My 2016 Year in Review
Happy holidays chess friends,
2016 was an eventful year for me chess-wise, so I thought I'd take a look back at some of the highlights.
Learning experience of the year: Playing a tournament game against GM Jesse Kraai.
I correctly suspected that my strong opponent had missed my move, Bf3-d1, and wasn't sure how he was planning to prevent Bb3. I entirely misssed his very strong and winning reply. It's such a complicated and incredible move, that I'll let my readers work things out for themselves for now. One of my goals for next year is to keep a better eye out for unexpected, and sacrificial forcing moves.
Humbling game of the year: I gave up my first rated draw to a former student. I trained Andy, for a few years, helping him get from a beginner level to around 1900 before he moved on to other instructors. Now he's approaching my rating and nearly beat me. In the diagram below, Rd4 would have left black in complete control of the position. Instead my young opponent let me escape by playing Ra3, letting me trade pawns and hold on.
New chess experience: Visit to the World Champinship. I drove up to New York with some friends and watched game two of the World Championship in person. It was fun seeing top players and getting to meet up with many chess friends from around the country.
Best accomplishment: My top competitive moment of the year, was winning the Maryland Quick Chess Championship with a 6/7 score. On the way I scored a win over GM Larry Kaufman, my top individual result of the year.
A couple highlights: My Bf1-d3 was a very dubious novelty, but difficult to refute in a rapid game with the clock ticking. Black should have an advantage with e4, but after some thought, he played Qd6 and I gained a serious advantage. I failed to keep control and needed to use the clock, and a bit of activity to gain winning chances. It proved to be just enough.
And here's the finish.
Here's hoping for many checkmates for you in 2017.