Wednesday Night g/20 at Carls Jr
Tonight I went 3-1 tonight and got clear 2nd ($5.50 prize ). I felt that I played okay. I still need to improve my time management. In Rounds 3 and 4, I was down to seconds on the clock.
In Round 1, I was White against Brion. I played unambitiously against his French Defense.
However, the board started to heat up after 17. Qb3. I missed his 17...c5!, which threatens both c5-c4 and cxd4. (18. dxc5 is not possible as it hangs the Knight). I was able to find 18. Qa4. Few moves later he played 19...Ng3 which jolted me out of my seat, but I found the cool 20. Rfe1. After 21. dxc5, White is up a clear pawn due to the pin along the 4th rank. I got jolted again when he played 23...Nxf2!?, but that move is not sound against all lines. I won without too much trouble after that.
In Round 2, I was Black against Lance. I played the Sicilian Defense.
He sacrificed a pawn with 9. Qd3, and by move 12, I had to decide how to develop my queenside. I faltered a little, playing d7-d6, e7-e6, then d6-d5. I believe he played 20. h3 to bait me into playing 20...Qxa3 21. Bc5. However, I played 20...d4! instead forcing exchanges favorable to Black. The game ended abruptly when he played an unfortunate blunder 24. Rxb7?? Instead, he should play 24. Qg5. After the game we were looking at 24...f6 25. Nxg6+ hxg6 26. Qxg6, but 24...Ra5 is even stronger.
In Round 3, I was White against Miguel.
After move 14, his c4-pawn was impeding my queenside development. I spent the entire game trying to free my queenside. The position was too complicated for me to play and eventually I got so low on time that I blundered away everything.
In Round 4, I was Black against Michael.
I played my favorite Hyper Accelerated Dragon and I obtained a pleasant position out of the opening. 13...Nh5 was a tricky move, with two threats: 14...d4 winning a piece and 14...Bxc3 15. bxc3 a4 trapping the Bishop, but he saw that. 24...Rxb2!? was a flashy move although I should have played it two moves earlier. I missed his 25. Qf4! and was fortunate that it did not win on the spot. In time trouble, he sacked a piece with 31. hxg6. Black won on time in a position that is objectively winning, but anything can happen in a time scramble.