Back from a weekend-swallowing black hole that is the US Amateur Team East. I am actually pretty satisfied with my results, breaking even out of 6 games on second board.
Breakdown of my games:
First round I got paired against a 200, with a 400 on 1st board. Needless to say, I won. I did take 45 minutes on a single move in this game though, it was rather embarrassing. But he fell into a 5 or 6 move trap that won his queen. Being paired down is fun. 2AEM wins 4 - 0
Second round I got paired against an 1830. It was completely even for the entire game, until the end where he got a small positional advantage and won via passed pawn. I felt like I was so close to a draw, too. The coach, who was playing on 1st board, lost to a 1900 by a single tempi. It was a very disappointing and brutally close few games. 2AEM loses 0 - 4
Third round I got paired against a 1900. He played into a Blackmar-Diemier declined, and I proceeded to get a four move lead in development. I was winning by so much. It was a very depressing result, as I couldn't take advantage of it. He beat me in and endgame. After the match we started talking about the game, and he said that we were "The best team of 1100's we've ever played" and saying that I was clearly winning at the start. Our first board drew an expert and our 4th board beat a 1700. Despite of it, 2AEM loses 1.5 - 2.5
Fourth round I got paired against a 1820. I won a knight after playing a reasonably solid Pirc, and proceeded to give it back for a pawn. I had winning chances, but I choked after losing the knight and offered a draw. He accepted. I was very disappointed in my blunder (Which was my only major mistake the entire tournament), however I managed a draw against an 1850, so I was pretty satisfied. 2AEM loses
Fifth round I got paired against an 1030. I won a rook on move 6 in the most fearless way ever. It was very amusing. I decided in the end that I would trade my rook advantage to get everything off the board, and my three passed pawns easily won the game. I think I'm beginning to understand this game. 2AEM wins 4 - 0
Sixth round I got paired against a 1700. I held him to a dead even draw, trading down to a king and rook endgame with 3-2 pawns vs 2-3 pawns. The position was so dead and lacking counterplay, so I offered a draw (At the time it was two rooks vs two rooks and an extra pawn on each side.) He declined and we traded a rook and a pawn after about 6 moves. I offered another draw, as I could see absolutely no way in for either side. He declined. I put my rook on an square that completely cut off his king and defended all the key remaining pawns, and a few moves later I offered another draw. I felt terrible about offering so many draws, but the position was so drawn. Our fourth board had already won, and our third board was winning. Our first board looked like he had drawing chances, so I felt that a draw would help the team. However, he simply didn't take the draw. It had to eventually turn into a battle of walking left and right with the kings until he would accept the draw. I felt terrible, like I had been annoying with the draw offers, but I could simply see no way in. Our third ended up drawing, and our first ended up losing, so our team drew 2-2.
So our team ended up 2.5 - 3.5, having played only four overmatched rounds. I ended up 3 - 3, with two upset draws and two wins. I feel like I played very well in this tournament, and I feel very, very confident about the Columbus nationals, where I will be playing in a U1200.
Hope this result is here to stay!