In any event, I continued playing "normal" developing moves and achieved a positional plus out of the opening, only to lose a piece to an unusual pinning tactic by Black. Showing tenacity, however, I decided to fight on and play aggressively, looking for whatever counterchances might be there. This was psychologically the right choice, as Black passes up multiple chances to exchange material and simplify down to a position where White has no real threats. White then weaves a net of force with his major pieces and Black stumbles into it, losing material and then resigning just before mate.
While this was not a high-quality game, it had its moments and it was a significant turning point for the tournament, showing that I was in fact capable of winning - in an ugly but effective manner - after a year's absence from serious play. This is also a good example of a successful swindle, where the player who should lose refuses to go down easily and works hard to generate threats, which can hit home if ignored or mishandled by the opponent, as happened here.