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
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.