I reached a new rating peak at the KC Winter Closed Championship
This weekend, I participated in a five round classical tournament, with easily the strongest opponents I have faced so far. As the name suggests, only players who were invited could play in the event. There were several wildcards like myself who were rated under 1800, but the majority of the players were 1800-2100, with the top seed being a 2400 IM.
Considering I was the second lowest rated player at 1527 and my opponents had an average rating of 340 points higher than mine, I was fine with the result I had, which was a win against a 1744, a draw against a 1709, and losses against a 1677, a 2036, and a 2142. In the end, I reached a new peak of 1550 (+23) so progress continues! Most importantly, I gained valuable experience, having never played any Experts in OTB classical rated games.
All of my games were pretty interesting, but the one I would like to show you is my loss against Nathan, the 2036. I played the white side of a QGD, and up until move 36, I had switched off between being equal or slightly worse, until I made a terrible blunder and threw the game away. I was disappointed, since I was certain that the game was heading towards a draw, but my opponent was rated over 500 points higher than me, so I didn't want to worry about it too much.
I think the game is a good example of strategical nuances, and how oftentimes strong players are able to win games against weaker players despite the position being equal, simply by poking and prodding and applying pressure. All that said, here is the game with some annotations. The time control was 90 minutes plus 30 seconds added per move. I hope you enjoy!