Australian Open: Part 2
Warning: Draws ahead
After starting with -1, I was anxious for another win. Unfortunately, my opponents just played too well (for me) and I would often have to scramble just to save the draw.
Round 5 was the first time I had played against the Nimzo-Larsen Attack, although it eventually morphed into some kind of KID o.O I thought I had an edge, but so did my opponent and he may have been right.
After taking a half-point bye in Round 6, my next game was against a WFM. It was my first game against a titled player (if you don't count my losses to IM Illingworth and GM Zhao in simuls).
There's an amusing story to this game: Looking up my opponent's games, I saw that she played the Pirc regularly. I decided to look for something offbeat but still aggressive and came across a Queen sac line that someone mentioned in a chess.com thread. I thought it was complete nonsense (unfairly, as it actually scores quite well) and mentally cursed the commenter for suggesting something so unhelpful. Then I saw his username, and it turns out that I myself had written the comment, five years ago (http://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-openings/how-exactly-do-you-beat-the-pirc-defence?page=1).
In the end, I didn't follow my younger self's advice but still managed a draw after many adventures and horrible tactical oversights.
Round 8 was the first time that I came close to a win since Round 4. In the end, though, I could not see a way to avoid the perpetual.
This game had been my best chance at beating a higher-rated player so I was disappointed that I had blown it. However, I could congratulate myself on holding my own against strong players, and continued to look for a win in rounds 9-11.
To be continued...