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I just finished the first round of the tournament, and it ended in a draw! And I couldn't be happier. Of course winning would have been best, but I am very content with the result. The time control was 90|30. I have 8 more rounds to go. I'll keep posting here the games as I play them.
Remember this "no opponet is unbeatable."
Good Luck in your next rounds!
...And I couldn't be happier. Of course winning would have been best...
Hm. Well, that aside, interesting game. A quick (actually very long) look at the moves:
11...Bxf3. I don't like this. It doubles white's pawns at the cost of the bishop pair, but doubled pawns are not in and of themselves weak. Here they're not easily attackable, and can still hold up black's kingside pawns in an endgame. The exchange instead may help white, who now has the bishop pair, and can consider Kh1 and Rg1 with an attack. (e.g. 11...Bxf3 12. gxf3 Bxc5 13. Kh1 Be7 (going to f6) 14. Rg1 Bf6 15. Bb2 with a transparent plan of c4 to clear the diagonal.)
That said, 13. f4 looked as though it was gunning for the f5 lever, but 14. Rd1 just ignored both that and the g-file, so white didn't seem like he had a plan there... He actually has queenside structural weaknesses, so needs to use his piece activity for immediate action.
As black, there's an idea of sending the bishop to f6 and knight to c5 perhaps? For instance 14...Qc7 15. Bb2 Be7 16. Be2 Bf6 and if 17. Ba3 Nc5. This doesn't look accurate for white; I think 14...Qc7 15. Bb5 Rad8 16. Qa4 denies black the best squares for his minors, but also doesn't give white much activity either.
Exchanging off the majors seems to favour white since the bishop-pair is worth about a pawn. Plus, your pieces end up awkward. Something like 23. Bc6 Nf6 24. Be5 intending Bb8 is a start for white to put pressure on the queenside, maybe try for a passer there. That plan only worked before your king got to e7, though. And after a pair of minors came off, it looked drawn.
You seemed to be playing for a draw most of the way, probably as a result of the piece placement. At around move 13 the plan could've been to pressure c3 and the long diagonal, so already 13...Be7 to f6 may have been an idea. I don't think either side played their best plans, but a draw is a fair result, with neither side in that much danger throughout.
Thank you for your comments. The second round unfortunately I lost. The game was against a WFM. During the first 30 moves I managed to maintain a decent position, but I screwed up and lost a pawn and the game.
In regards to the second game, it is important to keep white's dark square bishop in the sicilian especially when going for the kingside attack. To prevent the trade white plays F3 at some point. Then later continues with G4 and H4
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