Hello everyone! This past weekend I played in one of central Florida's biggest tournaments of the year: the Central Florida Class Championship. I ended up scoring 4/5 points, winning clear 2nd place and played many interesting games. The main one I wanted to share in this blog post was my final game of the tournament. Both my opponent and I entered the final round with 3/4 points, both having lost to the tournament leader who now had 4/4 points. A win would get one of us clear 2nd place (unless the leader lost his final game!) while a draw would not result in much at all. So this was sure to be a fighting game!
I ended up finding an interesting idea in the late opening/early middlegame phase that I wanted to share. It results in quite a beautiful position if I do say so myself!
I found this 9...b5! pawn sacrifice very interesting because the roots of this idea come from another opening that I have a lot of experience with: the Benko Gambit. In that opening, black also gives up a pawn early in the game for quick pressure against white's queenside. In this game it was a completely different opening, but we see how the same ideas and patterns can carry over between different positions. In this case, the b5 pawn sacrifice worked excellently and white quickly fell apart resulting in a 21-move miniature game which allowed me to finish the tournament in clear 2nd place.
Hopefully you enjoyed this game!