Houston Bound

I have to admit, Houston is becoming one of my favorite places to play chess, for some unknown reason I tend to play very accurate chess while in H-town. This weekend was the time for our team to compete for the Southwest Collegiate Championship, needless to say we outclassed our competition taking first three places without much problem. All the guys came to the tournament extremely motivated to wash away the disastrous result from the Pan Americans (we didn’t qualify for the Final 4 for the first time since the creation of the university’s chess program, big deal!).

I finished clear 2nd with 4/5 points and quite a solid performance, winning a few rating points on the way as well. Unfortunately, there has been some inconstancy in my results recently and my main focus at the moment is to reach that necessary equilibrium, which will guarantee steady improvement on the rating list. Helping with the good performance was also the relaxed and fun atmosphere that surrounded the team; we joked and enjoyed Jacuzzi sessions after each day. I may be a little nostalgic, but I will surely miss these guys after I graduate.

Now, it’s time to do some late night homework and return to my student life, work hard and keep learning new things every day!

P.S. Stay tuned for some key game analysis later on this week. For the moment I leave you with one of the very important games of the tournament. In the fourth round I played Max Cornejo, an International Master from the University of Texas at Brownsville. I was coming into the game after a harsh defeat against my teammate Iotov Valentin. My tournament situation was very clear, I had to win last two games to be able to fight for the top spots. I was very determined not to let my opponent reach a middle game in which he feels comfortable, therefore I decided to play something new and avoid theory as much as possible. See the game below!

Chirila vs. Cornejo


Yours truly,