The last game of the season, Round 5 as White against Peter Sibbald in the 2012 Peter Sibbald Spring Open, ended with a draw. I was vying for the win, but I really was out-played by this higher-rated (actually highest-rated) opponent.

As with my previous game with Peter, he played aggressively in the opening, attacking before all his pieces were developed. And I simply was not able to take advantage of the position, despite having the first move with White. I wasn’t able to get any sort of advantage out of the opening, and Black was able to develop comfortably into the middle game. Perhaps I need a different strategy in the opening. My options were quite limited, and I had to get creative with the opening breaks.

But even toward the middle game, I think I could have controlled the center better with my pieces, instead of initiating a premature attack with 10.Nd5 (I think 10.Nge2 would have been better), maybe move Qc2 and castle long a little earlier, and then play on the King-side, instead of the center.

But it was a good game. Peter was quite the sportsman to allow a draw despite the short time I had left on my clock. He could have played a more solid end game and force an error on my part (due to my limited time). My PGN and Commentary are located on my dashboard here:

I will definitely need to prepare better for the next season. This is my second year playing at the Kingston Chess Club. I think I did not prepare enough this time around, compared to the first year. In the first year, I considered myself the underdog, and prepared for every game with every opponent. Not so much this time around. I should not be so complacent, just because I’m now the second highest rated (active) player in the club.

Not only should I brush up on some opening theory, but I should refresh my command of middle game positional play. I don’t think I did very well in this area either. My only saving point is my end-game, since I do think I can calculate my way out of a less complicated position, if I have winning advantage.

Anyway, it was a good season. Check the awards on the Kingston Chess Club Blog. And I’m looking forward to some payback in September!