It was one of those just barely make a tournament type of nights. Four of us showed up. The ratings ranged from 2200 down to my 1730. Being number four in the quad it could have been one of those butt ugly nights where I'd lose all three games. All three of my opponents I have losing records against. On the other hand I've beaten each of them at least once. Knowing that, I tried to stay positive about my chances. I played Jim in the first round and managed to draw. It's always nice to start a quad drawing with a master. I was better, but the clock was an issue for both of us, and I settled for the draw.
In the second round I played the 1900 and again I was better. I was up a pawn, and just couldn't get it done. In the position below I went pawn grabbing and ended out having to take a draw.
30. Qxb7? Better is 30. Bg2 Qf6 31. Be4+ Kh6 32. Qd7 f3 33. Qh3+. 30... f3! 31. Bf1 It took me awhile to find this one move that holds the position. 31...Qc1 32. Kg1 Qg5+ 33. Kh1 Qc1 34. Kg1 Qg5+ 35. Kh1 1/2-1/2
In the last round I played Gabor Schnitzler. We've played over 40 times, and my record against him is pretty pathetic. However lately I've had a good run against him, winning our last three games in a row until this past Thursday. Thursday I lost an ugly game where as Black I never got my pieces developed fully. In my effort to try to get an edge on the clock I had played too fast. Here's Thursday's game:
Unfortunately it not only cost me a little pride, but it also cost me the under 2000 prize. The game is illustrative of my recent difficulties playing Black against anything besides 1. e4.
In Sunday's quad we were paired against each other for the last round,so it would be a choosing for color. My track record in tossing or choosing for color is lame. I can't remember the last time I've actually won the toss. So continuing in that same vein, I end out with Black again. I decided I would play a little differently, but alas things didn't work out any better.
I got to find something to do against this random junk people play as White. It's getting annoying. Time to revamp the openings! I guess another thing to add to my list of things to do in 2009.