Recap of the 61st Maryland Open

A few weeks ago I played in the 61st Maryland Open. As usual the conditions were fantastic. Mike runs a fantastic tournament. My readers should make an attempt to play in his events. He works hard and we need more progressive minded people in the chess world. I did my new routine leading up to this tournament. My results were disappointing. I only managed to score 2/4 despite playing down every round. I took the day off Friday from work so I could travel Thursday night. I thought it would allow for a more relaxed environment. It didn’t help. I still lost to someone lower rated than me in the first round after blundering like a moron. Quite a frustrating experience.

I look back on this tournament and to me it just seems like I missed a lot of opportunities in all my games. My one win was sloppy and in every game I got a better position only to spoil it somehow to a draw (or worse). In the future I am going to play in at least one local event before playing in a major tournament. This time around my schedule didn’t permit it. It seems that lately I’ve been unable to spare my weekends for chess-related activities.

My second round opponent completely butchered the opening. I obtained a good position early on:

After that I was pretty disappointed. I was optimistic that I could still actually play chess. I’m proud of myself for not just withdrawing after the difficult first round game. This next game is a pretty good example of my sloppy play. It seems to me that dubious moves seem to creep in when I haven’t played much over the board. It felt like I had to win this game three times before my opponent finally resigned. He could have resigned a lot earlier. My technique was so bad I don’t blame him for holding out hope for a draw:

The fourth round is a good example of my technique failing me. I’ve played this guy once before. We played the same line as we did last year with some improvements from both sides. I obtained an edge but somehow it wasn’t ever enough. He defended quite well and I was disappointed that I couldn’t score the full point. This game is important because in the critical moment, I played too hastily. Remember everyone, haste makes waste. I withdrew after this game as I was out of the prize money and wanted to get back on the road earlier.

This was a pretty disappointing tournament for me. My games had many errors and dubious moves. I think it’s imperative for me to play over the board in the leading up to the tournament.

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