UC Berkeley at 2017 Pan-Ams Part 3
After getting wiped off the board by Texas Tech 0-4 in Round 3 of the Pan-Ams, UC Berkeley's momentum crashed into a wall as we ended up drawing our last 3 matches against slightly lower rated opponents in the form of Princeton,UMBC,and Columbia.
In round 4 UC Berkeley played against Princeton, and I played against Aaron Balleisen. I prepared a sideline of the Ruy since I didn't know what he played(turned out it was the Breyer), and the Rauzer. I emerged with an advantage out of the opening but misevaluated the position and forced a draw by perpetual in a equal position. It was a bit disappointing as I was hoping to press on for longer.
In round 5, UC Berkeley played the fairly strong team of UMBC, where I would be playing Tanguy Ringoir with the Black pieces. He is a GM and 100 points higher rated than I, so I wouldn't mind a draw. Besides, in this team situation I was hopeful that our other 3 boards could win the match for us now that UMBC's main advantage was neutralized. I briefly prepared the black side of a Ruy and the exchange slav, and was surprised when he played the Exchange slav. Evidently, he wanted to see if he could get a position to grind out of the opening if I messed up, but if I didn't, then it would be a quick draw.
This draw caught me by surprise, as I thought that my game would go on longer. We drew on all other boards. In the last round, UC Berkeley played columbia and tied the match, where our victory on board 4 was neutralized by a loss on board 3.
In the end, UC Berkeley got 18th place on tiebreaks. We were seeded 13th at the start, so this was a slightly below average result for us. Ohio State University did a great job of hosting the event, as the tournament was run smoothly and they provided goodie bags for us. Pan-Ams 2018 will be held at the SFO Hyatt, and UC Berkeley plans on performing better.