Eastern Open 2014, part 2

Jan 2, 2015, 5:18 AM |

In the fourth round, I played as black against a teenager whom I had already met in March at UMBC. Back then, he hung a piece early in the game. His rating has improved a lot since then, and he had a good tournament, finishing well ahead of me, but in this game he fell victim to a thematic King's Indian tactical shot. I was quite satisfied with the way I converted that advantage to a win. It is almost comical how my bishop moved five times between d4 and e5, every time with a useful purpose:


I took a 1/2-point bye in the fifth round to avoid playing two games per day for three straight days. It didn't help my result - I lost my last two games - but it did help me not be exhausted after the tournament ended.
In the sixth round, I finally got to play an opponent rated about 100 points higher than me. Playing white, I got a large development advantage after he oddly undeveloped his bishop at move 7, and I was building a promising attack, but I first missed a practically forced win 17.Qc2, and then the counter-blow 21...Nxd4, which I could have easily prevented, e.g., by playing f4 at one of several opportunities.


In the last round, I was black against a tiny kid whom I had faced and defeated in May, when he was only 7 years old, and 11th in the nation for his age. Now he is 8, and 6th in the nation for that age. His rating is more than 200 points higher than 7 months ago, and is higher than mine. I made an early error that neither of us saw (12.Qa4!), then got a good game after his premature pawn push, but then I misjudged the endgame position arising from the exchange on c3 (25...Qxc3 wins) and eventually blundered into a mating net. 30...Rc5 would defend; I had 13 minutes for the last 11 moves, but after only 3 minutes moved Qxa3 in desparation.