After a disappointing Columbus Open I charged ahead to play in the Cleveland Open. A good friend of mine lived outside of Cleveland and was about to leave the country for two years in the Peace Corps so I entered the two-day schedule but still took a first round BYE so that I could see them Friday night and Saturday morning. I've almost never asked for BYEs in tournaments before but have to say that I really enjoyed it. Five rounds in two, or even three days, is really a lot of chess and always leaves me feeling burned out. Four rounds, two a day, was much more managable and may be something I do going forward.
While I didn't think much of my middle-game there, my clock management proved superior and helped me win that game. I go forward with 1 1/2 points and not feeling too bad at all, but that grants me a tough pairing in the next round.
I was disappointed not to salvage a draw from this game, but I certainly had no claim to one in the middle-game. Definitely one aspect of my game that is coming to light (which I already knew was a bit of an issue) is that I venture too aggressively too early in games, when instead I need to find solid moves in the opening. King safety, piece development, and center control. Often I neglect these opening principles too much without anything to show for it. This game ends the first day of the tournament, so I hope to come back and be able to get two wins on Sunday.
My first time playing the Bogo-Indian in tournament play. While the result is not disasterous, once again I get lucky to have a half-point. Other than missing my mating opportunity, my opponent had control of the game the entire way through.
Even taking a BYE, I was definitely still fatigued in this round and it shows with a simple blunder early.
So the Cleveland Open ends with me scoring 1 1/2 points out of 4 rounds, or 2/5 with my BYE. Certainly no great showing, but this tournament ends up being my best of the summer and I only drop one rating point. Next up, the Ohio Chess Congress! Stay tuned for tales of woe from that tournament :)