2016 Pittsburgh Metropolitan Open

NM blitzcopter
Feb 27, 2016, 7:29 PM |

I played in a small G/90 Pittsburgh Chess Club tournament in preparation for the Pittsburgh Open. It was the first to feature the interesting NM Boyd Reed (who talked about likely changes to PCC tournament formats) as director.

My distate for 3-round events proved correct. In Round 2, I drew a strong local master who is a traditionally dominant force at various state championships. Unfortunately, he got completely swindled in the last round against one of the co-leaders, causing a tie for first at 3-0 (!!??). Too bad for 2.5/3, but this is what happens in a 3-round event with a nontrivial number of players.

Pairings are always weird in these silly 3-rounders. My other two opponents were 1600s. In the first, I was tricked into what I thought was a suboptimal Catalan but seems to be a Neo-Grunfeld (?). I had some issues regaining the pawn but after that I got through easily.

I also got White against NM Eidemiller, who had beaten me in our 3 previous meetings. I eventually won a pawn but mistakenly traded down too quickly. Then I almost messed up the world's 2nd easiest drawn rook ending, but eventually I was okay.

Unfortunately, in the last round Eidemiller lost a completely ending to another expert in time pressure. He and the other co-champion are the only local players I can recall have beaten Eidemiller in the last year.

I was paired way down against a young 1632 but she had scored 1.5/2, against two Class A veterans (narrowly missing a win against the first). I tried to play something weird (for me, anyway) and it worked great, even though I missed two quick mates at the end.