Hello all – Mr. Burke here again.
John Michael had a great day today, scoring wins in both of his games. After 4 rounds John Michael has 2.5 points out of 4. Currently he is in 45th place, out of 121 players. For those that are interested, you can follow the standings here: http://chess-results.com/tnr58150.aspx?art=0&lan=1&flag=30.
In Round 3. John Michael had white against Brayan Arley Polanco from Colombia. Brayan had no FIDE rating, but we assumed he was a talented player, as he scored 7.5 points out of 9 at the Pan American Youth Championships in Colombia in July, according to what we were able to research in Chessbase. As we suspected, Brayan played the Sicilian Dragon opening, and John Michael was able to win a pawn early, and then took advantage of a mistake by his opponent to get ahead by a rook. From there, John Michael cruised to an easy victory in a little under two hours. A nice workmanlike victory to start the day. It was good for John Michael to get a quick victory on a day where he had 2 games to play. We had several hours to kick back and relax before his Round 4 game at 5:00 PM.
In Round 4, John Michael had black against Curse Flavio Gonzales from Peru. Curse was rated 1715 FIDE, and had also played in the Pan American Youth Championships in July. We only had about an hour to research this opponent, but it was time well spent. From reviewing his opponent’s games, John Michael saw that he liked to play a lot of wild gambits in the opening, which was extremely valuable information to know. It is such a difference to know well ahead of time who your opponent is – much different than any of the tournaments John Michael has played thus far. True to form, Curse played a new gambit in the opening that John Michael had not faced previously. John Michael was able to dodge all the tricks that Curse was throwing his way, and then took control in the middlegame. John Michael played well and won his game fairly easily in about 3 hours.
Much different scene entering the tournament hall today. Parents were allowed into the hall to seat their children, which made things go much smoother. It appears that the organizers of this event are making favorable adjustments day by day to help things go smoother.
Overall it was a solid day for John Michael. 2 wins in 2 games to get him back in the hunt. Still a long way to go – 5 games left to play, with Monday a rest day and Round 5 starting on Tuesday at 3:00 PM Caldas Novas time. Looking forward to a rest day tomorrow – probably going to sleep in and lounge around the hotel. A trip to town or the water park may be in order. Will be back on Tuesday evening with results from Round 5.