Montana Closed 2014, Round 2
Again with black, in the second round I was paired with Conrad, the talented, affable young man with the merciless endgame ability. With 3.d4 he opted for the Scotch, which I have not studied formally but have had a good amount of practical experience playing against with Will and Wilton in our weekly blitz meet-ups. This time blitz opening knowledge served me adequately, after which an accurately played middlegame (as per Stockfish) ensued.
After dropping a doubled pawn I battled back to gain a significant initiative on the kingside. I couldn't quite see how to break through however, and as my abstract trump of the initiative could be lost and his concrete trump of simply having an extra pawn would be much easier to maintain, when given a forced drawing line I took it. A draw with black against a strong opponent is a decent result, and moving in the right direction for the tournament. Perhaps one day I'll even get to play with the white pieces!