Day one in the District

Dec 28, 2012, 7:59 PM |

Today was very much an up and down day for me at the Eastern Open in D.C. I hadn't payed in a full tournament in a few months and wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to play in a good long tournament. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a roommate who was playing in the four day schedule of either the Open, Under 2200 or Under 1900 sections so I chose the three day.

Originally I requested an optional (½-point) bye for round three so I wouldn't have to play four games in one day, but I felt pretty good when I arrived and decided to rescind the bye. The first three games were played at Game/45. Having arrived early Thursday road lag was not going to be an issue.

I was chomping at the bit to start round one this morning and played a pretty crisp first game. I will likely provide analysis for these games next week when I've had a chance to recover.

Round two saw me used the Stonewall Dutch to squeeze out a victory over a long-time veteren of D.C. area chess. I identified early in the endgame that I could use a minority attack to bust up his kingside while my queenside was completely secure.
Unfortunately things started to fall apart during round three. My opponent, wearing a bright red Louisville Cardinals football jersey that would go well with the leather Louisville Cardinals jacket
I'm wearing about town, played a little bit of an off beat opening, but wrestled initiative away from me early on. I made matters worse by coughing up a pawn late in the opening and he never looked back.
The schedules mered for round four so this was my first round playing the 40/2 SD/1 time control. In fact, it's the first time I've played that time control since the 2009 US Open in Indianapolis. Sadly I was still on a game/45 cadence and gacked away a piece in the opening.
I "woke up" after I droppedd the piece and tortured my young opponent tying up his pieces so that he couldn't utilize the extra piece. Finally after about twenty moves of pressure he buckled, and I cashed in on the attack a pawn to the better. The only down side was that he secured opposite colored bishops, which is generally a draw.
He offered me a draw which I refused figuring his king was out of position. I was dead set on trying to win at all cost and cost is what I did. I got so fixated on trying to get a rook in behind his position that I failed to notice a tactical trick which netted him a bishop's advantage.
Sufficed to say, what was a promising start turned into a very disappointing and frustrating finish. Only two games to play each of the next two days so maybe I'll finish stronger tomorrow.