My Cleveland Holiday Open Games
Progress With Chess

My Cleveland Holiday Open Games


Happy New Year!

At the end of 2019 I played one last slow time control tournament called the Cleveland Holiday Open.  This was the first tournament where I aimed to play my new opening rep with the black pieces (without studying it! risky!) and hopefully finish the year off with something better than the disaster that was 2019 for me.  That would be a nice little gift to myself for the holidays right?  hehe  

I have done something a little more than usual and made videos for all five rounds with full commentary and analysis on each of these games which I personally found very interesting.  PGN's are below as well if you want a sneak peak.    Hope you enjoy and learn something as I did!  I feel very few things are better for your chess than these slow tournaments and analyzing the games after.   And if you have improvements for me, please let me know.  I'd love to maximize my learning from this experience. 2020 is a new year after all.    

Round 1- How Could Castles Be a Blunder??

In this game I get points for bravery, as I play a brand new line with little to no knowledge and get punished. Let's see what we can learn and just how bad it can be to not know your opening theory even at the Club Level.

Round 2- Holding Advantage Vs Someone 300 Pts Higher Rated

I was horrified to learn I had a bye when I arrived Saturday morning at this tournament, BUT they managed to pair me with someone from the Open Section who also had a bye! So that was much less horrifying. Here, I had the chance to try my new repertoire against a stronger opponent. Let's see how it holds up.

Round 3- Too Fancy!

This was an intense game where I felt certain my opponant was misplaying the opening, but given the initiative he gets during the game I admit now that my happiness was unfounded! Pressure builds for both players when Devon decides to go for a tricky move, tricking himself! Can Stacia take advantage? Watch and find out.

Round 4- Missed Opportunity!

In this game I get the white pieces against William Franklin rated 1625 USCF and we have my beloved King's Gambit! He declines classically and I really like my position although it's pretty complicated. Lots of calculation and even an interesting ending emerges.

Round 5- Ending Madness

In this final Round of the Holiday Open sitting at 2.5 out of 4 points, I played the black pieces against Samraat Zagade, who I affectionately refer to as the Adjust Kid! He was rated 1525 USCF for this game and he played the London System against me which I met with Bf5. There is a testing way my line can be challenged but my opponent decided to allow me to equalize with black. I actually offered a draw several times when the position was looking sterile, but the Adjust Kid looked to outplay me in the ending!

He found a way to gain a tempo, resulting in a more active King in the ending. This resulted in a fascinating position where it's not clear if black can hold or not. Check out the video to see what I mean and what happened. Instructive stuff in the ending!

Best wishes and Happy New Year!  


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