2014 US Open Game 9

The final round of my first U.S. Open! Going into this round, I had 2.5/8 points--playing right about at my rating level for the tournament. In this game I was paired up with a teenager rated 1298. This game happened to be the only one in the tournament where I wasn't at least a 200 point underdog, so I felt I had good chances to walk out of the tournament with 3.5/9 points--which would have been a good performance.

I'm very thankful I had the opportunity to play in an event of this magnitude. Playing chess for 9 days straight gave me a lot of material to learn from, I got to watch some exciting game by players such as IM John Watson, and the sustained intensity of the tournament forced me to be 100% focused on chess for almost two weeks, something that most amateur players never get to experience.



  • 2 years ago


    Hi Constantine,

    Thanks for the feedback on this game. Yes, I really love this 3...c5 line variation! What do you usually see as the most common white responses?

    Regarding Bxd2, yes, I really struggled with that decision. My coach said that he thought it was fine and that the resulting N vs B was a very nice position for black. But, maybe it could have been even better by keeping the 2 B's on the board. I think you make a strong argument for the other plan, for sure.

    This actually may be a negative pattern of mine--premature trading of my 2 B's for some pawn weaknesses in my opponent's position--wanting a more static advantage. I guess I should invest some time in learning to get more comfortable playing with the 2 B's.

  • 2 years ago


    I play this line too!  Cool I didn't like your 12...Bxd2.  What did your coach have to say about that?  Why concede the B pair when you still haven't castled and he's not threatening your B?  I would have played 12...Nf5 to keep the option of retreating the B to e7 if he attacks it with a3.  And then play for ...c5.  You talk about the positive imbalances of the 2 B and then you give one up for no reason!  :-)


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