Newport Open Round 1

Jun 20, 2011, 2:19 PM |

Just got back from another tournament everyone. I figured I should document my games here so if I lose my scoresheets, I can recreate the games anyway. It was a 5 round SS. Time controls 40/90 + SD/30. Pretty standard. I did a better job of using my time this tournament. Normally it is hard for me to spend more than 15-20 minutes a game. Occassionally 30. But this time, I played tougher opposition, and tried to slow down my level of play and reduce my blunder threshhold.

There was only 1 section to this, as opposed to Reserve & Open. (Reserve is limited to under 1800 USCF, Open is open to any USCF member regardless of their rating.) I think there were 4 players over 2000 there. I believe 26? total participants, though the TD would know better than me.

In the first round I was paired with Mikeal Davis. He is a strong player rated ~2050. My rating was about 1650. Clearly a big underdog, but I thought I played well. The rest of my thoughts will be in the game itself.

A loss is always a disappointing way to start. But in a swiss with high-low pairings the first round, and I'm the low, its not all that unexpected to lose the first round.

Some thoughts on the game overall:

I thought I did pretty good in the opening. I didn't get immediately crushed, he pressed hard with his pawns but I avoided it. Both of us missed Nxf2, but its really just a glaring blunder that I shouldn't be making at the level I am at. My pieces were tangled the entire game. The knight didn't really feel right on e2 and it never really had anywhere to go. My rook I put in the corner then got trapped there. I thought I wanted him there to protect against some Nxh3 gxh3 Bxh3 types of sacrifices, where my king would end up stranded with 2 connected passed pawns and whatever pieces backing them up. But it turns out, I never got the rook out.

I needed to calm down and pace myself in the series of pawn exchanges that resulted from his c6 blunder. If I had looked at my position and thought about improving my pieces, b5 is rather obvious given it makes a nice square for my bishop and lets my king start moving, and then my rook also.

I need to be more cautious when my king is being attacked. I thought I would be able to hold the pawnstorm, but it busted up my wall and his knight very quickly came into the game and made my pieces look terrible.

I'll write about round 2 later today, or maybe tomorrow depending on motivation. May Caissa smile on you.