So nationals has been concluded, and I'd like to think I've done rather well. I finished 13th in the U1200, with 5.5 points out of 7. My rating rose from 1185 to 1282, nearly 100 points. The team placed 7th, and trophies were awarded.
However, despite this "Good result", I can't help but be a bit disappointed. I was undefeated going into the final round, and lost due to a lack of mobility. All of my games were not only won, but won in a textbook fashion, very aggressively. I only won one decisive game with black, in addition to an extremely narrow win, a draw, and a loss. Its disheartening that I lost my shot at second place, but it is even worse that none of my games with black had any interesting tactical opportunity whatsoever. They were winnable, certainly, but not tactical. My strength lies in tactics, not strategy. I don't believe that my black play is playing to my strengths, and so I've decided to switch openings.
Regardless of this disappointment, I had a great tournament with many interesting games, the most notable are below, annotated.
Round 2 I had white, and I performed a textbook 150 attack.
Round 4 was a Blackmar-Diemer accepted, in which my opponent resigned in only 17 moves.
Round 5 was one of the most narrow victories I've ever had.
Round 6 was an interesting line of the Blackmar-Diemer with an interesting greek gift sacrifice.
Round 7 was my only loss.