Chesapeake Open 2016

May 7, 2016, 7:39 PM |

It's been a long time since this tournament, held at the Rockville Hilton over the MLK Day weekend, but I've been busy with other stuff and it took me a while to analyze my games. Chesapeake Open was expanded to seven rounds this year, which is nice - two extra tournament games for the same entry fee. I decided to play in the 3-day schedule, so the first two games were played at a faster time control (game in 45 with a 30 second increment per move). The remaining five games were played at 40/90, G/30, also with a 30 second increment.

My round 1 game was my second-longest tournament game ever by the number of moves. I got a good position early on, had some clear winning opportunities, but I missed them, and was heading to an equal endgame. However, I misplayed that transition and suddenly found myself in a worse endgame. At that point, I went for the best drawing chances - a rook-and-pawns endgame with all pawns on one side of the board. For a while, I was able to keep the position drawn, but there is no room for errors when you are a pawn down.

That game took so long that, by the time I found a place to get coffee, I was late for the next game. I played poorly in the opening and got in serious trouble, but my opponent missed his chances and allowed me to counterattack.

Round 3 was a lot like the previous game, but with roles reversed. My young opponent played poorly in the opening, and I had a winning position, but panicked over his 23.Nc7, made a couple of bad mistakes, and my position collapsed. He finished me off with admirable precision.

My 4th round game was essentially decided by my opponent's one tactical oversight.

After that short morning game, I had a long evening game in round 5 - not a pleasant combination. It was an exhausting game in which I was trying to attack, but wasn't able to make progress, until my opponent finally went wrong, possibly due to fatigue.

In round 6, I played against an experienced opponent whom I defeated in an upset in last year's Chesapeake Open, when our pre-tournament rating difference was close to 200 points. This time, however, he had the upper hand.

My last opponent has been my most frequent opponent recently. This was our third game in less than a year. It featured what I'm pretty sure was the longest thought over a single move in all of my tournament games - 45 minutes for white's 12th.

I had some interesting games, though the quality was rather inconsistent. In terms of the result, I did OK, but not great. My rating went up, but only by a tiny bit, and I missed the Category 1 norm (as well as the lowest prize) by half a point.