2015 PCC Gateway Open

NM blitzcopter
Nov 7, 2015, 9:39 PM |

Unfortunately, the highlight of the tournament was my loss to a 1721-rated youngster. This marks my second major (300+ USCF difference) upset in two tournaments (the first being the PA Championship), giving the appearance of a new unsettling trend... For comparison, I hadn't lost a game to anyone rated under 2000 in the year prior to the first upset.

Overall, I didn't exactly roll through the tournament smoothly. For example, in my first round I made an early strategic blunder but got extraordinarily lucky with a desperate attempt at kingside action.

My second round was against an expert I had narrowly beaten in the state championship. I had some good opportunities for pressure out of the opening (some type of closed Sicilian) but didn't find them. Eventually, I got too complacent and got my knight trapped.

The real shocker was my third round game against Timothy Cao, who can really be on his game when concentrating :P. Unfortunately for me this was one of those games. Even if I hadn't overlooked the Nd7+ tactic White had good chances.

After that I was reluctant to use a lot of energy in my inconsequential last round, and both my opponent and I played relatively fast into equality. However I realized I had to stop the rating points loss, so I somehow pressed on, won a pawn, and converted the endgame.