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Highlights From My 2016 Guelph Pro-Am

ih8sens
Jan 12, 2016, 7:48 AM 7

Having not travelled to a Southern Ontario tournament for well over a year, I had an opportunity to make a bit of a comeback last weekend.  

The Guelph Pro-Am runs 3 or 4 times a year, and attracts some of the best players in Canada.  

This time around, I began the tournament as third seed and became fourth when a slightly higher rated FM late-joined.  The 2000+ section ended up hosting 21 players, including an IM, 4 FM's, and a handful of NM's. 

I ended up finishing with 3.5/5, losing to the IM and giving up a draw to a very young 2100 player who ended up earning a Canadian National Master norm.  

My first round game was a bit of a blowout, however after this disaster, my opponent (a former 2200) found his form and went on to clinch his final NM norm, earning him the title.

Here's that game:

 

Round two was a theoretical discussion in the Dragon.  I played it against another very young player rated in the mid 1900's, who had been allowed to play up in the 2000+ section.  He also ended up having a very good tournament, finishing with a performance score near 2200 I believe.  I ended up in an exchange down endgame where black had a very strong DSB for the rook.  Objectively it was about equal, but white had the harder position and fell apart in just a couple moves.  

In round 3 I played IM Razvan Preotu.  He already has his GM norms, but hasn't quite hit 2500 yet.  At 16 years old, he's actually one of the best juniors in the world... scary.  Long story short, I survived a bad opening, missed an absolutely insane tactic that would have given me a draw by perpetual, and went on to lose a long rook endgame where I was never allowed a single drawing opportunity.  

Round 4 was a neat game.  I put all kinds of pressure on my 2100 opponent, but he held on really well. It appears Rohan will have clinched his first NM norm as well from this tournament.  

Here's the game:

In round 5 I played another opponent who had a great tournament despite a low rating.  I think his loss to me will have caused him to miss out on his first NM norm by a few points. It's kind of crazy actually.  Excluding my IM opponent, the average rating of my other 4 opponents was right around 2050, but their average performance score was nearly 2300.  That means my performance could have been over 2500, except I ran into a bunch of child prodigies.  Oh well...

Here's game 5.  It's pretty insane.

 

Anyway, all said and done, I shared 4th prize with Talukdar and took home a whopping fifty bucks.  My real performance score is right around 2329, so my rating will stay the same or possibly go up one whole point.  My performance based on the performance of my opponents would have been well over 2500, so I can take some consolation in that.  

Either way, a great return to tournament chess.  A lot of fun.

I hope you enjoyed the games.

Matt



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