2015 Pennsylvania G/60 Championship

NM blitzcopter
Sep 20, 2015, 12:51 PM |

The 2014 edition of this was my second tournament after I came to Pittsburgh, and where I met a lot of the great players I associate with now. However, despite being rated 500 points higher than I was then, I couldn't replicate the same performance. Actually, this is my worst tournament in the last year :)

What bothered me most were the pairings (along with some less important issues) from an experience perspective. The average rating of my three lower rated opponents (leaving out 2303-rated Mark Eidemiller) was only 1693; in comparison, my weakest opponent last year was rated 1729 and the same average was cloesr to 1850. Not to diminish my opponents' accomplishments, but when 40% of the field is experts, it's disappointing for my opposition to be barely too high to play in the second section.

A relatively low-stress first round...

...somehow set me up against Eidemiller in the second round.

My third round decisions were unnecessarily rushed as I tried to implement some kind of minority attack. Eventually I managed to think I was winning a queen for a rook (when it was actually two rooks...).

By some miracle my last round opponent was rated only 1601. Out of bitterness I just played on autopilot (about 45 seconds per move), even after securing a great position out of the opening, and eventually paid the price when I thought I was winning a pawn but had to return it immediately, leaving a dead position.