I seem to be making a bit of a rating comeback. I played at the Massachusetts G60 championship on Sunday in the U1900 section. I was the 3rd from the bottom “seed” in this section.
The first game, I was Black against a 1700+ player. I had a mainline Caro-Kann. I allowed a knight exchange for my Bishop on g6 and opened up my h-file that he castled into. I had a battery of rooks on the h-file and a diagonal battery with my Bishop and Queen on the h2 square. I steamrolled on in for the victory.
The second game, I was playing an even higher rated almost 1800 player. I played the Smith-morra gambit. 20 moves later I trapped his greedy pawn grubbing queen. :
Oh where can that queen go? 1 Place left :)
1. e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3. c3 d5. 4 Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Ng8 6.Nf3 e6 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. Qg4 Ne7 9. 0-0 Ng6 10.Re1 Qc7 11. Bxg6 hxg6 12. Bf4 Bc5 13.Nbd2 Qb6 14.Qg3 Qxb2 15 Nb3 Bb6 16. Ng5 Ne7 17.Qf3 Qc2 18.Re2 Qf5 19. g4 Bxf2+ 20. Rxf2 1-0.
The amazing thing about this is that I saw the whole thing. I knew he was eying my b-pawn but I had way to much action on the K-side to ignore. I saw how to trap the queen and that’s why I made the subtle knight moves and the Q move to f3. Had he tried to retreat to a3, I could have dropped my Bishop to c1.
Now I will digress. Unlike the kids that also played at this tournament, I was dealing with “life” issues. My 18 year old step son had come home at 1:30 in the morning the night before. The reason I know this is that he dropped his keys in an unreachable location between the seats and the car alarm was going off. He didn’t have the sense to disconnect the battery. 2Am rolls around I have the seat removed in the dark, fished out the keys dropped the seat back in and told him he could hook the battery back up before heading to work at 7:30.
Nothing that Caffeine can’t cure, right? Well I survived the first two rounds and then I made the mistake of calling home. My wife was upset because one of the other kids was stealing from their sibling ( again). I went into round three feeling the caffeine and adrenaline running low. But that was no excuse. I was up against a tough 1800+ player who outsmarted my Caro-Kann. I’m just not there yet to see how a Rook sac on e6 wins. But it did.
Right before round 4, my other son ( non step this time) drives in to drop off his sibling . The car is making this metal rubbing against tire sound. He’s got the music loud and two girls in the car along with his sib. “ Why is the bumper cover falling off and why is there a dent in the fender?” I suggested it was time to take the girls home and he park the car at the house. He’s to only use the car for work and no play until I say so. Hrrmph!.
Round four begins…. I debated to take a bye and hold on to rating points. But I decided to hang tough because I am a tenacious son of a … The Alekhine? Damn it! I don’t see that one often, I knew about the concepts. Its Black’s lame excuse of having white over extend himself. So I played 1.e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Bc4! And through my opponent out of the book. I was playing a really sharp game too up until fatigue and stress hit in at a crucial moment when I dropped a piece through miscalculation.
I gained 32 rating points. Tomorrow I play an 1800 player at the club in the last round of a month long tourney. So far I have 2.5 points ( no losses, a win with a 1700+ and 1400 player and draw with a 1660) so overall I am bound to pick up more points even if I lose. If I win, it could finally put me over 1700 ( took me almost a year to recover). I have Black.