I was grateful to be back in serious tournament action last night at the Reno Chess Club and defeated Mauricio Amaya (1223) with the Black pieces in a Scandinavian Defense--curiously, I've had Black in five of my last six games--three of four in the Western States Open and both the rounds I actually played in the November Swiss.
As I noted here, I'm not studying openings directly (only through complete master games) at all these days, and the interesting thing is that I seem to be doing fine--he played somewhat passively in this game, and after the unfortunate loss of a piece by White on move 12 it was certainly nice to be Black. As pointed out by Norm Wyatt right after the game there were some slightly faster wins, including 24. .Ne2+ which immediately wins the house; I wasn't crying too hard over it though, having seen a simple way to terminate the game. I'm a little sorry I didn't play that move however, it was really decisive and more artistic. See this recent post by Blue Devil Knight for a lot of commentary on a similar position, and issue.