I had a dilemma that day trying to decide what to do – go to the club or watch playoff hockey. I decided on hockey and then changed my mind. My opponent was a boy rated 1312. He surprised me with the opening, playing 3… c5 variation in French, Tarrasch. I got a gut feeling that he will play 7… Qb6 and he did. I decided to exchange the bishop and get ahead with development.

I missed his 11… Bxf3, but saw right away that he shouldn’t take on c2, though probably he will get greedy and take it. I considered 14. Bd2, then played Qc3. Suddenly he played 14… Kd7. I knew that it was a crucial mistake, looked carefully at the position and found Re6. I calculated only until I saw that I can get back the rook with a check. He spent quite some time and played the best move, giving up the queen for the rook and the knight.

Then I played Qxg7 and seriously regretted it right away. After a few moves I “restored the order” and started again to attack his king. Computer thinks that the best was 32. Kh1, not Bf2, anyway he resigned on the next move.


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.



It was a last round of the club championship and the result was very important. I got an opponent rated ~1200, but he played really well in this tournament, losing only to expert and master and winning 4 games including beating ~1650 and ~1750 rated. I have to admit that it made me a bit nervous. I got White and we played French Tarrasch with 3… c5.

I knew that I had to play 6. Bb5, but didn’t know how to react to 6… Qb6 (Qe2+ is a good reply), so played 6. dxc5.  I had a feeling that I did’t get any advantage in the opening. I spent some time after his 11…Ng6 thinking what if he plays f5, but then found Bd3. After his 20… h6 I saw 21. Ne6+, but realized that he doesn’t have to take the knight. Then after exchanges the position simplified. I allowed exchange on e3 and intentionally played fxe3 to keep the position not too symmetrical. Right after that I created a passed “e” pawn thinking that it can give me some practical chances. According to Fritz the position was equal.

After 37. Qc7 a critical position occurred. The only line that was OK for Black was 37… Qe1+ 38. Kh2 f6, but it looks like not easy to find. He instead made a brutal mistake playing Qb5. I probably wouldn’t play it just from the positional point of view, trying to keep diagonal “h2-b8” under control. The funny thing is I didn’t see the winning line right away and played Qd8+, then realizing it doesn’t give me anything moved back to c7. He gave me a second chance and suddenly I saw a threat – d6 and Qc8+. His best reply could be 40… Qc6, still  losing after 41. Qe7+ Kg8 42. Qd8+ Kh7 43. Qc7 and “e” pawn queens.

He played 40. Qe5 and resigned after Qc8+. I finished with the result 5.5/8 (+5,-2,=1), best in 6 year that I participated in the club championships.