Monday, 18 July 2011

Philadelphia International 2011 Part 2

by Junta
So we entered the second half of the Philadelphia International Open, from Round 6, on the night of June 26th. I was pleased with how the opening as Black went (I'm quite fond of hedgehog structures), but after popping a pawn on move 27, things suddenly turned sour and my opponent could have soon won a clear exchange. Instead, a pawn was offered back, and in the subsequent endgame, although the logical outcome was a draw, I won on move 57.

This game was memorable for something other than the moves on the board. The arbiter had set our clocks, but wrongly - it transpired in the latter stages of the game, that 40 seconds, maybe even a minute, was being added each move, instead of the 5 second delay, and we hadn't taken notice. The game begun from 6pm, and 1:30am. This was the longest game of my life, and certainly one of the most exhausting.

Round 7: A comfortable win. When sacrificing with 25.Bxh5, I thought "hmm, a nice finish with 32.Qxh5+ and 33.g6#", but after playing 29.Rf5 I realised it won't be mate because my Rf5 is attacked! Luckily, Black's pieces are so tied up that they cannot prevent another winning sacrifice (Nxf7). Moulthun drew with Robert Perez, my tormentor from Round 3, in Round 6, and an IM in Round 7.

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Leading scores after Round 7:
1. Gerzhoy 6.5 (!)
2. Lenderman 5.5
3-8  Garcia, Ly, Perez, Romanenko, Adu, Rasch 4.5

I reached three consecutive wins with a rollercoaster game in Round 8 - after the interesting opening, I was slightly better in the middlegame, but nearing move 40 I lost control, and was down an exchange. After avoiding my two cheapos, he saw but miscalculated my third (most stylish), and I was back in the game - we both wanted to win from that point, but avoiding drawish lines was perilous for him, and my queen+two bishops turned deadly in mutual time trouble.

(show chess board)(hide chess board)

In Round 9, Moulthun and I were paired on Board 4, and we had a fairly peaceful draw (he took half a point off Gerzhoy in Round 8, and finished undefeated, albeit with 2 wins and then all draws).

Leading final scores:
1. Gerzhoy 8
2. Lenderman 7
3. Garcia 6
4-7 Ly, Ikeda, Piasetski, Perez 5.5

Round 9 was on the morning of the 28th, but there was no after-tournament rest - the World Open began on that night. There may be a fairly quick post on it later. Check out Moulthun's first post below also.

Apologies for the lack of photos from Philadelphia, we barely took any there, not because it wasn't a nice place (it was), but the back-to-back tournaments didn't leave energy for much else...we should have plenty in the Netherlands :)

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