Crossing into Class C
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For the first time, I've crossed above the class C ratings threshold with my recent performance in the Chicago Class Championships "D" section. My rating increased from 1331 to 1418!
When I arrived at the Westin on Sunday morning, I was undefeated and in sole possession of first place. But, there were two rounds to go and, when you are winning, the swiss pairing system ensures you will face your toughest competition in the final rounds.
My fourth game was against Jeffrey Zhu, a seventh grader, who eventually earned top prize (and a new rating in the 1500's). Though TOGA II tells me I had a good game up to move 21, I played an unsound bishop takes pawn sacrifice on move 23 (yep, yep, I failed to review all checks, captures, and threats) and quickly succumbed as Jeffrey converted his material advantage into a win.
In the fifth and final round, I was paired against the only other player tied with Jeffrey for first place, Jason Drews. Jason played the Grunfeld as white, which I don't recall having faced before. But, being a Torre Attack player, I felt pretty comfortable with the ideas. Alas, Jason won a pawn with a Zwischenzug in-between move.
Interestingly, Jason made the choice to keep his king in the center. Because of that, I was able to open up the position with a pawn trade, infiltrate with my rook, and then threaten his king and pinned knight to earn a draw and save half a point.
If the future is kind, this will have been my last class D tournament.