After a disastrous performance in NewYork, I had few days to recoup my thoughts and energies for the 2nd DC International from June 26-30, 2014. This tournament is technically considered as a warmup for the World Open, but looking at the prize fund for this event, I would say, this is also a very respectable open tournament in the U.S Chess Circuit.
The tournament was held in the Hyatt Regency Crystal City hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The organizers were the Continental Chess Association, and they did a pretty good job here, as the number of entries were only 84.
(Hyatt Regency Crystal City)
I started the tournament with an initial ranking of 12, and my first round game against Zheng, Andrew(fide rating:2031) gave me a feeling, that this tournament would be a good one.
In Round 2, I was paired against Iskandar Aripov(fide rating:2213). I play him more or less in every single tournament, as we are both from St.Louis. This game is an example of how black can misplay Maroczy Bind position.
My pairings with St.Louis players continued in Round 3 too, as I was paired against IM Vitaly Neimer, who goes to Webster University.
(IM Vitaly Neimer on the left, and GM Denes Boros on the right. Pic taken after 2012 GM Invitational in St.Louis)
As expected, I played an unorthodox opening, and we were poised to have an interesting middle game fight. I would like to show you an important position from the middlegame.
In Round 4, I was paired against GM Mark Paragua(fide rating:2510), who was once upon a time above 2600 fide rating. He erred in the opening, giving me a solid advantage, but which slowly withered away due to my inaccurate play, and we reached a very complex endgame.
Having a blazing 4/4 start led me to share the first along with GM Sergei Azarov(fide rating:2610) at the midway, and we were obviously paired on round 5, and having the black pieces, I employed the reliable Berlin Defense in Ruy Lopez, and obtained a very very comfortable position. I was so stupid that I offered my opponent a draw in a position, where I had very less chances to lose. My opponent, who was feeling uncomfortable with his position shook hands with me after 21 moves of play.
I was paired against GM Yuri Gonzalez Vidal from Cuba(fide rating:2557) and I had the white pieces. I would like to show a position, where it was complex.
Having a score of 5.5/6, I was leading the tournament alone, and I was paired against GM Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez(the same GM, who beat me in NY Open, a week ago). I think, I approached this game, bit more aggresive, than I should have. This led to a complicated and aggresive game.
Got paired with my good friend GM Denes Boros, on round 8 and it was a quiet draw in just 12 moves, and this draw gave me some breathing time, to fight for the last round.
In last round, I was paired againt my roommate and fellow Indian GM Akshayraj Kore. I needed only a draw for my GM norm, so I offered him a draw, before game, for which Akshay refused, as he wanted to play and fight for the prize. This led to an interesting situation on the board. I had the white pieces, and I was playing safe, aiming for a draw, and Akshay was pressing for a win with black pieces! At some point, Akshay started to overpress and I realized that, I need to start pushing for a win, and even before Akshay could realize his position was extremely worse, the game was over!
Scoring 7/9 in such a strong field, made me extremely happy and also netted me a cash prize of 1066.67$ as I tied for the the 2nd along with GM Sergei Azarov, and Yuri Gonzalez Vidal. The winner of this tournament was GM Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez, he pocketed a cash prize of 3000$ for his efforts. I really liked his last round game against GM Yuniesky Quesada Perez.
I earned a GM norm, and IM norms were earned by Kassa Korley and Awonder Liang. Overall, this tournament turned out to be a very pleasant one.
(Awonder Liang, Pic credit:Susan Polgar blog)
I will soon write, the last report on my summer tournament experiences about the World Open! till then, bye.