Monday, March 10, 2008

1st Annual Battle at the Border 2007-10

Jamin Gluckie was the main organizer of this event in my hometown. I also have to give Jamin some credit for getting me back into tournament chess as he played several rapid games with me before my first tournament and occasionally since then. The event was a great success and attracted several master players and an IM and a WFM from Norway who were studying in Edmonton at the time. It was a four round accelerated swiss so I knew ahead of time that I would yo yo from high to low rated players again. One of the nice things about playing in your hometown is that you can sleep in your own bed.

Round 1 was against Roy Yearwood (2117). He is a very eloquent talker and I really enjoyed going over my game with him afterward. Position after 19...f5 A standard f5 pawn push. At this point I really liked my position 20.exf5 1:18 - The first exchange of the game 20...Qxf5 1:08 - here I start to lose the thread of the game gxf5 or Nd4 [¹20...gxf5!? 21.f4 Rbe8µ] 21.Bd5+ Kh8 22.Ng5 White now has the initiative 22...Nd8 disconnects my rooks [¹22...Rbe8!?³ is interesting] 23.f4² Bxd5 24.fxe5 Qd7 25.Rxf8+ Bxf8 26.cxd5 dxe5 27.Rf1± Be7 28.Qc4 Qd6 A blunder. I looked at Bxg5 and Nf3 for a long time but then changed my mind just before I moved as I thought that Qd3 stops his d pawn and protects my a pawn but I completely forgot about my hanging piece. Maybe Nh6 [28...Bxg5 29.Bxg5 Nf7=] 29.Qxg4 Qxd5 30.Qe4 Qd7 31.Qxe5+ Black resigns as mate is coming[31.Qxe5+ Bf6 32.Rxf6 Kg8 33.Bb2 Qd4+ 34.Bxd4 Nc6 35.Qe6+ Kg7 36.Rxg6+ Kf8 37.Nxh7#] 1–0 A good example of how quickly a game can go downhill.

Round 2 was against Doug Unruh (1487). He had his wife assist him by making his moves on the board. Before the game I was worried that it might distract me but once the game started it never bothered me at all and even though I think I played poorly that was not the reason. I played the opening very badly and missed several good moves for both sides but when he played 11...Bf5?? I was able to win a piece. [¹11...Nxc3 would save the game 12.bxc3 Be7±] 12.dxc5+- Qe7 13.Qe1 Nxc5 14.Bg5 f6 15.exf6 Qf7 16.Qe5 g6 17.Qxc5 Kb8 18.Bf4 Rhe8 19.Rad1 Bxc2 20.Rxd8+ Rxd8 21.Qe7 Rd7 22.Qxf7 Rxf7 23.Re1 b6 24.Nd4 Bf5 25.Nxc6+ Kb7 26.Nd8+ 1–0

Round 3 was against WFM Silje Bjerke of Norway. I played the opening badly again and in fact made the exact same mistake I had made in a game in my last tournament Still my position wasn’t too bad until I chose a poor defensive plan 22... Kd8 & 23...Qc8, which ended up decentralizing my queen and tying it up to protect a pawn 22...Kd8? (diagram) [¹22...Kb8!?= might be a viable alternative] 23.Qa8+ Qc8 24.Qc6 e5 [¹24...Ke7!?±] 25.g5+- Qxh3 26.Rf3 I did not see this simple move [26.gxh6 Qxe3+ 27.Kb1 exf4 28.Qxa6 Qe4+ 29.Ka1 Rf5µ] 26...Qe6 [¹26...Qd7 27.Qxd7+ Kxd7 28.gxh6 Ref8+-] 27.gxh6 exf4 28.Bb6! Rd7?? 29.Bxc7+! Rxc7 30.Rxd6+ 1–0 On the positive side this was the only game I have ever played where I had an advantage on the clock after the opening.

Round 4 was against Tyler Janzen of Saskatoon. He outplayed me in the opening without using any time of his clock but allowed me to play 15.Qg4! Rg8 16.Ng5 Qc4 17.f4?? Bad move. I was also thinking of Bf4 but Qh5 is strongest. [17.Qh5 g6 18.Qxh7 Rf8 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.Qxg6+ Kd8 21.Bg5+ Kc7+- 22.Rac1 Pins the Queen; 17.Bf4 h5 18.Qf3 Rf8 19.b3] 17...Nxe5 18.Qh5± Ng6 19.f5 Qb4 20.Be3+- Qh4 21.Qxh4 Nxh4± 22.fxe6 fxe6? 23.Bf2+- Kd7 24.Bxh4 Rge8 25.Nf3 Rab8 26.Ne5+ Kd6 27.Bg3 Rb5 28.Rac1 Ke7 29.Rc7+ Kf6 30.Rf1+ Missed a mate in two [30.Bh4+ Kf5 31.Rf7#] 30...Kg5 31.Rxg7+ Kh6 32.Rxa7 Rb6 33.Bf4+ Kh5 34.Rxh7# 1–0

Overall another tournament where every game went as expected by ratings. I finished at 2/4 which was good enough for shared first in under 1900. Rp=1820 and brought my rating up to 1810.

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