Monday, September 29, 2014

Finish with a win! Top Five!

With medal hopes resting on this game, I went with d4 for white. My opponent, Kaumandur Raghunandan played the Slav, and we soon got into a complex position after he made a new move. I felt I was much better, but when he played the a5 shot, I immediately knew that I was worse. I went into a pawn-down middlegame, but with two bishops. My opponent was in time pressure, and I used this to win back my pawn with some tactics. Eventually, we went into an endgame, but on the last move before time control, my opponent lost a pawn. In the endgame, I sacrificed my extra pawn, but eventually won his knight. I won the rook-and-bishop vs. rook endgame with a mate. I ended up with 8/11, but the results I needed on boards 2 and 3 didn't happen. I tied for fourth with Alexey Sarana, the Russian who I lost to, but the tiebreaks were changed; they went from number of wins to number of opponents' points. My tiebreaks were pretty bad, and I ended up finishing fifth. Overall, it was a good tournament and my best ever World Youth finish!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Seventh Win!

     With black against Yuanhe Zhao, I surprised him on the first move. We eventually got into an equal position, and after we traded pieces, we ended up in a queen endgame. I was pushing for a win by allowing him chances to mess up. On the move before time control, he made the decisive mistake and resigned soon after. I now have 7/10 and actually still have a chance at medals if I win and results go my way. Tomorrow, I am playing Kaumandur Raghunandan, a 2370 Indian, with white on board 5.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Third Loss

Today, I played against Alexey Sarana, a 2430 from Russia. He caught me off guard in the opening, making me use 30 minutes on the fifth move. From there on out, I was in time trouble, and could never get back in the game. I eventually went into a pawn-down rook endgame, and he was able to win quite easily. Alexey was extremely strong, and I think that he was better than me in all aspects today. I now have 6/9 and have black on board 9 against Yuanhe Zhao, from China.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Craziness in the eighth!

Today, I had black against Zhandos Agmanov, a 2150 from Kazakhstan. We went into a French, but my opponent didn't prepare well for the line I played. He spent a large amount of time, but got a decent position. Then, he started attacking me, I thought for a long time, considering his queen sacrifice, and decided that I was better in the following position. If my opponent didn't sack his queen, he would have an even position. However, he thought for thirty minute before taking two pieces for the queen. Then, the onus was on me to prove that I was better. I found a strong move, forcing him to take a rook and a knight for a queen. Later I won another pawn, then we went into huge complications. He had a lot of mate and perpetual threats, but I eventually found a way to defend everything. Zhandos eventually succumbed to my far advanced past pawns. After this win, I have 6/8 and could possibly be paired up next round.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Seventh Round

     With the white pieces against Alisher Suleymenov from Kazakhstan, I was expected a Benko Gambit since that is what my opponent had played last, but I had also prepped for Grunfeld. Since there were no games in the database with me playing either of those openings, I assumed that I would be better prepared than my opponent. He played the Grunfeld, but was soon thinking for a long time about the way to play. I built up a huge time advantage; my opponent was down to 23 minutes by move 15. I sacrificed a pawn in the opening, but got a crushing center. I won the pawn back and another. I made a few moves to test him with some tactics, but then went for a positional plan. He came up with a tactical shot that didn't work so well after some solid moves, but we traded queens right before time control. I had an easily winning endgame, but my opponent took a lot of time, leading to a finish at around 8:20. Tomorrow, I have black on board 7 against another Kazakh player, 2151-rated Zhandos Agmanov.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dreaded Double Day (part 2)

     Playing white against Polish Igor Janik, I had two minutes left and an important decision to make. Take the draw with a repetition, or press and risk losing. I had had a slight advantage from the opening, but messed up in time pressure to lose it. I then made the wrong, dumb decision of playing on. I got a down-a-pawn rook endgame which should have been holdable, but after wasting two inaccurate moves, I was much worse, and probably lost.
     In the sixth round, I had the misfortune of playing the US player, Brandon Nydick. I had black and in fact, the opening was the same as the one in the morning. It was the line that I play against the King's Indian and this time, I was on the opposite side. My opponent didn't seem to know the opening well, hesitating with some move order switches that I threw in. He made two inaccuracies and allowed me to get a giant queenside attack on his king. After this, he was probably lost.
     On the rest day, Rayan Taghizadeh, Craig Hilby, and I all went to the gym, like usual, before breakfast. After that, we went to play soccer outside. It wasn't a good idea on account of our full stomachs. However, the interesting part is that some South Africans joined us. Eventually, we had a whole group of boys dressed in traditional costumes playing, and we had no idea who is going which way! My dad and I went to the beach and I got some good pictures of the waves attacking him! Tomorrow, with 4/6, I will be playing white against Alisher Suleymenov, a 2100 from Kazakhstan, on board 10.

Monday, September 22, 2014

First Loss...

     My Armenian opponent, Haik Martirosyan, was a strong, solid player. He has a similar style to me, but with more experience. In a Nimzo Indian, my opponent played a weird move order, which allowed me to plant a knight on d6. I felt I was better even after he traded knights, and after a long combination, I knew my position was good. My pieces were active and his were cramped, but he had some chances with his queenside pawns. I made a mistake, allowing him to trade rooks, but if I had kept them on the board, I would have been better. The following endgame was still equal, but I blundered a combination. He put his knight on a1 (the corner) and it consolidated his position. He was able to win soon after. I would have pushed on anyway, but I feel that I played the endgame too fast.
      3/4 is not bad, but I need to do well tomorrow to stay in contention. It is another tough double day tomorrow, and my morning round is against Igor Janik from Poland. There are only four perfect and three with three and a half so anybody can catch up. Wish me luck!