Marshall G45 -- A Great Success
On Saturday I played in the U1600 section of the Marshall G45. While my chess slowly worsened as the day went on, I still went 3.5/4, which was good enough for second place and a 30 point rating bump, putting me at 1615. I won $77, and put myself solidly into class B. I'm a little disappointed about not going 4/4, but I'll take it in any case!
Game One was vs. a Najdorf where I setup in an English style (Bishop on e3). Black played ...d5 before they were ready, and I got a great game because of it.
My second game saw me misplay an odd line of the Winawer (one with an early Bd3), and find myself under a lot of pressure. I managed to solve those problems while creating plenty of my own, but foolhardy SOB that I am, I didn't take the draw in a worse position. A good decision as it turned out--I managed to outplay him in the endgame (a wholy novel experience) and pick up a point.
Game 3 I once again misplayed an opening. The moment you're out of preparation, you need to not just play natural moves and actually stop to think. In this case, that was move 7. I played an early c4, which he didn't take advantage of, followed by a pointless Bg5. I made plenty of other silly moves without much thought, but luckily my reckless play was quick, and even though he was better, he was forced to get perpetual due to his massive time trouble.
My fourth and final game was for money, which I thought would affect me more than it did. As it turned out, I was playing Frank, a nice man who I'd played blitz with a bunch and talked to on numerous occasions. I busted him almost immediately, but then I got greedy and let him equalize the material. With his firebreathing bishops, the position was extremely unbalanced, though I was having trouble shaking the feeling that I was dead lost. As it happened, I wasn't, and some deep calculation and going right to the edge of my time allowed me to grab the win that was slipping out of my fingers.