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Philly Open Day 3

May 7, 2014, 6:53 PM 5

It was day three of the Philadelphia Open. I was the number four seed in the under 1600 section, meaning if everyone played to their ratings, I should have a good shot at fourth place. Of course, not everyone plays to their ratings--I surely wasn't. (I had a score of 1 out of 3 points at this time.)

In fact, most of the top 5-6 seeds in the section were having equally poor showings. At one point I was standing next to the standings sheet and someone walked up, plastered his finger on top of my name on the sheet, and gloated to his friend, "Look at these guys at the top. They're getting killed!" I slowly backed away, being careful not to draw undue attention to myself.

Though the first game of day three was difficult--getting beat by an aggressive young player who offered me a draw that I too quickly declined just before he found the winning move--in the second game of the day, I was able to win a fine Caro-Kann advanced with 3...c5.

Lessons Learned:

  • When I traded down all the heavy pieces, I thought I had the better endgame. This simply wasn't the case because the future position I hoped for (protected knight on c6) wasn't going to be possible given the opponent's resources. I needed to look deeper and more critically before agreeing to the simplification.
  • When offered a draw always, always tell the opponent to make their move while you think about it. This would have saved me a half point in this tournament.

Lessons Learned:


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