Grunfeld Memorial Tournament: Round 1 (04/02/2016)
Late-ish of a post considering how this tournament happened over a week ago...But hey, first tournament of a new month, and one I chose to play in at a somewhat more last minute decision compared to other tournaments I've played in the past :O (most of the time, I've heard about the tournaments weeks or even months in advance and mark them on my calendar to play in ahead of time!) Again, at pre-registration time, I signed up to play up a section, so in the U1600 rather than U1250. Interestingly enough, on the day of the tournament, the director decided to combine the U1600 and U1250 sections in order to balance out the section sizes (though it still ended up being the largest section of the three. Other two were Open and U1000).
The tournament's time control was G/60, no delay. Quite unusual for me, personally, since this is the first time in 10 years I've played a no-delay time control tournament, so that made blitzing out the opening moves rather interesting (you get that little psychological thought in your head thinking "oh wow how am I using so much time already just to play out the opening?").
Still a decent tournament--ended up with 2.0/4 with my wins in rounds 2 and 4 (both as White, coincidentially, giving a 1-0 score in every game I played!) and 1059 -> 1084 rating climb. Not bad as (almost) the lowest-rated player in my section again....lol.
ROUND 1: I was paired against a 1200-rated 8-year-old, who's had a history of racking up rating upsets in previous tournaments by beating Class C players, so he certainly has a bright future :) We played the Tarrasch variation of the French, and in the later part of the opening, I was able to get him an isolated d-pawn, but wasn't positionally solidified enough to take advantage of it as much as I wanted to (he eventually got that pawn un-isolated through a forced Bxc3 capture), without allowing him to counterplay me and take advantage of my bad light-squared bishop. Feel free to suggest thoughts on how this positional play could've been handled better here :) In the end, I got low on time, and while interestingly enough I managed to get a pawn up and almost trap his rook, he was able to take the pawn that was attacking it with a bishop safely (the pawn originally "guarding" the captured pawn is pinned from captures thanks to his rook and my king both on the h-file). The last minute/fraction of a minute of the endgame unfortunately ended with some bad direct piece blunders from my end, and eventually I resigned.