Controlled Agression

I recently played in an OTB tournament spanning two days, at 30min/player/game. I finished a somewhat disappointing equal eighth with eleven others (ninth on tiebreak) with a score of 7.5/11 (I was seeded fifth).

I lost to the top two seeds, drew with the fourth seed, conceded two major upset draws, and beat six lower-rated players.

One of the major themes for me this tournament was controlled agression, i.e., finding the right balance between insipid play and recklessness when carrying out plans. Most of the time, I was too cautious, only going insane in one game.

My first draw was in the fourth round, where I played a very poor Benko Gambit.

I was aware that I had played too passively, and overcompensated in the next game against the second seed, where I blew a promising attacking position.

The most remarkable thing about this is how blase my opponent was about accepting sacrifices. He never thought for more than a few seconds before munching, which led me to believe that he was missing a breakthrough. The result was that by the end of the game, he had 18 minutes left to my 3 :/

The next day, I came closest to hitting the golden mean, attacking after obtaining a decisive positional advantage. Even here, however, I missed the crucial moment to pull the trigger.

I blundered a piece in a winning position against the fourth seed next, and settled for a draw.

After conceding another upset draw and beating another lower-rated player, I lost to the top seed, in a rather pathetic display where I did not even try for activity.

On the bright side, my losses were only against much higher-rated players, but I still need to play more energetically in future :/

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