The Goal Line Push

The Goal Line Push‎

GM vbhat
19 | Strategy

Going into the last round of the SPICE Cup in Texas, I was tied for 2nd place with GM Eugene Perelshteyn and IM Ray Robson with 5.0/8. IM Ben Finegold was leading with 6.0/8, and was playing Eugene in the last round. Ray had black against FM Daniel Rensch, while I had the black pieces against IM Dean Ippolito. Thus, a four-way tie for first was not unimaginable. But first, I would have to win my game.

Question 1: What would you play as Black here, after 16.Qb3?

Question 2: What would you play as Black here, after 21.Qe5?

Question 3: What would you play as Black here, after 29.Rc2?

And here's the entire game in one viewer:

This win, coupled with Eugene's win over Finegold, brought about a 3-way tie for first with 6/9. Finegold got his final GM norm. Ray had a chance for his final GM norm as well, but his draw with Rensch ended that dream in this event (he made it soon afterwards). That draw, though, did give Danny his final IM norm!
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