Last weekend I played in the Vortex CC monthly Round Robin in Framingham MA. As usual, my work travel and other commitments meant that I had little time for structured prep. However I have been studying the Sicilian Najdorf through the DHLC "Learn the Opening" online tournament, and intermittently doing tactics. The format of the tournament is Round Robin at G30 with 5 sec delay. The "seed" for the Round Robin is chosen at random, as part of the pairing process. Eight players, means each player has seven opponents. There are six rounds, so each player will play everyone but one player.
Rd 1 - G/30, d5, lose - White with Caro-Kann, 3.Nc3, lack luster play, capped off by a blunder at the end
Rd 2 - G/30, d5, lose - Black with Sicilian Grand Prix Attack, with a very exciting finish, me with 4 seconds on the clock, and my opponent with 20 seconds
Rd 3 - G/30, d5, lose - Black with Bogo-Indian, 5.g3, just enough confusion to go astray
Rd 4 - G/30, d5, win - White with Scotch, 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.e5 resulted in a passed pawn that made a difference
Rd 5 - G/30, d5, lose - Black with Sicilian, failed to steer to Najdorf, fairly solid, this was against the strongest player in the tournament and he said he thought my performance level in the game was ~1600-1700
Rd 6 - G/30, d5, lose - White with Sicilian Grand Prix Attack, exciting attack, but not enough oomph to get the point, and this was a grudge match from Vortex Round 1 in June
It is worth pointing out that I am the "cannon fodder" for the group, meaning that I play when they need an even number of players. The bulk of the group is rated 200-500 points higher than me. Therefore even though I only won one game, my rating went up 10 points. Overall, I'm happy with my results. Of course I'd like to win more (who wouldn't?) but that will happen as I improve. I'm using the opportunity to blog about my games as part of my improvement strategy.
The next six blogs will give a brief description of each round's game, with some light analysis.