2012 Newport Summer Open Round 5
In round 5 I had 2.5/5 and I was paired with John Chung, the top seed for the event. I was obviously the underdog by 300 points, but I had been playing well, and he had been playing poorly. He lost to David Wen (on time, but materially slight deficit). And I think he lost to Paul Shannon as well.
I had played John twice before, once in the Run Chess event where I got a nice & lucky checkmate in a time scramble where he was up an exchange. And once in last summer's Newport open when I played the Budapest Gambit and lost in miserable fashion of 20 odd moves.
Adding a little extra gravitas to the situation was that because it was round 5 and I had 2.5/5 I was leading the Under 1800 section, but another U1800 had 2 pts and another had 1.5 pts, and the 1.5 point player was paired with a player rated 800 so it was pretty much locked that he would win putting him at 2.5 also. The prize fund isn't really that much of a consideration, but it did motivate me to be a little be more accurate with my moves rather than just flippantly playing with the assumption I would lose regardless of how I tried to play (sort of why I played the Budapest against John in 2011).
By getting a half point out of John I accomplished several things. I secured first under 1800 for my prize pool, I got my first half point against an expert, and I was able to head home at a reasonable hour for father's day barbeque. I hadn't had anything all game, and he was slightly better, but nothing really to play for, so I think the draw was a fair result.
Playing this good has me motivated to try a little harder and study a little more, and do these blogs in reasonable time rather than waiting months and months, so hopefully this will keep up for a while!