North American Open Summary + Games
I recently played North American Open U2300 rating section and I scored 5/7 points. I played pretty well overall, but I definitely have areas to improve. Here are a few of my games and short summaries.
Round 1: I played black against Tang Tang (2053) from Japan. He started with a surprise opening 1. g3 and eventually turned back into a regular Sicilian where white plays g3. I got a big space advantage in the opening, and was playing on the queenside while white started an attack on the kingside. Unfortunately, I underestimated his attack and I soon had to bring my pieces back to the kingside to defend. Luckily, I survived his attack by sacrificing a pawn and starting some play of my own. Tang Tang played accurately and we traded the pieces into a drawn rook endgame.
Round 2: The TDs made a pairing mistake by pairing me against a player in a different section. They didn't realize their mistake until 30 minutes after the round started, so I got a free point. I wasn't too happy with this, but at least I got more rest for the next game.
Round 3: I played white against Jesus Cazares (unr.) In a King's Indian setup, Black made a few small mistakes in the opening, allowing me to have active pieces and a strong pawn center. Black blundered or sacrificed a pawn (not sure which) and I got a winning position. I made sure black had no play, and I eventually won.
Round 4: Before the round, I looked at the standings and I calculated that I would almost surely play Roland Feng, also from Washington, so I spent a lot of time preparing my openings against him. Strangely, they paired me with white again against Evgeny Shver (2282) on the top board. The game started with the same opening as round 3, but this time, black played f5 a little early, and then gave up a pawn for an attack. I accurately defended the attack and soon was up a pawn with the two bishops. In the endgame, I thought I was winning, but my opponent set up a nice position where I cannot win, so draw.
Round 5: I played Kevin Davidson (2275) with black. I noticed from his previous games that he is a strong attacker. The opening was a Kan sicilian, where white played 5. Bd3. I thought I had a pretty soild position, but white then started a small attack on the kingside, and again, I underestimated it. White got a knight on f6, and opened up as many lines as possible towards my king. During the game, I noticed many unclear piece sacrifices for white, but luckily (and surprisingly), he played safe and went for the small advantage with better development. I didn't like my position, but I eventually created some counterplay with Rxc5, and white blundered. After a nice tactic, I won the game.
Round 6: I played Harutyun Akopyan (2298) with white. I played the Mikenas English opening, and got a big lead in development. In the middlegame, I was playing on the kingside while black played on the queenside. The position became complicated and full of tactics, and eventually left me in a worse rook endgame, where I was slowly outplayed.
Round 7: I played Ivan Elishev (2287) as black. He played the wing gambit against my sicilian (e4 c5 Nf3 e6 b4). I took the pawn and kept it, while white was developing his pieces. At one point, I gave the pawn back to have some play on the kingside. White, who was in time trouble, didn't defend accurately, and I got a strong position with two passed pawns on the queenside. I eventually won. I'll probably put my round 7 game up when I find my scoresheet.
Thanks for reading!