My opponent was Howard Du from Nova Scotia. I couldn't prepare anything as I had no idea what he played so we visited some friends in the afternoon. When the round started he played 1...b6 and somehow we ended up in a Queens Indian Defense. I had to spend a lot of time in the opening but ended up winning a pawn and having a good attack down the open h file. Rybka says I had a 1.5 advantage but he had some counter play. With less than 15 min left I saw a way to force a trade of queens and I thought I could grind down a victory but it was a big mistake and suddenly I was losing. He won back his pawn and now his passed pawn was stronger than mine. We both had rooks but my bishop was bad vs. his good knight. I struggled for some time wondering if I could draw. He couldn't get too adventurous with his knight or my passed pawn would threaten to queen but I felt he was winning and he must have felt the same way as he refused my draw offer. He was trying to find a winning method when he allowed me to repeat the same position twice. I played another move hoping he would let me repeat again and sure enough he did. I claimed the draw but he was adamant that it was not repeated 3 times so we had to get the head arbitrator. Vlad came and replayed the game and stated it was a draw, but I still think Howard wasn't convinced. When I put it into Rybka it confirmed the 3 repetitions and it gave the position as equal 0.00 but it still looked dangerous to me. I have never had that experience before where I needed to have an arbitrator confirm a draw. It was a bit uncomfortable but I knew I was right.
Position after 54.g3
2009 Canadian Open 2.pgn