Battling to a draw versus a master

May 28, 2016, 10:28 PM |

This Memorial Day weekend I'm in Lynnwood, just outside Seattle, playing in the three-day Washington Open. With my rating over 1800 now, the only section I'm eligible for is the Open, where I get to square off against a slew of experts, masters, and even a bona-fide GM. Now that's competition worth driving 500 miles for!

In the first round, I had Black against Northwest chess legend Viktors Pupols, currently rated at his floor of 2200. The time control was 40/120 SD/30 d10, and we used just about all of it: after a five-hour struggle, my opponent settled for a draw by repetition with less than two minutes left on his clock. Only one other game lasted longer.

I haven't had a chance to annotate the game yet, but I wanted to put it up today because it's the first time I've ever had anything other than a loss in a tournament game against someone rated over 2000. This is huge for me -- I really feel like I'm improving!