Fred Thompson Memorial 2015
Attached are my initial thoughts on my games from the Pittsburgh Chess Club, this time at an all-day tournament (4-round G/60 Swiss with an open and U1600 section).
This was also the first time I committed to d4. I was really annoyed that I was paired against both of the masters (Tom Magar and John Ahlborg). I did have White against both so I got to test 1. d4, and did reasonably well.
I cruised through the first round courtesy of an opening blunder by my young opponent.
In Round 2, Tom slipped in the opening, allowing me to misplace his king via Bxb8/Bb5+, which gave me a little pressure throughout the game although I played rather cautiously. However after everything got traded I couldn't find anything concrete so I accepted Tom's draw offer.
I followed this with a disappointing loss over NM Ahlborg. Most of the game went well, as I pressed through on the queenside and Black's kingside attack didn't deliver. However, the result was a sharp ending we had to play in mutual time trouble (although John had far less time than me, ending the game with 5 seconds on the clock to my 3 minutes); I had my chances, but after a few moves blundered into a queen trade a pawn down.
My last round encounter with a young 1787 went rather strangely, as I played the Black side of a classical Caro-Kann on "feel", using 8 minutes for the first 20 moves. Even after that, I continued to play quickly, but I was nearly punished for my inattention after I thought I had won a pawn. My opponent conjured a surprisingly accurate attempt but his time trouble eventually gave me a winning ending.
U2000 prizes are hard to come by now (missed by 0.5). I think being paired against the only two masters had something to do with it :)