Moment of Truth (Rounds 7 and 8 of the Eastern Open
So after a partial recovery in round five and six I started to feel a little better about myself and looked to finish the Eastern Open with what I hoped would be two more wins. There was a very outside chance that I could tie for first, but things would have to break just right. As it turned out, those things broke, but I wasn't fully able to capitalize on that fortune as I managed a draw and a win on the final day.
In my first game of the day I ventured into familiar territory against a Main Line Caro Kann. I developed an advantage out of the opening, but made a really silly mistake by weakening the pawns around my king and giving my opponent the initiative. I was able to find a miraculous resource to keep me in the game and manage to hold a draw in a pawn down endgame. While I played lousy middlegames, my endgames actually turned out quite well for most of the tournament.
Relieved that I survived that game, I entered the final round with the knowledge that a win would guarantee a cash. I got into a very closed game where I manage to fix a superior pawn structure. I was really going to have to work for the win though as there were not many entry points. Fortunately my opponent gave up his bishop for my knight at a very inopportune time for him, and I was able to take advantage of my superior rook. I was quite amused by the five passed pawns that were spread across the board in the end..... and glad the my pawn got to the end of the board first.
So I ended up finishing in a tie for fourth in my section. I achieved my goal of a +3 with a 5+1=2- record. I also passed +100 for the first time in my tournament life. (I'm now 409+108=308-) My fourth place finish meant that I will be taking home a prize check for $120.... YAY!!! Although I don't feel I played my best, I am happy with the results.