After a promising start, I proceeded with a peaceful draw with a good friend of mine, the American FM Erik Kislik who has uncountable IM norms but was unfortunate not to break the required 2400 elo. I then faced GM Gyula Sax with the Black pieces in a rematch of our encounter in the corresponding tournament in March. Then, I managed to play possibly one of my best games in a long time and notched a crucial win to secure the norm. As Sax hardly loses any games in a year, I am sure he will be out to avenge that loss.
I prepared the same variation I played in Round 1 and he clearly came unprepared, having spent an hour on 2-3 moves right after the opening. The time spent proved to be extremely worthwhile as he managed to, and I'm not exaggerating here, refute the Hyper Accelerated Dragadorf over the board.
Pretty convincing stuff and I consider my preparation to be considerably unprofessional. Clearly, GMs do not lose games this way.
I have to move on from this disappointment and prepare for my next game, White vs Attila Groszpeter. Since no one walks into my preparation nowadays, Erik and I were speculating how he will deviate from the lines which he usually plays. To my surprise, he challenged me head on in a 6.Bg5 Najdorf which I fortunately spent a bit of time preparing for.
The game started promisingly when Attila, clearly surprised by my opening choice misplayed the position and I was faced with a couple of winning options after just 10 moves. Thinking for 30 mins and quietly congratulating myself for a job well done, I chose one of the weakest continuations at my disposal and instead had to defend a worse position from then on. Of course, I hardly put up any resistance and lost without a fight after that. Here's the game with light notes.