The National Championship Game/10 event of the National Open in Las Vegas just ended. It was an open - so everyone rated from 700 to 2700 were all playing in the same swiss pairing! It was crazy and fun - about 100 players in total. Read below for my results!
My rating going into this event was 1578 USCF, though my Quick rating is a provisional 1425 (which I should have insisted on using!).
I first got paired with White against a Master rated ~2250 and lost a Caro Kann Exchange. I lost. I was sad because this guy was picking his nose the entire game. It made me sick.
Second game I played a really nice kid rated 900. He hung a queen and I won with the Black pieces (a King's Indian Defense). Sorry bro - I know, bishops aren't normally on h6... (he moved Qc1).
Third game I played a cool guy from Boise. It was a Close Sicilian and I played White. He was rated 1850ish. He made a mistake and played Nf6 (knight should go to e7 in Closed). I launched a strong kingside attack and was crushing him... I was up 2 pawns and had the exchange... but then lost track of time trying to find the finishing blow and lost :( Boo hiss!
Fourth game I had black and played a nice youngster rated 1205. He played the bird and I played a typical kingside fianchetto. He was holding his own until he tried to get cute by delaying a recapture of a pawn and making an empty threat. Instead of exchanging pawns I pushed and suddenly had a very very dangerous passed pawn on the 6th rank, then 7th. Exchanged queens and then mopped up while maintaining the threat. He eventually folded. A grind!
Fifth game I played a really nice guy about 18 years old rated 1802. I played the g3 Glek variation of the 4 knights which ended up in a very even game but where I had a bishop vs. his knight. Unfortunately for him my king was more active and with pawns on both sides of the board... i won a pawn which he later had to exchange his knight for and I converted with the bishop and a few pawns against his king and pawns.
I went in to the 6th game thinking that if I won, I MIGHT be in the money. I was paired with a dude rated 1890 who had 3.5 points. I had black. Ugh. Here is that game:
So, I got 4 out of 6 and I WON for my section (U1700)!! (Ok, fine, I had to share first place with another guy, but his rating was 1685!) I paid $100 to play in the event, and won $225... so, made $125 :)
Now I'm debating whether or not to play in the main event - maybe my chances at winning the U1600 section are not so bad...
[EDIT: I ended up joining. Read the results here: http://blog.chess.com/erik/an-apology-to-my-opponents-in-the-national-open-09 ]