The money round

Some folks were asking for games from the Greater Boston Open chess tournament. Okay, here’s the money round:

Board one, Round four. Esther Epstein (having just spent five hours knocking off #2 seed Chris Williams) and I had the only perfect scores, and in fact everyone else was a full point back. So a draw splits the first-place money, or the winner takes it clear.

Slater – Epstein (2165)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.o-o d6 8.f4 Nc6 9.Nc3 Nf6 10.Be3 0-0 11.Kh1 b5 12.Qf3 Bb7 13.Qg3 g6 14.Rad1 Qc7 15.e5 Nh5 16.Qh3 dxe5 17.f5
Greater Boston Open, round 4

Among other ideas, White dreams of some form of 17…exd5 18.Nd5. Wishful thinking. 

17…Nd8 18.Ne4 exf5 19.Ng5 Bxg5 20.Bxg5 Ne6 21.Rxf5 Nhf4 22.Bxf4 Nxf4 23.Rxf4 exf4 24.Rf1 f3 25.gxf3 Rad8 26.Nd2 f5 27.Rg1 Qf4 28.Qg2 Rde8 29.Rf1 Rfe8 30.Kg1 Kg7 31.Qg3 Qd4 32.Qf2 h5 33.h4 Qf4 34.Kg2 Rd8 35.Qg3 Qxg3+ 36.Kxg3 Kf6 37.Rf2 g5 38.hxg5+ Kxg5 39.Rh2 Rexd3 40.cxd3 Rxd3 0-1

Ouch. Rather an undisciplined swing for the fences on my part, starting with 15.e5, followed by her very orderly and clear-minded defense. Pending some refutation by Fritz, I think Black has faster wins (21.Rxf5 gxf5 22.Qxf5 Nxg5 23.Qxg5+ Ng7 24.Qh6 f5) but the outcome was never in doubt anyway.

The psychology of a final-round game is always interesting.

There’s really nothing to be nervous about (it’s an amateur chess game, fer cryin out loud) but I’m always nervous.

I would have taken a draw at any point starting at about move 1 – the concept of actually winning the GBO seemed so surreal! – but neither of us ever offered a draw.

I’m not sure whether to categorize the hyperaggressive tactical sequence starting with the e5 push as “choking”, because historically I’ve always played that way. And sometimes it’s effective. I’m still learning how to just play simple, solid chess, so let’s call it a relapse.

The tournament crosstable is on the MACA site.

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10 thoughts on “The money round

  1. Kudos for going for it Derek. f5 just wants to be played there. Sometimes you just have to play a move no matter what. You *know* I would have done it!

    :)

    -Matt

  2. Pingback: The money round
  3. Derek — Hope you don’t let this loss sully an otherwise fantastic result. Definitely not a choke — if it were, then just about every one of my losses would be a choke too. :)

  4. Matt – you would, wouldn’t you :) Somewhere in the hazy past I saw a GM annotation where the other guy attacked suddenly and the GM said “This can’t work – I haven’t done anything wrong.” This position kind of reminds me of that.

    Greg – I have only the tiniest regret :) Great tournament for me regardless.

  5. A couple of notes from Fritz:

    At a depth of 10 ply per move, this is how Fritz would play from move 15:
    [15.a3 Nd7 16.Nd4 Bf6 17.Be2 Rad8 18.f5 Be5 19.Qh3 Nc5 20.fxe6 Nxd4 21.exf7+ Rxf7 22.Bxd4 Rxf1+ 23.Bxf1 Re8 24.Qe3 Bxd4 25.Rxd4 Qf7 26.Be2 d5 27.a4 bxa4 28.Bd3=]

    After 21.Rxf5, as played in the game, Fritz likes
    [ 21…Nhg7 22.Rf6 Nxg5 -+ -3.8; 21…gxf5 22.Qxh5 ( 22.Qxf5 Nxg5 23.Qxg5+ Ng7 -+ -4.8) 22…e4 23.Be2 -+ -1.5]

  6. It doesn’t sound like you’re beating yourself up much, which is good. This tourney should be a feather in your cap.

    I’m curious as to whether your wins were with, as you put it, “simple, solid chess”. I’d especially like to see the scalp against the 2350 dude (or dudette).

  7. Hm. Well, this is the funny thing. Although in blitz I’m playing incredibly dull stuff, I haven’t transitioned those openings into my actual rep yet. I gotta buy a book or two.

    The 2330, as mentioned, was playing the simple and beautiful moves. There was a point in the game where I thought “oh well, this is chess, sometimes you just get flattened by a better player.” He just made a bad oversight on the way to victory.

    The next two games featured a sharp opening where I happen to be very comfortable and pretty well booked-up. Not solid stuff.

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