Hey everyone! I apologize for this late post which talks about my most recent tournament. I had a really good time in Cocoa Beach during the tournament and even when I wasn’t playing. Not only did I play strong opposition but I got to explore and relax at the hotel which has a beach and other activities to do when you want to kill time. I didn’t exactly do as well as I hoped to do, but at least I learned from my mistakes against my opponents.
Ayush Maddikonda(1168) vs Brendan Savage(1304): Sicilian Defense/Nadjorf – Black Resigned
This kid… he didn’t just beat the Sicilian, he KILLED IT. He managed to pull off the Fried Liver attack against me, which I did not expect him to do in this kind of opening. Because my king pawn was on e5 instead of e6, he zoned in on f7 and I had to sacrifice my queen pawn to stop the knight fork. I should have either played h6 to protect g5 or play Be7 and castle short, which would sucker him into trading a bishop and knight for a rook and a pawn. For the rest of the game, he stayed on the attack and he eventually knocked down the wall of Jerico. After the game, I told his father how much genius and raw talent Ayush possesses at his age.
Round 1 (Re-entry)
Nathan Foo(1140) vs Brendan Savage(1304): D4 – Draw by Agreement
I got SOOOOOO lucky in the end game. He had a big attack on my kingside with his queen and rook that in this game I also did not get to attack. I had to keep responding to his threats, which gives him so much tempo on me. We got into bishops of opposite color, and then he blundered away some pawns which turned the game into a draw.
Brendan Savage(1304) vs Jancarlo Cruz(1369): French Defense/Advanced Variation(Transposed) – Draw by Agreement
I opened up with the Smith-Morra Gambit, but instead of going in to the main lines, my opponent forced a transposition which I was contempt with. In the late middlegame I pulled off a tactic which won me a pawn. In the endgame I sacrificed my extra pawn to get the opposition. When my opponent offered a draw, I did not answer right away, and instead I calculated what would happen. I would get a Queen before him but he would have two pawns on the queenside. Because I did not and still do not know how to win that position, I accepted the draw.
William Leinthall vs Brendan Savage(1304): Sicilian Defense/Closed – Draw by Agreement
This was the only game where I played more actively than my opponent. He kept forcing exchanges with minor and heavy pieces, which then made our pawns get locked up in front of each other. When I offered a draw, he declined and said “Nuh uh! You got no where to run!” I just shrugged, played it out, and then he finally agreed to a good old handshake. I could tell by the look on his face that he was not happy with the result.
Brendan Savage(1304) vs Stephen Barrick: Ruy Lopez – White Resigned
My mistake in this game was not going for a d4 push soon enough to bust open the center and get into my comfort zone. I played d3 instead to protect my e pawn, and he took advantage of that by playing Bg4. I kept trying to babysit my knight on f3, which was not the correct strategy. My moves were too passive, and then I blundered my g and h pawns when I tried to kick his bishop. I resigned when his queen and knight got into my kingside.
I withdrew before Round 5 started
The thing that I did not expect was for the majority of my opponents to be age 10 and under. Only one opponent was an adult, that being William Leinthall. As strange as this may sound, he was the only person that never made me feel threatened by his moves. The kids on the other hand played very active and had very good understanding of the positions we got in to. In the end, my total score was 1.5 out of 5, and my rating decreased by 40 points, putting me at 1264. The good news though is that I am officially an established rated player, which means that I am going to update my statistics page and remove my highest provisional rating. Based on the results I’ve been getting, I would say that I am a solid D player that knows how not to lose, but still needs major improvement on winning.