My epic battle against a FIDE master

Feb 21, 2016, 5:37 PM |

In round three of the Idaho Closed, I had Black against FM David Lucky, the reigning Idaho state champion with a rating of nearly 2400. To make matters worse, I was the only player to beat him in a twenty-game simul he gave a few weeks prior -- see my earlier blog post about that -- so I knew he'd be out for revenge! My prospects for getting Lucky on Valentine's Day didn't look good. Before the game, I told him I'd do my best to give him a good game but no promises.

As it turned out, I played one of the best tournament games of my life. I fended off a ferocious attack to reach an endgame where I was only slightly worse. There were a couple moments where I actually could have gained a small edge, and I missed two chances to force a draw in the endgame, although I could only reasonably be expected to see one of them. The game lasted five hours and 57 moves, and Mr. Lucky was kind enough to review it with me later that day. It will be published in the upcoming issue of Northwest Chess magazine. I don't think I've ever been so proud of a loss.