November West Des Moines Youth Tournament
Morning Tournament, Round 1:
My analysis: My first game was against Zach Calvert. When he played 7...d6, that was a mistake because I could play Nd5, forking his queen and knight, and attacking twice his knight that is pinned. His response 8...Qd7 allowed me to take the knight for free, because if he took back, I could fork his king and queen. It also pinned the knight on c6. His move 11...Qe8 allowed me to fork his queen and rook, but I didn't want to do it yet because I wanted to attack his king while his queen was trapped on the back rank. His next move, 12...Bg4, was a huge mistake because I was doing Qg5 anyway. He has to move his pawn forward to prevent mate, and I get his bishop for free. But instead of taking the bishop, I moved the queen to h6, because I had a mate in two.
Morning Tournament, Round 2:
My analysis: My next opponent was Maxim Popov. He went up a pawn early with 9. Nxe5. He made a mistake by taking my knight with 18. cxb4, because I had a discovery on his rook. That gave me a material advantage, which I expanded over the next few moves. I played 25...Bh1 because it looked cool and because I had a plan, but I didn't realize until later that the plan didn't work. When he attacked my queen with 26. Nf5, I thought I should move my queen to where we could trade queens, because if he took, my pawn would be closer to queening. With 30. Re1, I had a plan to move my Qd4 and my other rook to e8, then e2, winning a rook. I later thought it wouldn't work, but I was wrong. I should have played R8e2 on move 33. 37. Rf5 was a mistake, because then I could play...well, exactly what I played. It set him up for mate.
Morning Tournament, Round 3:
My analysis: My next opponent was Chandler Schmidt. I gained an advantage when I took his bishop with 9. Nxd4, and instead of recapturing, he threatened my queen, and I could block with 10. Nde2 or Ndf3, which saved the recapture. After that, we played pretty evenly until 25...Rxd4, which gave me a mate in two.
Afternoon Tournament, Round 1:
My analysis: This was my opponent's first tournament, so this wasn't a difficult win. I messed up with 9. Qe3 because I had a plan, and I didn't see that this move hung my bishop. I also messed up with 17. Qxe6, because I was moving too fast, and I didn't realize it hung my queen until I touched both pieces. Luckily he didn't see it.
Afternoon Tournament, Round 2:
My analysis: My next opponent was Drake Starr. He hung his queen. My move 10...c6 was pretty good, because if he took a7 (which he did), I could fork his king and knight. 13...Bxa3 was a clearance sacrifice. After that, it didn't take long to mate him.
Afternoon Tournament, Round 3:
My analysis: My next game was a rematch with Chandler Schmidt. I played the King's Gambit because my coach wants me to learn it. I haven't learned the King's Gambit declined, though. 8. Bxf7+ was a mistake; the plan I had ended up not working. I made another mistake with 17. d3, which hung my rook, but he didn't see it. Then I walked into mate with 19. c3.
Afternoon Tournament, Round 4:
My analysis: My next game was against Seth Derby. Nobody really made any mistakes until he moved 10...g4 instead of 10...Rd1. The real mistake of the game, though, was 12. Qxd5. He told me after this move that he didn't see that his knight was still pinned. But by that time, it was too late. After that, he was basically a goner.
Afternoon Tournament, Round 5:
My analysis: My last opponent was Jasper Shogren-Knaak. On move 12, he made a huge mistake and allowed me to fork his queen and rook. Then on move 14, he made another mistake. Insead of 14. Nxe5, he should have played 14. b4. It was my turn to make a mistake with 17...Rd8. I didn't see the hanging bishop. But I think when he took it and I moved my knight away a move later, I got into a better position. I didn't really have any huge plans until move 22, when I thought about moving Nd2, winning a pawn, getting my rook in the game if he took back (and if not I would win two pawns), betting my knight out of danger, and if he does take back, I am protecting my pawn twice so that he can't take it. He made a huge mistake with 29. Re1; instead, he should have played Rc1. That move basically ended the game for him.