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My Strongest Tournament Victory - 3.10.12, Oestreich Memorial

This game was played in my hometown two years ago (2012). I was playing a guy from Indiana who was rated nearly 500 points higher than me. It was the first time I had ever beaten a Class A player. I ended the tournament with a perfect score - 3/3 and received first place. I had always planned for white to play the anti-Sicilian (Alapin) whenever I play the Sicilian. My plan is to always play ...d5 on the second move. He responds 3. exd5 and I recapture the pawn with my queen on move 3. I surprised myself a bit on move 5 by playing ...a6. The move looked too passive but in hindsight I think it was a very important move and it helped me build a strong position for the opening as it prevents white from moving the bishop to b5. The rest of the game was fairly simple. He just made a tactical blunder in the middle of the game and I capitalized on it by winning his rook. I remember punching in the numbers on my computer when I got home that night and I discovered that I had a performance rating of over 2300 ELO, which is well into the master class. This tournament is coming up again next month and I hope I win it again. I'll keep everyone informed. Thanks for reading.


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I was satisfied with my results in last weekend's tournament. I got really discouraged after a heart-breaking loss in round 2 to a player rated 300 points higher than me. I call it "heart-breaking" because for a while I was up a pawn and had the advantage. I got too exhausted by the time we reached the endgame, and I lost my ability to focus. I caughed up a couple of pawns and resigned. I imagine if I could have won that game I would have had much better results for this tournament. But, I was still satisfied with myself because I came out of this tournament with a positive score (more wins than losses).

I think I may have over-done it by going to two major tournaments within a couple weeks of each other when I haven't been very active in tournament chess over the past few years. Oh well, I learned a lot.

I must also add that I defeated two children (rounds 1 & 6). Why do I mention this? Because when I play kids in the 7 - 11 age range I usually do rea…