MN Class Championships 2017 (and a new opening, see picture)

MN Class Championships 2017 (and a new opening, see picture)

Dec 1, 2017, 9:59 PM |

Hey all, I'm a little busy with school right now, which is why I've waited a few weeks to post this. 

Recently I played in the MN Class Championships, to try for the class B title. Going in, I was the 3rd highest rated player in the section, so I figured I had a chance to not only win but maybe move up to class A.

The first game got started late because I couldn't find an increment clock and my opponent hadn't arrived, so I was a bit panicked. Thanks to Eric Gahlon for letting me borrow his clock. The minutes that could freely tick while waiting for Tom (my opponent) to arrive would prove vital, as his time pressure induced errors likely gave me the win.

And he resigned, giving me a round 1 win.

Round 2 would be the longest game (96 moves!) of the tournament for me and also my longest OTB tournament game ever. 

And finally winning what TD David Kuhns called the "super rook" endgame for the defender. 100% credit to IM Jeremy Silman and his endgame book, which is a great study tool. Since the book goes over this type of position as must know for class B players, I practiced it last winter/spring and learned it then. Silman was right that it's a must know because it occurred in this game!

For a round 3 draw. The classic "position is about equal, and it's Saturday Night" draw. I honestly think neither one of us wanted to play what might be a grueling endgame.

So after one day I had a score of 2.5/3, which was tied for first in the section. This allowed me to be paired with Justin Lim, the second highest rated player in the section. 

A nice win where my bishops dominate. This brought me to 3.5/4, a half point ahead of the field and needing only a draw in round 5 to become the class B champion.

I was paired against Joel Nathe for round 5. Joel had a score of 3/4 going in, and the crowd below him had 2.5/4. So I simply needed a draw with the black pieces to get the class B title. But this game was not going to be a draw, as it quickly developed into a great fight, with big attacks for both sides:

And one of the greatest games of chess I've ever been involved in ended with a loss. I was pretty mad initially, but things like that happen. Congrats to Joel for a well-played game and on taking the title for himself.

Overall, it was still a great tournament for me, and I nearly achieved my goal of moving up to class A (new rating is 1797). I hope to get back on the tournament scene over winter break and will continue to try to improve. As always, please post feedback on my play or ask questions about certain moves I made or ideas I had. 



*Note: These games have not all been engine checked, particularly the last one because I want to do a deep analysis of it when I have time and not just count my mistakes and blunders like I do for most games.