My Chicago Open Games
After putting the task off for half of a month, I finally decided to go over my games from the Chicago Open. I played in the 4 day, U1700 section and finished with a 3.5/7 score. It's not bad to break even, but my expectations for myself were higher. I missed a couple of opportunities along the way, but my opponents also played well.
I provide some light notes in my games and I try to include some of my thought process as the games went on (which will be harder to do since I waited a little while to begin analyzing them). Take a lesson from me on this - go over your games as soon as you can!
The first round was against a positionally solid young girl. While she missed the opportunity to try the Dilworth Variation of the Open Lopez, she kept her composure in the endgame and managed to draw while being a piece down! The 89 move-marathon is the 2nd longest game of any rated USCF game I've played.
My opponent in round 2 became a victim of an opening trap that cost her a piece. I was fortunate to have a quick game (with plenty of time to prepare for round 3!) but she immediately recognized her error.
This next round would bother me for the rest of the weekend! I missed one idea... a very obvious idea! Mentally, I never recovered from it. It wasn't the fact that I lost, but it's how I lost. To my opponent's credit: he was knowledgable of the opening and didn't fall for any traps I set for him afterwards.
The 6th round would be my shining moment of the tournament. I played Black against an opening system that I don't like to see, got to play an attack later on (while realizing mid-way through it that it does not work!) and won!
My final round was not the way I wanted to end the tournament. I fell for a move-order trick that allowed him to trade off one of my important minor pieces really early. I credit my opponent for out-playing me throughout the game! He certainly earned the win!
I may play a few smaller USCF events through the summer, but I'm thinking that my next long-time control event will either be the Indianapolis Open (if I can afford it!) or the King's Island Open (if I can afford that!). I had played so much (non-rated) in preparation for this tournament that by the time I was in the middle of my 7th round, I felt completely burnt out (I'm still a little burnt out). Perhaps a short break from serious competition is necessary.
I always enjoy going to the Chicago Open and other events in the midwest area. It's good to see so many people I know from all over the area. Some of my acquaintances did well in this event and my hat's off to them! It was also fun to play a handful of blitz games against an acquaintance from the Chattanooga (I think?) area (which simultaneously entertained the Liang boys! I wonder which was more entertaining... our comments during the game, or the moves we were playing! "...you have more g-pawns than I do!"). I owe him a thank-you for teaching me a lot about the Open Lopez and for the entertaining blitz games!
Thanks for reading!