Cleveland Scholastic Open

Oct 19, 2015, 8:01 AM |

On October 17, I played in the 9-12 section of the Cleveland Scholastic Open, held in the Metropolitan campus of Tri-C. The tournament was a grueling five-rounds played at G/30 d5 time control. I ended up with 3/5, earning fourth place on tiebreak and losing one rating point, going down to 2012.

There were 22 players in the 9-12 section, with six unrated, six u1000, six 1000-1500, five 1500-1999, six 2000+, and one master. I came in as the sixth seed. Here are the games:

My first round game (as it typically turns out in scholastic tournaments) was a huge rating mismatch, with my opponent having less than half the rating of I. Even through this, he managed to play a decent game which he could've even won at one point if he would've found the correct continuation. The game started around 10:15 after the typical hullabaloo of pre-tournament announcements, and it was one of the last games finished in the tournament hall. My opponent ended up with 2.0/5 and gaining 25 rating points. Here's my mediocre first round game:

After winning my first round, I expected that I would probably play someone around 1600-1800 strength, but I sure was wrong! I was playing the top seed in the section, a strong player who had just recently earned master status. He ended up winning all 5 games to take clear first, in the process gaining 15 rating points. Here's my game against him, where I was crushing him with an exchange sacrifice, but missed the accurate continuation and declined many repetitions on my way to losing this game:
My third round game was against a player who has been consistently above 2000 for some time now, who had beaten a 1050 in the first round and drew with a 1900 in the second round. He played very slowly; way too slowly for a 30 minute game. He very quickly got a winning position, however it wasn't too simple to find the correct way to win, and in his time pressure he blundered and allowed me to have an easy win. I definitely did not deserve this victory, but hey, I'll take it! He ended up scoring 3.0/5 and losing 23 rating points. Here's my game:
My fourth round game was against someone who had beaten an unrated player in the first round, then lost to an 1150 in the second round, then beating an 800 in the third. He seemed to not be having a very good tournament, but I knew that I must stay alert since he would be able to beat me if given the opportunity since he isn't a weak player. The game ended up going around 80 moves, with him never having a chance after the opening. He ended up scoring 3.0/5 and losing 30 rating points. Here's one of my longest tournament games ever:
My final opponent was another expert, however this player had recently jumped up to 2123 and is currently in a sort of slump. He had already beaten an 1100, an 1850, and a 2000, and lost to the master that I lost to in the second round. I knew that Jonny plays this French line, but being as tired as I was, I misplayed it and was dead lost very quickly. He ended up with 4.0/5 and second place, earning 16 rating points in the process. Here's my ugly last-round game:
Overall, I played decent chess; nothing too special, but I definitely did not play at my highest level. This tournament was slightly disappointing since I knew I should've beaten Annorjan, but I'll take this as a learning experience for next time I have to play stronger players. My next tournament is the state grade level championships on November 21, where I will be one of the top seeds in the ninth grade section.
As usual, any comments are appreciated. Thank you for reading! :)