NC Open Round 2
How did I deserve THIS?!
So how was I rewarded for losing a close game in Round 1? By getting paired against the #1 player in the section! It is true though that he did also lose his first round and SOMEONE had to play him. Just too bad it had to be me, LOL! Well, it turned out I was up for the challenge. Overall I think this was my best game of the tournament. Not only did I finally solve out some of the development problems I've always run into in the 5.b6 line of the Benko Gambit, but I ended up, at one point, with a passed pawn on the a-file with the queening square supported by a fienchettoed bishop! I have a feeling I might have missed a win in this game, but even though I made my worst mistake of the tournament, it only cost me a chance to win.
Even so, playing up 200 points and feeling like you have complete control of the game is very satisfying. And for the first time, I really felt like I could be dangerous in this variation.