Sorry. I haven’t posted in a few days because I was with my company team at the Amateur Team East Tournament over the long weekend. I had played the North (Previously Titled Midwest) section of this tournament every year since 2004. The Eastern tournament bills itself as the largest tournament in the country each year and the largest team event in the world. This was my first weekend tournament since Amateur Team North last year, although I had played seven games in the DC Chess League (all wins!) in the intervening months.
Here’s a quick recap of round 1, with future rounds to follow.
Round 1: The team was playing down and won convincingly. I had black against a 1900 who was probably in high school. I equalized easily with black, but he forced me to trade a lot of pieces, so I was not sure that I would be able to win from this position:
The key imbalance is that white has an isolated pawn on d4, but I think that with accurate play he should be able to hold without too much trouble. Fortunately, I was able to improve my position for the next few moves, while white moved the queen around fairly aimlessly. By the time we reached the following position, things had begun to turn in my favor.
White hasn’t done much in the last few moves, while I’ve managed to improve my knight, queen and king. Here, I played Nb4, which forced Qb3 (I had hoped a bit for Qa3?? Nc2 --- Note: This doesn't actually work because of Qb3, pinning the queen.). I traded queens and marched the king over to snatch the d4 pawn. White defended fairly well down a pawn in the knight ending, but I think it was winning throughout.
I haven’t done a serious analysis of this and my remaining three games yet, but I’ll try to get some up in the next couple days. Here’s the complete first game without annotations. I was happy to win, but a little concerned that a 1900 was able to hold on for 64 moves and 4 1/2 hours.