New Year's Day Tournament

Jan 2, 2015, 9:20 PM |

Yesterday there was an opportunity to play chess since I had the day off work. It was the Valley Chess 2015 New Year's Day tournament at Carl's Jr, 40 minute drive from home. It was five rounds of g/25 with 5s time delay. 

I ended up with 4 wins and 1 loss to tie for 1st, and won $48. (Entry fee was $10)

However, my play was shaky. Each of the games that I won could have turned out differently. The only good thing that I can say is that I am more resilient than before.

In Round 1 I was black against a 1600+. We were both low on time, especially me. I didn't play d5 because my rook on d8 is undefended. So I played 24...Re8?? If he had found 25. Nf6+, who knows what would have happened. 




In Round 2 I got crushed in 14 moves as white. Oops







In Round 3 I was black. My 1700+ opponent played 19. Raf1! keeping an extra pawn. I had to fight my way back into the game. Eventually I even won.





In Round 4 I was white. Black (1800+) has a very good French-type position. If he had played 12...Bxc3 13. Bxc3 Nf5, he would be a clear pawn up. Instead he played 12...Qxd4 which allowed me to win the pawn back by the Nxd5 trick. I've seen a similar tactic in the King's Indian Exchange Variation.



Despite that, we got this position later. He gave me a nice gift by playing 27...Rxc3 28. Rxc3 Bxb4. I won the ending.





In Round 5 I was black against 2100+. I was winning at some point, but then I allowed this to happen!  Game continued Rf7 Kg8, Rg7+ Kh8. I was content with a draw by repetition. With under a minute on my clock, I judged Kf8 to be too risky. But my opponent spurned the draw. He tried to win by bringing the king to f7 and ended up losing.