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My Titled Tuesday - Good, Bad, Mostly Ugly

ih8sens
Jan 5, 2016, 8:07 PM 7

Yup. Played in my first Chess.com "Titled Tuesday".  A few thoughts about my performance before I show a couple games!

The Good

I started out crazy strong.  In the first round I was paired against a strong IM with black.  Scary stuff.  The IM played 1. e4 and went into a Berlin endgame and immediately blundered a pawn.  After a few very anti-positional decisions my opponent ended up in a completely lost position which I converted in the most wimpy way possible.  

Looking at the game now I realize that my opponent played very poorly, but hey, I still beat an IM!

On top of this nice Berlin, I also drew another IM from the white side of a King's Indian where I ended up worse and took a full minute think (in a 3 minute game) to find a tactical draw.

My 'best' game (at least, the game I feel I played best) came in round 9 against a highly rated National Master.  He got himself into time pressure and fell apart quickly, but I feel my opening play is what caused that pressure.


The Bad

The worst 'sinking' feeling of the tournament happened in round 6.  I suffered a little bit in the opening as a result of playing passively, but held on long enough to slip into rough equality.  Then I set a little trap for my opponent, who fell into it perfectly.  THEN, I failed to execute the knockout which I had seen several moves prior!  Somehow when the position showed up on the board I forgot what I was planning.  

The Ugly

I won't even show the game, it was awful.  I self mated with white in 13 moves.  AND against the only player rated lower than me who I faced in the tournament.

It's also a little freaky that I switched from my Dragon/CK repertoire, back to my old Berlin as soon as I ran into International Masters.  I think it shows where my real faith is. Something to think about.

Conclusion

All in all a fun tournament.  It shows me that my opening repertoire is rock solid, but I'm probably giving up too many draws if I really want the FM or IM title in real life.  I somehow need to become more confident in my Sicilian repertoire.

My final score was 4.5/9, meaning I finished tied for 40-50th out of 120ish participants.  Only a couple NM's finished higher. I went 3-3-3.  

Looking forward to the next one!  Congrats to MVL for winning clear first with 8/9.

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