I got 4/5 points in the u1700 section of the 2018 Mid American Open
Me at the World Chess Hall of Fame

I got 4/5 points in the u1700 section of the 2018 Mid American Open

Mar 26, 2018, 1:13 AM |

For the third year in a row, I played in the Mid American Open, and for the third time in a row, it was the best tournament of my life! This year, I got wins against a 1539, 1546, 1625, and 1645, and a loss against a 1655 for a performance rating of 1850. I played several of my best games yet, my rating went up 40 points to a new peak of 1694, and I earned $267, so the tournament was a big success for me! Below, I've provided some summaries and some annotated diagrams of my games. I hope you enjoy!


ROUND 1: Win with white vs Donald, a 1546. (1/1)

In a Classical Nimzo Indian, me and my opponent played an interesting and level opening and middlegame. For the first 21 moves, I bounced back and forth from being 0.5 pawns better, 0.5 pawns worse, and equal. In a critical position, black erroneously traded queens, going from a slightly worse position to a dead lost endgame, due to my superior piece activity, superior structure, and two bishops. You can view the game here: //www.chess.com/emboard?id=3918654


ROUND 2: Loss with black vs Kevin, a 1655. (1/2)

I played the Semi-Slav against my opponent, and slowly but surely outplayed him. By move 13, I already had a 30 minute edge on the clock, and I was able to comfortably equalize. Unfortunately, on the very next move, I made a terrible blunder and went down in flames a few short moves later. I would like to blame it on my sleep deprivation, but I know that my rashness and lack of discipline in that moment was what really lost me the game. You can view the game here: //www.chess.com/emboard?id=3918560


ROUND 3: Win with white vs Michael, a 1613. (2/3)

My opponent played the declined variation against my queen's gambit, and I was able to get a pleasant position out of the opening, with more space, a better bishop, and an easy plan of launching a minority attack on the queenside. Perhaps already feeling uncomfortable, my opponent blundered a pawn to a basic tactic. However, he did manage to put up a good fight for a while, generating a slightly annoying attack against my king. I was able to defend, however, and in time pressure, he blundered another pawn. From there, I was able to gradually dominate the position, and ended up winning catastrophic amounts of material with some nice tactics.


ROUND 4: A win with black against Mike, a 1539. (3/4)

My opponent played the English, c4, but with a subtle move order, I managed to trick him into a queen's gambit, which I'm much more comfortable with. He played a bit passively, and I was able to quickly equalize and then even get  small advantage with a better structure and a better bishop. In a very uncomfortable position, where I gradually ramped up the pressure on his weak pawns, he blundered multiple tactics and lost catastrophic amounts of material. He played on for dozens of more moves, but I wound up delivering a nice checkmate without much issue. You can view the game here: https://www.chess.com/emboard?id=3918668


ROUND 5: A win with white against a 1625. (4/5)

My opponent played the king's indian defense against my d4, but he seemed inexperienced in the opening. He allowed me to favorably trade knights and give myself a protected passed pawn, after which he was already much worse. Seeing that he was in trouble, he tried to go for an attack, but I was able to shatter his kingside structure and win a loose pawn of his. He had the bishop pair, but couldn't make use of it. From there, I simply traded down into a knight and pawns vs bishop and pawns endgame where his bishop was passive and my passed pawn was dominating. I slowly but surely suffocated him, and on move 55, he resigned, as he was unable to stop me from promoting my pawn into a queen. You can view the game here: https://www.chess.com/emboard?id=3918602