Montana Closed 2014, Round 1

Nov 17, 2014, 1:12 PM |


Based on my good performance in the Open Championship in the spring I was invited to compete in the state Closed Championship in October. There were ten of us, and all would be tough opponents for me. In fact, I was the lowest rated of the group. I approached the event with some apprehension, as it wouldn't have been overly surprising to anyone for me to get totally whitewashed. Instead, I scored 2.5/5 and was in contention for the tournament win going into the final round.

In the first round I was paired with Guy, a strong player who excels at tactics. Playing with the black pieces against d4 (I had three blacks and two whites for the tourney) I opted for the Chigorin, which I had been having reasonable success with (in online blitz...). I played the same opening the last time we met, but I figured that it was so esoteric that he probably wouldn't remember, and I wouldn't make the same mistakes as last time.

Unfortunately I played the opening badly, missing chances to equalize and prevent the bad positions of the resulting middlegame. I eventually decided on a piece sacrifice to rid the middle of the board of two dangerous pawns, but the extra mobility and time it gained me turned out not to be enough. An inauspicious start, to be sure, but things would improve...