Lionel Davis vs Ken Regan. Swimming in Buffalo.

Apr 13, 2011, 9:42 AM |

This game occurred in the second round of city championship of Buffalo, New York in 2008. After a typical Reti opening where White delays deployment of either center Pawn, Regan took the opportunity to play 10...d4 and gain space in the center. Davis chose to lock the center on move 11 and then the fight went to the flanks.

Regan missed 23...Nf5! which would have given Black an enduring edge, and Davis finally found the time he needed to undermine Pawn center.  With things about equal, Davis chose 32.Qc7+ which sent him down an Exchange but he emerged with adequate compensation, only to botch it with 40.Nc4? and 41.Bxe7.

The last two errors were probably in time pressure.

This was a tremendous fight (or should I say swim?), which underscores the clash of ideas in the center. I do believe that both players were grasping for a coherent plan between moves 13 and 20.  When you have to play a position that you don't understand without a clear plan, Ariel Mengarini used to call that "swimming".