2004 Colorado Open Complete!posted by John Blanco @ 8:26 PM
The third and final day of the tournament is complete. Vibi and I had an up-and-down day.
In round 5, Vibi faced off against Dean Brown, a fixture of Colorado chess. I was lucky enough to face the only undefeated player in my section, Andrew something-or-other, as black! Yes, and since I knew the guy plays 1.e4, the French was ready!
Sure enough, I play the French and on his second move he pauses for quite a long time. Either he was trying to determine which variation he wanted to play (not likely), or he was trying to figure out what 1...e6 was? Very odd, I thought it a good sign.
Unfortuantely, it was not to be for me. While I played a great game, I made a couple of calculation mistakes, the second one costing me a knight for two pawns and, in effect, the game. The loss clinched a non-first-place finish for me and it was quite dissapointing seeing that I'd gotten so far in the tournament to have it end. Andrew was a great player, however.
Vibi earned an amazing draw against Dean Brown, down 3 pawns in an opposite-colored bishop ending!! Great work there!
In round 6, it was time for me to once again try to prove that I can win a "big game." I was paired with Thomas Roberts. As White, we played a Petroff which is amazing because I've studied an opening variation called the Kaufmann Attack, but I'd never gotten a chance to play it as no one ever played into it?! But Thomas did, and it was shaky. I was playing theory without having a full grasp of the point, but I figured out as I went and we played a wild tactical battle where I made an early exchange sac to rip open his kingside...likely unsound...and he and I both made mistakes in a crazy king hunt. But in the end...
I WON THIRD PLACE!
So perhaps my curse is over?? The win gave me clear 3rd place and I took home a healthy $100 prize...so I'm in the black. :) It's the second time I profited from a tourney and my highest finish ever (not including a couple HRCC tourneys).
So, after 3 long days, and excruciating competition (in the reserve section no less), and gaining a paultry 2 points on my rating (go figure, 1378 -> 1380), I am dead tired!! I don't even want to think about chess for a week...and even then...
So ow it's time for me to begin my strength training at Bally's. No more crazy chess study hours. Ahhh, sweet relief. :-)