Houston City Championship 2016

Houston City Championship 2016

Jun 15, 2016, 2:29 PM |

Disclaimer: Unless you are me or know me, you probably won't find this post interesting. I'm just posting to capture my thoughts and share with friends.  

I have almost 2 years of tournament experience now, and I'm starting to really enjoy tournament play. I used to get really nervous and stressed, but now it's quite enjoyable. That being said, I was not entirely excited for this tourney because I haven't been studying seriously, and my mind is focused mostly on family and job. 

Round 1 was a loss, but I thought my game was mostly solid. I couldn't create any complications (other than for myself), and he eventually outplayed me. I was down to 1 minute and my opponent had 10, so I see that as a sign that I played well.

Round 2 was a win without any difficulties. He didn't catch an early tactic and I kept the advantage to the end. 
Round 3 was against Andrei, who I played in the Spring tourney. It was a Grand Prix again, but I played much better, however he outplayed me. 
Round 4 was both terrible and awesome. I accepted the Smith-Morra gambit and lost my queen. My opponent was rated 1105, so I felt extra defeated, but I kept playing to really make him earn a W. He switched gears and was playing passively, which allowed me to build an attack. I don't think he saw the mating net, because he didn't do anything to stop it. And I won. It was a Christmas miracle in June.
Round 5 was my best game, but I traded a winning attack for a draw because of situational circumstances. I was still in disbelief from my queen-blunder-win, so I was not entirely confident going into the game. I had also lost to Baron in the Spring tourney, and I was mentally prepared for a loss. The power went out while I was on move 14, which caused quite a disruption. Players were given the option to stop the game, and several games were concluded as double-forfeits or postponed to a later day. My opponent and I continued under low light conditions and no AC. The heat and lack of light was not ideal, and I jumped at an opportunity to force a draw, even though I thought I was winning. Later the computer confirmed I was indeed winning. Oh well.
My next tournament will be the Houston Chess Festival 2016 run by Cajun Chess. Hopefully I can get some good practice in before then.