Ana and I played in the Panther Open yesterday, run by Cub Noble, one of my favorite chess people. It was a fun tournament, and we enjoyed traveling to Cedar Falls - it was nice to have a new venue! I thought I'd make my boards in this post purple to honor UNI, where the tournament was held. Ana played very well against her four opponents, all rated higher than her. I didn't play so well...
My first game was against Nathan Arnold, who was playing in his first tournament. I decided to play Petrov's Defense because I've been playing it a lot with Ana. I did okay in the opening, but made my first major blunder with 9...d6, which trapped my knight. I blundered again with 14...Nc6, which loses a bishop (15. Nc3 Ba6 16. Bd5 Nb4 17. Rxa6 bxa6 18. Bxa8), but he didn't follow that line so I didn't hurt myself too bad with that one. 25...Ke8 also loses a bishop, but he didn't see that either. Another mistake with 31...Ra6, and then I sealed my fate with 32...Kh6, which led to a mate in one.
My second game was a rematch against Tim Carson, who I won against last fall. That was a big win for me, and I knew it would be difficult to repeat. Once again, I played all right in the opening, but hung a pawn on 16. The big blunder came with 24. Qe6. This hung the pawn on e4, allowing a double attack on f3. I attempted a dramatic comeback with my rook sac on 26, but I didn't play it accurately, and it probably wouldn't have worked anyway. The game was just lost. He missed a mate on 36, but it was just a matter of time at that point anyway.
Next I played Tim's daughter, Sarah Faith. I've played her twice before - one loss and one draw. She played a Philidor, and I got curious about whether the Fried Liver Attack would work with a Philidor, since I'd never attempted it before. I thought, what the heck, I might as well give it a try. If I lost, at least I'd have fun. I guess I should have tried a little harder. I miscalculated on 9. I would have been okay there if I'd castled. After the miscalculation, I simply played poorly. Especially with 16. Qxc6, which allowed her to checkmate me.
Finally, I played Rex Gray, who my daughter had beaten in the first round. I had no such luck. I tried to make things overcomplicated in the opening, which got me into big trouble. I should have just taken on 9. I was fairly proud of myself for finding 16...Qxe6, but I wish I hadn't gotten into that position in the first place. Still, things weren't too bad until 20...b6. I had this idea that after the exchange on f6, I could get my rook to g8 and my bishop to b7. That never happened. 23...Ba6 was intended to connect my rooks, but ended up removing a protector from d7, so that move sunk me for good. I thought I'd get my rook active by playing 27. a6 bxa6 28. Rxa6, but after I played a6, I saw that he could fork my king and rook if I took back. This was really the nail in my coffin; now he had a passed pawn, and there was nothing I could do about it. He sacked his queen, knowing he'd get a new one, and I resigned.
So all in all, quite a terrible chess day for me. I had fun, though, and was quite proud of the way my daughter played, so it was well worth playing!!