My First Smothered Mate
Jan 4, 2017, 7:18 AM 0
This was an online game that I played in March, 2016 in Yelets, Russia. I was experimenting with the Danish Gambit at the time, as I was just learning how important the bishop pair can be in open games. Both my opponent and I made plenty of mistakes, so I didn't bother to annotate it - in particular, castling kingside on my part and the fact that my opponent failed to notice the a6 escape route serve as prime examples of mistakes that could have been easily avoided. However, I had never had the chance to deliver a smothered mate in one of my own games, and as it is quite a rare occurrence, I still look at this particular game as a step in the right direction for me, chess-wise.
When I showed this game to my chess instructor in Yelets, Sergei Volobuyev, he was astounded that an American exchange Fulbrighter could go from a sub-800 level to delivering smothered mate in less than five months. Needless to say, it gave me much confidence and helped me to continue my chess journey. As of this post I am rated about 1400 in standard time controls, with a FIDE and USCF rating lower than that, simply because I haven't played in that many tournaments this year. However, upon return to the US, I hope to become more actively engaged in the chess community and to see more exciting games like these in real-time. Have a good day!