Fumbling and stumbling in the Advance French

Feb 20, 2016, 3:57 PM |
Last weekend I had a fantastic time playing in the three-day Idaho Closed State Championship. I played a few great games (including one where I almost held out for a draw against a FIDE master!) and a few not-so-great ones, but somehow I won five out of six to finish in clear second. Thanks to four wins against Class B players, my rating broke 1800 for the first time! More importantly, the tournament reminded me how much fun it is to play a great game surrounded by friends who root for each other and try to help each other improve. Huge thanks to the TD, Jeff Roland, and the Idaho Chess Association for hosting a wonderful event!

In the first round, I had Black against an up-and-coming young player who I thought played better than her rating. She played an unusual sixth move in the Advance French, which led to a murky middlegame where both of us struggled to come up with the right plan. With all the twists and turns, it took me about three hours to annotate the game -- a long time, but not as long as it took to play it!