Jason L*ving won with 3.5/4.
Second place was 3 points out of 4.
I played Jason three times before, but not in this tournament. First time I won, and did well against him in blitz, but second time I dropped a piece in G/60 time-pressure, and third time my clock ran out right as I was making the next to last move for the draw. So, I can hang my hat for keeping up with the Class B players.
I got to play three new players in this tournament and one that I hadn’t played in a while, but she has improved tremendously and saw a lot, more than I did in the postgame. They were all nice opponents, and gave a tough fight.
For me, this was the ideal tournament. Woke up at normal hours, didn’t over-chess in the week leading up to it. You can never predict what will happen, but it feels good to have played without those drawbacks.
I’ll post my round 3 and 4 games in a little while.
Round 3, I played the first 9 moves in 13 minutes, but by move 20 had only 18 minutes left. I made my 40th move with 2 1/2 minutes left, and I had agreed with my opponent that we had made 40 moves. But I left to take a whiz when I realized that I did not press Black’s clock before moving as White, so it was still running. When I got to the board people were watching my 33 seconds count down (though I had made 40 moves), and I instantly played Bf4 and they walked away. lol.
The critical move of round 3 was when I played 17.Ng5-f3. I didn’t want to waste anymore time, but I immediately regretted not playing 17.Qh5 after playing it. I figured Black could have defended with 17…Rf8, but I lost all initiative and knew I was going to pay a price for not having played Rc1 beforehand.
17.Qh5 should win, this is a great example of a mating attack to study. Crafty prefers 17…Nd8, but I looked at 17..Rf8 (another reasonable-looking try). White simply completes development with Rac1, if ..Bb4 then Nb3, and then White plays f5! (it’s okay to sac the Ng5 with …hxN, and mate in a few moves) ++-. …g6, even if forking pieces, is simply one more nail in the kingside coffin. This is a move I should have spent and saved more time for. Actually, I saw Qh5 as soon as I picked up the knight, but I regretfully looked at it and thought he could have defended with …Rf8.
The try 17..Nd8 in reply to 17.Qh5 doesn’t completely defend either as then White can play 18.Ng5-f3 (at least Black’s knight isn’t going to b4 now), and then if Black replies with 18…f5, which is what I was mostly concerned about during the game, then 19.g4! fxg, 20.Qxg and Black’s defense is still muddled with f5 looming (+2 position) for White.
The tournament situation dictated that I go for a win and not try to hold it, but I got all loose and blundery. Luckily, this opponent made the mistake of trying to play quickly in my time-trouble (actually, I pace myself well in time-trouble, relying mostly on experience).
Round 4 was a pleasant surprise as I had an hour and seven minutes left after move 25, and finished the game with 26 minutes remaining. Can’t believe I actually paced a game!
I thought that my best game was the one that I lost, I simply had a moment of fatigue, which I guess is even easier to do if you get a little tired late and think the position should be a draw.
My last game was my second best game, but I think Katherine or Katie is really talented. She played better than me and analyzed better than I did, I simply had that knack of knowing what to do at the critical moment or so.
I think it was ‘my time’. Certainly I played a lot of bad chess, and made game losing blunders in round 3, but outplayed in complications. That is the thing, when it gets all “FICS-y” and yucky postion, tactical time, I have more experience of knowing what to do.
The part that helped me the most, chess-wise, is that I really have played more games than most Class B players that I faced. So, it wasn’t just analysis but who could better evaluate the position. I don’t think I am a better player than my last round opponent, but I have a subtle sense of what should be done when the position is still quiet, so that when it does get stormy it’s like “I knew this was coming, I could feel the position” sort of effect.