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This last weekend I had the opportunity to go to the North American Open in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This was my first weekend tournament and I learned a lot from it and had a lot of fun too! I hope you enjoy the games I would appreciate any and all feedback on a game or a position. Thanks!
This was a slight setback since it was the first time that I had played the Leningrad system and I felt like I had an edge for most of it but I missed Nxc6. I thought Qg5 would give me sufficient counter play with an eventual sac on e3 but unfortunately that didn’t work.
I wanted some revenge from the first round but it didn’t come in this game. I was caught in an unfamiliar line of a Sicilian. I was surprised I saw Qg5 but I thought it won me more than a weak pawn. Can anyone give me some help on that? It simplified to a quick draw so I am on the board!
Same song, Second verse. This felt like a repeat of the first round. I felt like I had an edge in the opening but I just couldn’t close the deal. The break on the queenside felt like a win but then I got caught in a negative queen trade and it all went downhill from there.
Final Day 1 -- .5/3pts
Over all I felt like it was a letdown of a day. My hope was to gain a ton of points at this tournament and it didn’t start off too hot.. I still had some time to fight my way back off the bottom boards.
I was out for blood in this round. I really wanted that point. I have to admit, I don’t care for the Scandinavian and I felt pressure in the first 20 moves but it was a fantastic gain of confidence to win and move up in the standings! I hoped that confidence would carry over into the next round. Haha! I was not that lucky!
I felt better about my playing after my win but it was short lived. After about 15 moves I am sure I was in a resign-able position but I kept playing and eventually I managed a draw! The confidence just kept building with one game left in the day!
I know if you look at the moves from the game they probably are not the best but my psychology with the round was hoping to make it very complicated so my 10 year old opponent (still higher rated then me) would either see his time melt away or make a mistake and to my surprise both happened! I am sure it was a lucky break but I will still take the point.
Final Day 2 – 3/6pts
Sunday was a great improvement to my confidence and my play showed it. I am now right back into having a shot at the prizes with 2 rounds left. I was ready and pumped for the last 2 rounds!
Right before the round I was chatting with my round 2 opponent who had played my round 7 opponent the previous night and he said that he was a solid player but he left holes in his position. With that said I steam rolled him! So now I am ahead of my rating group with 4/8 with 1 round left! A draw wins me the money!
And a draw was all I was playing for. A lot of my usual spectators noticed that I was not as aggressive as I had been in previous rounds. And unfortunately I missed his rook maneuver that cost me a pawn and eventually the game. So I ended up tying for first with 2 other people. Not a bad comeback though!
I had a fantastic time this weekend and with my rating going up 150 points I cant complain! I hope people consider going to Stillwater next Memorial Day weekend, I had a blast and met a lot of new people and played a lot of fun chess!
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