Winter Springs Open

I took clear first in the Under 1800 section

Round 1

I won a piece, and then struggled against a determined opponent.  It’s weird how I often have to “play myself into” a tournament.

Round 2

Not a well-played game, but obviously I played better than my opponent (who shows a lot of promise!).  For example, on move 32…Rxh2+?  I saw the right move (32…Rf5, but wasn’t sure why it was best and so succumbed to this dud instead – curiously, my intuition was correct that the former was probably the right move, and this move was probably not working for some reason, but I was in time-pressure and this was the easier move to go with).  Luckily, my opponent resigned.  I wonder if he realized that I cannot trade rooks because my pawn will not queen on a square of the same color as my bishop?  Nevertheless, it was a relief when he did.

I made some other mistakes, but could have won quickly with 20.Rd2! rather than 20.Rhf8.  Give me credit for surviving what seemed like a terrifying attack at the time (I saw his piece-sac before he played it, but didn’t believe it).

Round 3

An odd, interesting game which ended too soon for my opponent.  The analysis would probably be more interesting, and fruitful than what acutally happened OTB, even though my opponent was a rather thoughtful player.

Round 4

I’ve never gone into a last round needing only a draw to win a tournament with clear first place before, it’s a situation that I’ve only really read about in books, or maybe a magazine before.

Day one was the “back-breaker” of the two, although I was feeling sick on both days, and much moreso on the second day.  In fact, I had half an hour remaining on my clock at the end of Round 3, and I only used a total of twenty minutes on my clock for Round 4.  Luckily, Anthea also only needed a draw to either take clear second place, or to share it with one other player.

For the record, I didn’t feel sorry for the other players because Anthea’s third round opponent had flagged when she was up five pawns or so (I had left two hours earlier thinking she was about to checkmate him), and eventually drew her (she didn’t notice his flag when that had happened).  So, all in all, I think the result of our section of the tournament was quite fitting.

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3 thoughts on “Winter Springs Open

  1. Round 1 – nice trap in the opening.
    You overplayed him convincingly afterwards.

    Round 2 – 16. c4 was better than Qf3.
    Bb7 one move earlier was winning – 20… Bb7 21. Qe6 Rd2 22. Rg1 Qh4
    Yeah, 31… Rxh2+ was a mistake, Rf5 was winning.
    He missed a draw playing 34. Kg4 instead of gxf4.

  2. Round 3 – his 5… g5 and 10… f6 look very non-positional, so he had to pay for that very soon.

    Round 4 – grandmaster draw – sometimes you need it. 🙂

  3. Round 1 I was feeling shaky, so thanks for that kudos! 🙂

    Right, in Round 2 with 16.c4 he would get a passed-pawn out of it. I thought that’s what he would play, but I wasn’t thinking about the passed-pawn so much at that time as too big of a threat. 20…Bb7, 21.Qe6 Rd2; right, I didn’t even see that he couldn’t take my queen there – playing with too much fear.

    Round 3, he played 5…g5 very quickly, which made me think he had prepared it with some computer or internet games, since we are so still in book before this move, but now I think you are right, that …f6 proved that he didn’t really know what he was doing after all.

    Round 4. Thanks! Yeah, I didn’t want to risk it just for rating points; plus, I felt it would be obnoxious if I continued to play for the win, but I shouldn’t have felt that way, that part of my thinking was wrong. Still, it was the thing to do in that situation, particularly as I was feeling ill, and was quite ill later that night. 😉

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