Recovery from series of bad games

dretch
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The University of Texas at Dallas chess program has one training tournament in each semester. Usually it has been a round robin, but this time it was an open tournament, held on March 9-13. Thirteen Grandmasters were playing. In rounds 1 and 2 I won against much lower-rated opponents. In round 3 and 4 I played a couple of pretty awful draws, including the following.



Then I lost in rounds 5 and 6. Especially round 5 was really terrible:



But I won in rounds 7, 8, and 9. Despite the bad middle section of the tournament, I somehow won some prize money and gained a small amount of rating. The tournament was won by Parimarjan Negi of India, and fellow  UTD student Julio Sadorra. I tied for 3rd with a number of people. 

My favorite game was in round 7. I faced a move (...Qa5) on move 11 that I was not familiar with. I managed to find good moves over the board, and got a strong position after a few moves. I liked how I had an unusual opportunity to castle queenside against the Botvinnik Semi-Slav, and also the way he had a lot of pieces left but no useful moves at all at the end.

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