Texas Masters ends in 4-way tie
On February 15-17 I played at a 5-round tournament called the Texas Masters, which was held at the Dallas Chess club.
I tied for first with 3 other players: GM Cristian Chirila (against whom I won in round 3), IM Darwin Yang (drew in round 4), and FM Jeffery Xiong (drew in round 5).
For the first round on Friday evening I was in terrible form. I reached the following position as Black, with White to move:
After I let go of the piece, I was already thinking about whether I should withdraw from the tournament, in order to avoid getting further demoralized by the results of this bad form. After only about 20 seconds, my opponent ended the agony. He missed it! I went on to grind out a win with the extra pawn.
On Saturday I was playing pretty well and won both my games.
On Sunday I was back to a mediocre level of play and drew twice.
I annotated my game against Darwin Yang. I thought he was heading for disaster with his choice of an insane-looking sideline that sacrifices one of the pawns that forms his king's shelter, but despite my longer opening preparation, I was unable to gain an advantage against some tough defense.