Monday, November 13, 2006

EBCC Nov Swiss

I was quite lazy reporting on this disappointing result. Sam Shankland convinced me to play in this tournament at the East Bay Chess Club when normally I avoid tournaments with no or little chance of playing stronger opponents (yes I realize the paradox in this, but I'm not strong enough where I feel this is a real issue yet). He told me I would be the 5th seed in what is normally a small event so this looked like a good chance to play "up" in 2/4 rounds or more. However, when I arrived that Saturday (a little over a week ago now) I found out this was not the case at all and in fact I was the 2nd seed. So I started the tournament against a mid-A player who surprised me with a move that is probably objectively bad, but was quite difficult to find the best response to over the board. Fortunately, he soon when awry and played a sacrifice that I proved unsound due to a counter-sacrifice. I achieved an endgame that should be won with 2 Knights versus a rook, but the technical task was quite difficult and I messed it up a little bit an failed to win. Quite sad. The next round I played one inaccurate move in the opening in a Petroff and already a very sterile position was reached and after only slightly more than 20 moves the position was near dead so we shook hands. This wasn't quite as bad as the opponent was also an expert. I came back the next day looking to finally get a W on the board when I faced Adarsh Konda for the 3rd time in about 2 months as black. This time he again chose a different line against the Slav, I didn't choose the best reaction, but still got a very comfortable position from the opening. I held a slight advantage for a long time, but then near time control (due to missing my B.A.R.T train and also missing the first bus from the BART station I showed up 30 minutes late to the game) I played some inaccurate moves and I was on the slightly worse side of an endgame which I held without too much difficulty. In the last game I was playing another A-player looking for some blood after 3 draws in a row. After some opening inaccuracies on my part I already felt under pressure as white, but fortunately my opponent let me back in the game and at some point I traded into an endgame that I was almost positive would be winning or at least in practice winning for me, and after missing like 5 wins (but to be fair, they weren't trivial 1-move wins or anything, they required very concrete calculation, which is no excuse, but at least not as pathetic) I only managed to draw. So 4 draws in 4 rounds, incredibly disappointing and 2/4 is definitely my worst "undefeated" result ever.
Rating change: 2129 -> 2116

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