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My first tournament – part 3: Battling myself

Day 2 of the tournament. I have vowed to keep myself in check and try my very best to avoid making horrible blunders. And all things considered, I feel like I succeeded quite well. I did make a losing blunder in my second game of the day (see below), but my opponent missed it. In fact, we both did, even after the game. It was not until now, that I entered the moves into the computer that I realized that I made another booboo. Not good, but I was not punished, so it is kind of ok. My opponent and I were both tired.

Below, you will find both my games from day 2. These are rounds 4 and 5 of the tournament.

In the first game, I faced the French defense, which I really do not like. So I decided to try to open up the position and play for a dynamic advantage with an isolated queen pawn. My opponent did not want to go down that line, so we had something else. Although the game ended in my favor, it seems to me that it should have been drawn. In the position given below, what would you play as black?

Before the second game, I had studied a few lines of the Sicilian and found a variation that supposedly was an old favorite of Kasparov. If Kaspy thinks it's good enough, who am I to argue otherwise? So we followed the book line for a few moves, and then we diverged. I made a positional mistake which my opponent took advantage of. It was a nice tactical combination. Consider the position below and try to find the continuation for white. I did not see it coming - at all.

The first day was a complete mess. My play was utterly horrible. Day 2, on the other hand was quite decent, save for the blunder in the second game. I feel that I can say that I managed to keep my vow and beat my blundering self. At least, almost.

Feel free to contribute to my analyses, suggest new variations or give any other comment on the games or my post.

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