Sunday, March 9, 2008

2007 Alberta Open 2007-Oct

This 3 day event was held over the Thanksgiving weekend and had 50 participants. I yo-yo’d back and forth losing against higher rated opponent and then beating lower rated ones.

Round 1 was against Dale Hassel (2262). I completely mis-evaluated the opening and was crushed. After the game Dale explained that my whole plan to push f5 was faulty but at the time I had no other plan. 12...f5? [¹12...c6!?±] 13.dxe5+- dxe5 14.Rad1 Qf6 15.c5 Nd7 16.Nd5 Qd8 17.exf5 gxf5 18.Nh4 Nb8 19.Nb6 Qe8 20.Nxa8 then resigned on move 35 1–0

Round 2 was against Keith Aartsen (1447). Position after 7…h6?? I played 8. Bxf7! Kxf7 9. Ne5+! Ke8 10. Nxg4 and won the game after 32 moves.

Round 3 was against Micah Hughey (2113). He played some kind of pseudo-Marshall and used no time on his clock where as I used plenty of time in the opening. I saw a tactic for myself and couldn’t find a refutation at the board so I played it. 12.Bxf7+ Kxf7 13.Rf5+ Bf6 14.Rxf4 Qd3 15.Rf3 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Qxf3 17.gxf3 Obviously he played this variation many times before and when he played the clamping Qd3 I new I was in big trouble. I sacked the exchange to try to free myself but it was too late. I lost after 47 moves when he sacked the exchange back and we would both queen but he would win my queen with a skewer check.

Round 4 was against young Jonathan Mrugala (1680). He played 30.Qh3+ which allowed me to play 30...Qh5+³ and then exchange off the queens 31.Qxh5+ Kxh5 and enter a minor piece ending. At this point we both believed we had the better position. 32.Bh3 Ne7 33.Kf3 Kg5 34.Kg3 h5 35.Be6 Ng6 36.h3 Nf4 37.Bc4 37...Ne2+ [¹37...h4+!? 38.Kh2 Kf6µ] 38.Kf2= Nc1 39.Be6?? I was too aggressive with my knight and if he had played [¹39.b4 cxb4 40.Ke1± I would have been in trouble] 39...Na2³ 40.Ke2 Kf4 41.Bf7 h4 42.Kd2 Nb4 43.c3? Nc6–+ 44.Be6 Ne7 45.b4 Kg3 46.Bd7? Ng6 47.bxc5³ bxc5 48.cxd4?? [¹48.b4 the only rescuing move 48...dxc3+ 49.Kxc3 cxb4+ 50.Kxb4µ] 48...cxd4–+ 49.Kc2 Nf4 50.b4 Nxh3 51.Kb3 Nf2 52.Kc4 Ng4 and I mated him on move 72. 0–1

Round 5 was against Vlad Rekhson (2175). The position shown was reached after exchanging queens on e4 with 26.Bc8 Qxe3 27.fxe3 Another knight vs bishop endgame but this one I mishandled and allowed him to get an outside passed pawn 27...Nd8 28.Kf2 a5 29.Kf3 b6 30.Ke4 Kf7 31.b4 axb4 32.cxb4 Nc6 33.c3 h5 [33...d5+ 34.Kd3=] 34.a4 h4? [34...d5+!? 35.Kd3 Ne5+ 36.Ke2 Nc4²] 35.Bb7± Ne7?? [35...Nd8 36.Ba8 Ke6+-] 36.a5+- f5+ 37.Kd4 c5+ 38.Kd3 bxa5 39.bxa5 Ng6 40.Kc4 Ke7 41.a6 1–0

Round 6 was against Mike Sekuloff (1614). I played the opening badly and once again he was looking to sacrifice but he missed his chance when he played 11...Be6 [instead of ¹11...Bxh3!? 12.Be3 Bg4µ] 12.Bg5 Bc7 [still 12...Bxh3 13.gxh3 Qg3+ 14.Kh1 Qxh3+ 15.Nh2=] 13.Qd2 Nd7 14.Bh4 Nde5? [¹14...Qf4!?² would keep Black in the game] 15.Nxe5+- Nxe5 16.Bg3 f6± 17.Nd4 Rae8 18.Nb5 Qd7 19.Nxc7 Qxc7 20.Qf4 g5? [¹20...Qc5= and Black is still in the game] 21.Qe3 Qd7 22.Bxe5 fxe5? 23.Qxg5++- Qg7 24.Qxg7+ Kxg7 25.Rxe5 1–0

Overall every game went as expected by ratings. I finished at 3/6 which was good enough for shared first in under 1800 with Vitaly Motuz and Allen Wu. Rp=1883 and brought my rating up to 1809.

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