Highlights from the Australian Juniors
I recently finished playing in the Australian Junior Chess Championships; the tournament was won on 7.5/9 by FM Anton Smirnov, the only titled player in the event. The games were played at 90 mins/player/game with a 30-second increment.
This was easily the strongest tournament I've ever played in (I was seeded 15th out of 22 players), so I didn't have high expectations going into the tournament, I just wanted to play a consistent game and not lose too often. Indeed, I only lost twice - but then I only won twice! I drew from a couple of winning positions, the half-points coming back to haunt me as I lost in the last round to finish on 4.5/9 :(
During the event, I received coaching from GM Ian Rogers, which was an interesting and invaluable experience, as I've never had such serious preparation before.
Note: All ratings are ACF, because myself and some of my opponents don't have FIDE ratings.
I had an excellent start to the tournament with a win over the fourth seed, where my opponent did not make any obvious mistakes.
I lost in the very next round against the fifth seed, making it my fourth consecutive loss to him, and the second in the same opening line.
After drawing with a higher-rated player in Round 3, I managed to find a nice tactic to win quickly in Round 4.
Sadly, that was to be my last win of the tournament. I drew my next four games, and lost in the last round.
One of the draws was quite topsy-turvy, and a draw was probably the correct result.
The penultimate round was probably my most painful of the event. I outplayed my higher-rated opponent from start to finish, but missed the winning combination and had to force a draw instead.
A loss in the last round left me with 4.5/9, exceeding my initial expectations, but it could have been so much better :(