What a tournament! Congrats first and foremost to Simon Dale: it's great to have people as talented as Simon willing to give their time and expertise to Australian chess. The tournament was Simon's first as an organiser of an elite adult event (after his Aus Junior heroics in 2011) and he did a fantastic job. Although I didn't see them, the 5 DGT boards on show seemed a huge success (thanks Phillip Drew!) and the tournament was played in a very friendly atmosphere (or maybe I was just in a good mood because I was winning).
As for my tournament, ceasing to play e4 and thinking from move 1, and trying to finish calculating lines before moving on to other candidates made a huge difference for me. Being more methodical with the way I was calculating made me feel like I was thinking systematically and actually gave me a lot more intensity at the board than I usually have, which I'm sure helped!
Here are some of my games from the back end of the tournament, which I'm still too exhausted to annotate:
Round 6: Black V Dizdarevic. I was really happy with this game. I thought I'd blown it with Nxb3, after which I'd planned Bg6 to lock things down- when I rechecked it I thought Bg6 lost to Nxb5 exploiting the pressure on the d-file, and got a bad position as a result.
Round 7: White V Footner.
Round 8: Black V David Hacche
I got a pretty bad position and thought I'd made a mistake by castling quickly in the opening. My engine says black is better after taking on g4 but I don't think a mortal can survive that position. David offered a draw after e6, which I'm happy I accepted as we were both under 5 minutes.
Round 9: White V Dimitri
Round 1: White V Karl Zelesco. I hadn't really turned my brain on yet but it was a decent game and I learned a lot from it.