PCC G|60...er 45: Bent Larsen and the Universal English Attack
This Saturday I headed back to the Portland Chess Club for the third time in as many weeks for what I thought was going to be a G|60 tournament. I had just turned in my thesis draft, and drank a whole lot at Beer Garden the night before, so I thought I would play pretty poorly. As it turned out, the tournament was G|45 due to the large number of players, and I didn't play badly at all.
My first game was against a strong player who ended up finishing second overall and best under 1800. I played very well, and had good attacking chances--though I misplayed it a little bit and let him back into the game, in part due to my misplaced bishop. He was better for a while, and ended up with an extra pawn, but I managed to completely tie his pieces down to its defense, only to throw all my hard work away while under time pressure. C'est la vie, no?
My second game was against the unrated player I played last tournament. He tried out Larsen's 1.b3 stuff against me, but I won easily.
My third game was against another strong player, who also took down my friend Elias. He played the Pirc, and not knowing the theory I just played my good friend the English attack. I missed a chance to take a commanding lead early on, and ended up down a piece for two pawns. I clawed my way back into an equal position, with a knight and three connected passed pawns versus two knights, but let it slip in massive time trouble. By the end of the game I had two seconds plus the delay, and managed to survive Q+K versus Q+K+N.
Round four saw me once again take the black pieces against Tony Midson, the guy I hung my queen to in the last G|60 tournament. This time, I was ready for his 1.b3 stuff, and played the line IM Danny Rensch played in his last live session--though I actually won pretty handily.
My final game was against another familiar face. I took white against Ethan Wu, and we played a French Winawer, though a slightly different line than last time. I miscalculated the complications, and he went up a pawn--though I was able to fight my way back in. Unfortunately, I was very tired by this point, and misplayed the endgame, falling to a dumb pawn promotion tactic that I knew about, and completely forgot to defend against.
All in all, it was a good tournament. My live rating is now 1318, which is a jump up of 81 points from my current rating. I know I need to be a bit better about my time management in these shorter games, and I need to work on my endgames. Still, I'm happy with the way I played, and it was a very fun day.