Las vegas tournament- half time analysis

NM smalugu

I have 2 hours to go before the next round and instead of indulging in gambling and escaping reality, I thought of doing a little introspection analysis here of what went wrong and correct. I am playing in the U-2200 section of las vegas open, and I am in the top 5 seeds for my section. This is the first time ever I am playing in a section other than the 'top' section. I have mixed feeling about this, I never thought I would not be competing for the absolute best, but also this tournament involves a lot of money, so I thought I would stand a good chance to gain something here. One painful thing to be in mind is I have to be very careful in this section because most of my games I would be playing against lower rated players and I have to win against them to maintain my rating. Winning is not simple!

Right now I stand at 2/3 a bad score but what I am saddened is more by my blunder rather than my result. Let's first see the game that I lost now.


I saw Bg5 move when I am about to press the clock! What's going on in my mind? Has vegas got into me or something? How can I miss this simple move that traps my queen?

What has gone wrong, I made a serious blunder. Am I new to this? No, when I starting now I was very much like this, getting excited and carried away by the greatness of my plans. I am reading in this Kebu's article that most of the blunders are made in a heightened state of excitement and I think this is what happened to me. I was tempted by the great classical KID struggle ahead and was only thinking of my opponent moves that would help my plan. I am not thinking his best move or better yet - thinking in his shoes for my imaginary move.

Honestly speaking, I should have gotten this treatment even in my first round, I again missed an obvious move and had to sacrifice my queen for 2 pieces. I only won because my opponent was in time pressure and did not make the right moves. Let's see that game now.

We can debate about my opponent missing winning chances allover and me exploiting his time pressure. But the main point here is why did I miss g4 and Qc2? It's not a difficult move nor its not a move that failed to consider in before moves. Has my mind cheated me into not thinking the only good move at that exact instance? A ridiculous way to cover up my mistakes. I am getting carried away by winning chances and not playing accurately.
The second game my opponent missed a tactic and allowed me to be up by 2 pawns even in that game I made mistakes and have given him counter play.
So, the recurring theme here is missing opponents best moves and ideas. My mission for the next 3 games is not to win money, its to avoid this exact theme. I want to play better games and do my absolute best. Judging from the form I am in its difficult for me gain any prize but I will find all my opponents moves and will not get carried away by my emotional excitement.