Monday, September 25, 2006

East Bay Chess Club September Swiss

So this tournament started out as an absolute disaster for me. I was playing down roughly 300 points in round one and after having a much better position from the opening I was lucky not to lose, but I could not find a reasonable way of playing on down the exchange so I took the perpetual and drew. In round 2 I played this kid (who had an excellent result in the tournament) in a Najdorf. I got nothing from the opening (maybe less) and was fortunate he fell for a tactical trick where I won 2 pawns and a queen for a Bishop and Rook, unfortunately he had his own tactical tricks that I missed with his very active pieces and managed to simplify into a drawn same color bishop endgame (which he played the first few moves of quite well) which we drew shortly. Round 3 was another comedy, this one with a less tragic ending to it when I got a much better position right from the opening then my opponent "sacrificed" an exchange after which I missed a simple fork to win ANOTHER exchange, but it didn't matter much as I quickly won the technical position that arose, still not particularly promising that I went to sleep for the second game in a row once I had a winning position. Especially when it caused me to miss a tactic few 1200s would miss even 1 out of 20 games. The last round was bad in one glaring way, I failed to see a relatively simple tactic to win a WHOLE PIECE on move 14, I declined 2 separate draw offers during the game, the first in a complicated position where I was fairly convinced I wouldn't lose under normal circumstances, the second in a position where I already felt I was truly better and really from that point I felt I ground out a nice win. In the final position I'm up only a pawn but shredder showed an evaluation of -5 (I was black again) after thinking for a while even though there was no immediate win and the position involved paralysis which is one of my favorite chess themes to implement (probably too much). Anyways, somehow with my terrible play I managed to score an undefeated 3/4 and not lose too many rating points. My guess is I'll drop somewhere between 2-6 rating points for the tournament which considering my play I consider a tremendous success. I was particularly happy in my NOT TAKING DRAWS FROM BETTER POSITIONS, now I just need to do this against higher rated players.

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