Monday, May 26

Change Your Fortunes by Reentering!

I don't pay the extra fee to reenter often, but if there ever is a time to do it, this tournament was that opportunity. After languishing with 0.5 out of the first 3 rounds at the Chicago Open, I could either play on for pride or reenter into the accelerated 2-day schedule. For once in my life, I made the right choice.

Actually, my first G/45 contest in the 2-day schedule didn't go so well. I was being outplayed by an expert, a phenomenon that I became accustomed to earlier this weekend. Fortunately, I had a time advantage of 15 minutes to 1 second (with 5 second delay) and eventually, despite my bad position, I was able to win on time. At the end of the four rounds of G/45, I had a solid score of 3.5/4, including this tactical miniature as black in the Sveshnikov against FM Renard Anderson. Battling fatigue after nearly six hours of play in the evening, I managed to win an even endgame against NM Chris Nienart. Unfortunately, I would have gotten to bed two hours sooner if I had seen 34.Bh6+ Kf6 35.Bc4 (threatening Rf2 mate) g5 36.Bxa6 Rxa6 37.Nb4 (I missed this knight fork).

Somehow, after the terrible start, I now sit in second place with 4.5 out of 5, good for a performance rating of 2588. As the tournament organizer, Bill Goichberg, astutely pointed out, I raised the level of my play by about 1000 points. My opponent this morning is Gylfi Thorhallsson of Iceland, an older gentleman who has a perfect 5-0 score, including wins against IM Richard Costigan and top rated WFM Tatev Abrahamyan. Wish me luck!

In other news, IM Josh Friedel has 3.5 out of 5 after drawing with GM Varuzhan Akobian and remains in the hunt to meet the 2500 FIDE rating requirement for the Grandmaster title. He stands half a point out of first place. You can watch the top boards live on MonRoi. On the other hand, teenager Rohan Agarwal cooled off a bit on Sunday, losing both games.

Update on Monday afternoon: Thorhallsson 1/2-1/2 Aigner. Thorhallsson now has 5.5 while I am part of a group of 4 or 5 players tied for second at 5.0.

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