In round two the team ran into trouble quickly on the even number boards, but the heroic effort deep into the knight by Justin Burgess on board three allowed us to tie the match. I played one of my better games of the event. After the opponent misplayed the opening I got this great looking position:
I knew that with the lead in development and so much aimed at the center and kingside, there had to be a breakthrough but it was hard to find. My first instinct was e6, fxe6, dxe6, Ne5 where it seemed that black was getting active. Then I looked at Ne4, which gets nowhere thanks to black’s c3! Finally, I came back to e6, but with an improvement in mind:
e6, fxe6, Rxe6!
Black has no good squares for his e8 rook which was the only defender of the back rank. The game continued:
Rxe6, dxe6, Nxg3!? (Not forced, but there isn’t anything better), Kxg3
and I converted the extra piece without much difficulty.
Round three was by far my worst round of the event. I misplayed the opening against an 1800 and had to struggle (and rely on some mistakes) to enter a very slightly better night endgame. Fortunately, he saved me a long and possibly fruitless endgame grind by blundering a pawn and resigning immediately.
Short on time before reaching move forty, white played g6? and resigned after Nd6+.
I’m still analyzing my fourth and final game from the weekend, against IM Mark Tyler Arnold. I’ll post on that game later this week.