My not-so brilliant novelty- Challenger's Cup Round 4

My not-so brilliant novelty- Challenger's Cup Round 4

NM Joseph_Truelson

My opponent seems to view a picture being taken of him as at least kind of funny! I'm not even sure if he is trying to block! I took this photo, thank me in the comments, and in the meantime (time sure is mean!), let's waste your time!

Nearly every chess game has a novelty somewhere. If they don't, that in itself is a novelty. And for the amateur level, a new move on move 8, unlike in master chess, is not unusual. Nevertheless, I kind of like the idea that I came up with this game, it surprised my opponent and to my luck got him out of his preparation! Not that he had any to begin with. 

I remember the last time that I played Jeffrey Yan. It was absolutely horrific. After drawing 2 evil Not Masters, I entered an endgame a pawn up, but drew due to my horrible play. Whether or not I was winning I don't know, because I drew the game. That seems to happen to a lot of my bad games. My subconscious doesn't want to remember the games, so it somehow forces me to get rid of them. Interesting.

I never got to talk to Jeffrey Yan for the next few months although I saw him a bunch- and winning. He'd gained 200 points since the time that we played, and in this tournament had been absolutely evil, just like me. Against my nice school buddy Alex Kaelin? A complete Sicilian crush, with his evil kingside attacking overwhelming my friend. I knew that it was up for me to get revenge! Then in the second round he decided to be mean against another nice kid, Advaith, and scared him and beat him quickly too. (Although not nearly as quickly as I was winning). Next he played Surya Gortantla. Any mercy? Nope! Completely mean win, and he was ready for me. Except maybe not. Because the day before, I finally did get a chance to talk to him.

After the second round, with 4 hours until the next round and many of us staying in the building, I thought, why not play bughouse? So me, Surya, Jeffrey Yan, and many others gathered to play. I was, of course, the best player of them all, and yet I didn't win every game because they played well and would occasionally try to cheat. Every so often, we would end up with more material than we started up with, because someone had taken extra pieces from other boards. Nothing really eventful happened this time however. My opening system in bughouse of 1.e4 d6!? did a good job of confusing everybody.

It's sometimes fun to play bughouse. But playing it for too many hours can get repetitive and annoying and kind of gave me a headache. Also, it really can interfere with your performance.  

I knew who my opponent would be, and that I would have to play with the Black pieces, which wasn't too great for me. Another problem was that my intended system: 1...Nc6 no matter what he did, had been used against his friend, Marc Huang, in the second round, so maybe he would find a refutation. Fortunately he told me before the game what his plans were.

After 1.e4 Nc6, he said that the main line was Nf3, with the point that Black's best move is 2...e5, transposing into a Double King Pawn opening. Unfortunately, this was at the board so I hadn't looked at this line, only focusing on the lines after 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5, so when the game started I was simply forced to go with 2...e5. What I didn't like is that I haven't faced the Black side of the position after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 since my scholastic days, and after 3.Bc4 I had only played this position as White! Nevertheless, I managed to use my skills that I don't have to get a lucky win.

(I know that you all are expecting a 2000 word essay that is really funny, but simply put, I'm lazy!)


Despite the fact that I won, I missed a lot of quicker wins, which I do every game I win. But I missed a forced mate? Oops! That is really bad! 
I realized that I am indeed equally bad at every part of the game. I was able to outplay and checkmate my opponents. Good to have solid skills in both! 
So after this game, I was not surprisingly in clear 1st, half a point ahead of the only player with 3.5/4, Artjom Menkov, who I'd beaten once before. Did I play for a win? Did I get a GM draw? Or did this 1500 play too well, and do the unthinkable?