Atlantic Open: Day 2

Aug 30, 2015, 7:08 PM |

I just got back home from the second and final day of the Atlantic Open. I had only slept for about five hours after Day 1, so I was pretty tired going into today's games. Despite sub-par opening play, I think I held up pretty well. Here are today's games:

*I'll be annotating these games over the next week, but feel free to ask questions about my games.*

Round 4: 40/110 + SD30, d10

In Round 4 I played Justin Dalhouse, an 1876 from New York (a pretty impressive rating due to the fact that he appeared to be around 10 years old). I had acquainted myself with him during the tournament, so I knew that his usual rating was in the mid 1900s and that he had been in a bit of a slump. I was pretty confident going into the game, but after an awful opening I would've been happy to get a draw. He sacrificed an exchange to get an insanely strong passed pawn, but I managed to defend and was able to trade into a winning endgame. Here is the game:

Game summary: I definitely need to study the c3 Sicilian a lot more, but I think for most of the game I played solidly. I was glad that I managed to churn out a win in the endgame, as it showed that my endgame technique is improving.


Round 5: 40/110 + SD30, d10

In Round 5 I played a man named Ryan Thunder Rust (pretty awesome middle name, right?) who was playing in his first tournament since 2013. I knew that with a win in this round I would clinch at least a $600 prize, but a draw would only guarantee me a split of fourth place, or roughly $30. I played one of my sharper openings, but we ended up trading queens on move 9. I tried to muster up some initiative as his king was stuck in the center, but I couldn't gain an advantage and we ended up agreeing to a draw on move 32. Here is the game:

Game summary: I'm not really sure what to make of this game, I think that one think I can take away from this game is that I need to inprove my strategic play when queens come off the board early.


Tournament summary: I ended up with 3.5/5 points, which put me in a tie for fourth place. I won $33 (not enough to cover the entry fee, but at least I won something) but that wasn't the biggest news from the tournament. I finally broke 1900 USCF! My rating moved from 1893 to 1910, which may be high enough to place me in the Top 100 nationally for 14 year olds. For this tournament, instead of describing how I felt I played, I'm going to make a concrete list of strengths and weaknesses from the event. Here it is:


- Time management (although I got into a bit of time trouble in Round 1, I finished most of my games with ample time left.)

- Endgame technique (in Round 4 I was able to convert a slight material advantage and I recognized the dead draw in Round 5.)

- Calculation (Although I didn't feel like this tournament had many moments where I needed to calculate super presicely, I felt that I was able to see many moves ahead clearly whenever I needed to.)


- Openings (a pretty obvious choice. My theory in basically all openings still needs serious work, as I'm constantly getting sub-par positions heading into the middlegame.)

- Tactical awareness (This would've been one of this tournament's "strengths" if it weren't for my Round 3 game where my opponent basically pushed her f-pawn twice and won a piece with practically no resistance. Ugly.)

- Lack of aggression (this mostly pertains to Round 5, but even in other rounds I feel like I could have seized the initiative where instead I played passively.)

Feel free to add to this list in the comments.


Thanks for reading!