Last night at the Spokane Chess Club, we had a game/29 tournament. I like this time control because the USCF rates it only as quick, while game/30 is dual-rated. I was the third seed, and the first round went as expected: my opponent hung his queen early, making the game easier than it should have been. In round two, I played Phil Weyland--the second seed--and blundered into a theoretically lost game. But, as they say, the hardest thing in chess is to win a won game. He got into time trouble looking for the best plan, and I very nearly equalized. He offered a draw when he had one minute to my five and was only one pawn ahead in what looked to soon become a rook and pawn endgame.
In the final round, Phil played the top seed while I had White against Judge Korsmo. My oversight created opportunities for some tactics that Korsmo played in the wrong sequence, missing his chance for an upset win.
Stripes,J (1720) - Korsmo,K (1625) [E11]
July Quick, Spokane 2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Nbxd2 d5 6.e3 0–0 7.Rc1 Nbd7 8.Bd3 c6 9.b4N Re8 10.Qb3 e5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Rxe5 13.Nf3 Re7 14.0–0 Be6 15.Rfd1 Qc7 16.Nd4 Bg4 17.f3 dxc4 18.Bxc4 Bh5 19.Nf5 Rd7 20.e4 Rad8 21.a4?? Rxd1+
21...Nxe4? 22.Rxd7 Qb6+ 23.Qe3+-
22.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 23.Qxd1+/= Nxe4 24.Qd4 Nf6 25.Qd6
I thought about grabbing the pawn, but decided if I could get the queens off the board, the moves required for my opponent to get the bishop back into the game might give me time to create a passed pawn. I was wrong.
Here my opponent offered a draw. Objectively the game is probably drawn despite his one pawn advantage, but I have some forcing moves. He must defend accurately.
25...Qxd6 26.Nxd6 b6 27.Nc8 b5 28.axb5 cxb5 29.Bxb5 Nd5=
26...Kf8?? 27.Ng6+ Kg8 28.Qf8#
27.Ng6+ hxg6 28.Qf8+ Kh7 29.Qxe8
29...g5 and Black has the edge
This obvious looking move loses.
I wanted to play 32.h4, but thought the black queen could just snap off the pawn because I overlooked the winning skewer.
32.h4! Qxh4 33.Qh8+ Kg5 34.Qd8+ Kf5 35.Qxh4+-
32...Kg5 33.Qd8+ Kh6?
33...Kf5 34.g4+ Bxg4 35.Qd7+ Kg5 36.Qxg4+ Qxg4 37.fxg4 Kxg4 38.a5=
34...Qb1+ 35.Kf2 Qb2+ 36.Kg1
37.Kh2 Qf4+ 38.g3 1–0
Both of us had two minutes left and checkmate is imminent. My opponent let his clock run out looking for the escape that is not there.
The b3 Sicilian
2 hours ago