ACC April 2015

NM blitzcopter
Apr 19, 2015, 2:57 PM |

Since CMU is in the midst of a four-day break, I thought it a good time to visit the Akron Chess Club's monthly tournament. Amusingly, the 18-player Open section (which included 4 masters and the rest split between experts/class A players) was considered to have poor turnout, so one can only imagine what the other months are like. The four rounds were played at G/30, G/30, G/45, and G/60 respectively (with 5-second delay for all).

I managed to get to Akron 20 minutes before the first round, allowing me to play the whole tournament, which allowed me a first round game with NM William Wright. Unfortunately, I was caught in an unfamiliar Closed Sicilian (in "normal" lines with ...g6, White has plans against the fianchetto and keeps the center closed as Black does not often have ...d5), and found myself lost after some ill-advised attempts to defend the queenside and reckless advances on the kingside.

In the second round, my opponent deviated from our Queen's Gambit with 5. c5!? which I didn't like very much. I eventually got what I thought was pressure on the queenside, but I spent too much time on a few moves and whatever edge I had eventually died down. Eventually, we traded into an ending where my opponent sprung a last attempt at a winning king-pawn ending, which I held with a little care.
My Round 3 opponent ended up hanging a knight on move 7 for reasons I won't discuss here. But the game ended before the round was even scheduled to start. I essentially got a free point, but probably felt no better than Varuzhan Akobian did after his forfeit win against So.
In Round 4, I played an unrated gentleman who ended up provisionally rated 2000+ after his first tournament. In our classical-ish Caro-Kann, he opted to lose the bishop pair instead of a pawn (which I probably wouldn't have taken; I've been killed too many times in similar positions in 1|0). I initially felt like I had to be better because of opposite-side majorities and the bishop pair, but because it's Caro-Kann, White didn't give up too much. I ended up trying a minority attack on the queenside but I was beginning to tire (getting up at 6 to go to Akron was a great idea) and kept making obvious moves that were easily thwarted. Eventually my attempt to break up the kingside was lucky and I won a pawn, but after a while in the resulting rook ending, I BRILLIANTLY traded off into a supposedly-winning king and pawn ending, only to... well, see game (any commentary on the rook ending would be appreciated, since I'm terrible at those).
A rather unfortunate end to the tournament, but I've done worse than 59...Re3+?? before so I'll take it. Ed scored a 2000+ provisional rating, so mine fared well enough (R: 1951 -> 1964, Q: 1841 -> 1855).
First of more tournament posts to come! (I'm playing again next weekend, so I'll see how that goes)