Nationals Qualifying Tournament
This was a very interesting tournament, with 4 teams, 3 rounds, decent to strong opposition, and 60 minutes for each player plus a 10 second increment. I played on board 3 for two games. The whole thing went from 8:50 am (when I left home) to 8:00 pm (when I went back)! The tournament was hosted at St George Leagues Club, which was a very nice place and had nice lunch.
The first game I played was against Scots.The game was roughly equal (he copied my first 8 moves in a KIA!) until some mistakes by my opponent allowed me to get a very strong position. He managed to gain some counterplay and at one moment I was considering whether to play either a move that would win or one that would draw with best play from both sides (move 27).
The second game (in the last round against the strongest team) was against Sydney Boys. As we were playing with increments, we played 10 moves until we realised that I forgot to start the clock. Nevertheless he offered to just play on and I accepted. Then he thought for 25 minutes (at move 11) when it seemed he was going to lose a pawn. Although Houdini says the position is roughly equal, my opponent seemed to lose faith in his position. There is a very interesting tactic at move 22 that I missed. He gave up an exchange for some reason, and I managed to infiltrate his position with my queen.
We managed to win the tournament outright, with only one game drawn and the rest won. This means we will go to Canberra to play in the Nationals competition. Over there, we expect some very tough competition, especially from Victoria!