Sunday, August 12, 2007

Midstate Open Tournament, Peoria

I normally don't like to play in tournaments with a time controls faster than G/60, but decided to play in this G/45(with 5 sec delay), 4 round event. I finished 3-1=0. With wins against a 2000 and a 1861. But I lost to a 1659 after getting a great position.

NM Pete Karagianis won the tournament with 4-0 score. 4 tied for 2nd with 3-1.

Click here for USCF results

Click here for my games

In the first round I was paired against an unrated player. In the next three games I didn't manage my time well, but this was expected since I don't play G/45 that often.

In the 2nd round I was paired against a 2000 rated player. As a d4 player I don't have to deal with the Sicilian Defense, but when black plays 1...c5 after 1.d4, I don't like to play d5. I was talking about this to my expert friend Jose Gatica, and he suggested that I should go in for a Maróczy Bind. So far I am 1-0=1 against an average rating of 1990 with the Maróczy. According to theory White has no business castling queen side in the Maróczy, but I didn't know that! In the end I was very short on time but managed to mate my opponent with 45 seconds left.

Black should have played f6 at some point to prevent the dangers associated with h5 by White. It's interesting that h5 is so strong that I can even give up a rook for it. In other words I could have played 22.h5

This a position from the 3rd round loss. I am Black with the move. I spent a lot of time trying to get the Bf2->Bxg3 idea to work and got myself into bad time trouble. Bad time trouble makes you do weird things. I decided that since I had invested so much time on the above variation I was going to play it anyway although I didn't see how Black could get an advantage. Bf2 was not bad, but taking on g3 was.

After this 3rd round loss I had to get my self in mental shape before facing the 29 ranked 13 year old in the nation Jason Chien (1861). I planned on getting to an end game in an equal but solid position and then trying to outplay my opponent. As White I played passive but solid moves and I am sure Black was better, especially after he got in e5. But once he played c4, I was confident that I could outplay him. The game went into a rook and pawn ending where I was up 2 pawns. I managed to win his rook with less than a min. left on my clock.


  1. Ivan,

    Could you do an article on this tournament for the Illinois Chess Bulletin? Put in a general report and one of your games. If you want, I can even send you one of my games though I may discuss it elsewhere anyway.


  2. I would like to but, since I am leaving for canada in soon, I don't think I will have enough time. When is the dead line?