it well unless I manage to survive into the middle game without choking myself to death on my own pawns. If I'm going to play it, I really ought to properly study it sometime, but it's not high enough on my priority list.
Note: I'm being very careful not to comment on the game, not even as to who I think is winning, playing well, or anything. If anyone else responds to those who are playing, you need to do the same.
What helped me greatly years ago, was just reading books on it.
For those that have the basics down, I think there's no better book than The Amateur Mind by Jeremy Silman. It's what helped me get an idea what to do once the opening was done. I used to move all my pieces out, get castled, get my rooks connected, and then think, "What do I do now?" If there was no immediate checkmate/attack plan, I was lost.
Once I learned about getting good posts for knights and what sort of pawn formations to create for the pieces I had left, I had some great games with computers. Good programs know about these things, and it is amazing the resources a computer will devote to prevent you from posting a knight in a hole in its territory.
I played a game recently, too, where I lost a bishop to a Queen fork. Because I'd learned about making good use of each piece, I was able to realize that I wasn't really behind. My pieces were out, and the other guy had a Rook and Knight still buried in the corner. So I attacked with everything I had, figuring that despite being behind in total pieces, I was ahead in pieces involved in the battle. I got a win out of a game that would have disheartened me thoroughly before I read the Amateur Mind.
Of course, you have to get the basics down first. Yasser Seirawan produced a series for Microsoft that's fun to read, because he's pretty comical. Otherwise, old Fred Reinfeld books that you can get off ebay for a song are the way to go, in my opinion.
Oh, and if you're really at the basic level, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess is an awesome and easy primer to get you used to using your pieces. It's also available on ebay for a song, and it doesn't have a lot of words to bore you with. Just pure chess.
Here's the format. I'm using A through N instead of names for the 1st round, then Game #'s for later rounds. W7, for example, means "The winner of game 7." Who gets white and who gets black can't be determined until the beginning of each round, when we see which players advance and how often they've had white or black.
Round 1 ******* 1. A vs. B 2. C vs. D 3. E vs. F 4. G vs. H 5. I vs. J 6. K vs. L 7. M vs. N
Round 2 ******* Winner's Bracket: 8. W1 vs. W2 9. W3 vs. W4 10. W5 vs. W6 11. W7 (bye)
Loser's Bracket: 12. L1 vs. L2 13. L3 vs. L4 14. L5 vs. L6 15. L7 (bye)
Round 3 ******* Winner's Bracket: 16. W8 vs. W9 17. W10 vs. W11
Loser's Bracket: 18. W12 (bye) 19. W13 vs. L10 20. W14 vs. L9 21. W15 vs. L8
Round 4 ******* Winner's Bracket (Semifinals): 22. W16 vs. W17
Loser's Bracket: 23. W18 vs. W19 24. W20 vs. L12 25. W21 vs. L17
Bluegenes, that format allowes you and nye a bye for the 2nd round, win or lose, so that will take care of any delay there. If that format's okay (it's pretty standard), then you can go ahead and challenge your 2nd round player.