July 2017

It was a last round, my opponent was an old guy rated 1922, I had =1, -1 with him in the past. I got White and he played Owen’s defense. I had a difficult choice on move 10 and eventually decided to trade queens. I didn’t expect his Ke7 and the best in this situation was to keep queens by playing Qe2. 13. b4 wasn’t a good move, I didn’t realize I am weakening my position.

Soon I started to feel under pressure and on move 28 decided to sacrifice a pawn. It actually worked and I got real drawing chances, but then I made a big mistake playing 40. Ke3. I thought that my king should be closer to his “c” pawn, but much more important was blocking his pawns.

I considered playing 41. f4, but  realized that it will lose because his pawns would be too far one from another. The position continued to deteriorate and I had only a few minutes left. Still I missed an excellent chance that he gave me by playing 47. Ke2. There was a nice combination – 48. b7 Bxb7 49. Bxe4 Bc8 50. Kc2 Bd7 51. Kxc3 Bxa4 52. Bxf3+ Kxf3 53. Kb2 Kxf2 with  a draw.

Interesting that couple of days after the game he sent me a message via Facebook and pointed to this opportunity as well as to the missed draw after 40. Ke3.

It was a last round in the Thursday’s tournament and my opponent was an old guy, last time I played him was in 2013 and our score was +3, -3. Our opening soon transformed to Catalan, I didn’t have much experience playing against it.

On move 12 I missed a little combination: 12… Nxc5 13. Bg5 f6 14. dxc5 fxg5 15. Qe2 Qf6 , but I am not sure I like it for Black and computer says it is equal. Then I had difficulty to find the right moves, 17… f5 is an example.

I was feeling under the pressure and 26… was an attempt to get a counter-play. I missed 27. d5 and was worse, but then he made a mistake playing 30. c6. I played accurately after that and when we reached an equal rook endgame he realized that and offered a draw.

I got a 1961 rated opponent and had Black. He chose French, I played Tarrasch and we went along the lines typical for the games of the Candidates match between Karpov and Korchnoi in 1974, here is one:


11. Nbd4 was a little mistake, because he could play Nxd4 getting rid of an isolated pawn. I could take his d5 pawn on move 19, but didn’t like 19. Qxd5 Rxe1+ 20. Nxe1 Rd8 thinking that it gives him a good play, it’s a 0.5 advantage actually. But after 19. Rxe8 Rxe8 20. Qd5 Qd8 I have about 0.9 advantage. Then we ended up in a rook endgame, where I felt I have an advantage but didn’t see a way to use it. So I forced a three-fold repetition.

At home all computer shootouts were ending with White winning. It started with 42. f4 and after g5 (which was forced I guess) White rook was getting to the kingside through the 6th horizontal.