Monday, January 28, 2013

Red Deer Open

I played in the Red Deer Open last weekend.  I had to travel to Calgary for meetings on Monday so I was able to go down one day early and play.  I left home at 8:30 AM on Saturday, drove for 4.5 hours, had some lunch, and was ready for round 2 at 2 PM.

My round 2 game was as black against an unrated opponent Harry Peralta.  It was his first tournament but he was obviously a strong player tactically.  He had beaten Bill Bently (1859) in round 1 and finished with 3/5 and will probably have an initial rating of close to 1900.  He made a mistake in the opening that I should have seen and have been winning after 4 moves but I missed it.  Then I just played passively and badly and had a hopelessly cramped position.  Luckily he made a mistake while playing quickly and I was able to equalize and then sac some pawns to free myself then force a checkmate.  1.5/2.

My round 3 game was as white against Adam Harris (1772).  I tried to play a Closed Sicilian too aggressively and Adam was able to force the exchange of pawns in the center.  After that it was an open Sicilian and he played the position much better than me and eventually won.  After the game it was obvious talking with him that he had a lot of theoretical knowledge on the Sicilian lines.  He had a great tournament beating the top rated Vlad Rekson (2189) in round 1 and finishing with 3.5/5 with a bye and should gain many points.  1.5/3.

My round 4 game was as white against Neyef Daher (1804).  It was an even game throughout until we got down to a same color bishop and pawns endgame.  I turned down two draw offers and pressed on until he made a mistake.  I was able to win a pawn and then two and won soon after.  2.5/4.

My round 5 game was as black against Aaron Sequillion (2080) who was having a good tournament and tied for 1st with 3.5/4.  I have played Aaron before and was surprised when he played 1.d4.  We played a Kings Indian and I ended up with the better position after the opening.  After that the game went back and forth several times and was very tactical.  My king was completely exposed but I was up a pawn.  Near the end he had a completely won position but we both missed the winning move.  The computer says that it was a draw on the last move when Aaron blundered his Rook into a mate in 2.

So I finished with 3.5/5 and tied for second with Aaron Sequillion and Adam Harris.  Lukas Beaudry won with 4.5/5.  Itohan Gold, Atheer Jawad and Harry Peralta had 3/5.  This was probably my best result but I felt that I missed a lot at the board.  I feel I played better in my last tournament than this one overall but only scored better because luck was with me and not against me – then again there is no luck in chess.

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