The end of Washington International was a blur. Round 8, my opponent no-showed, but I was lucky enough to get paired with a house player, 2331 rated John Rouleau. We played with a slightly shortened time control - game in 90 with a 30 second increment. In that time control, my slightly overconfident pawn sacrifice worked well. Black's position was sound for most of the game, but unpleasant to defend in time pressure. Eventually he cracked, giving me my second win of the event.
The coffee I drank to stay awake for round 8 came back to haunt me as I slept poorly before the final round. I had considered withdrawing, but with 2.5/3 in the last few rounds, I was now in prize contention. I played an uninspiring last round game against IM Roberto Martin Del Campo. I was doing well for most of the game, but didn't concentrate well in a couple of critical moments and found myself in a lost endgame.
This result left me at 3.5/9 for the tournament, and a performance nearly identical to my pre-tournament rating. I gained a single rating point to reach 2325, an easier number to remember than it had been before the nine-round marathon.
I'm planning on taking a few critical moments from the games so far and making a quiz, so please check in again later this week.