Quick Draws for the non-GM

Apr 9, 2008, 4:54 PM |

So a bit over a month ago I was playing in the Hawkeye Mind Challenge. I had reached the last round and was playing on board one against a Master. He needed only a half point to guarantee first place, and I had had a rather interesting series of games to lead me to be on that board. We played the following moves and a draw was offered by black (the Master):



















Now obviously, I am happy to get a draw with a Master, but at the same time, I came to play in this tournament. Supposing I take this draw, it is a guarantee that I qualify for Iowa's State Championship which is a 6-player round robin based on a Grand Prix-like system. I have never played in the state championship before. I will be playing this same Master in the State Championship. So there is my moral dilemma. Oh, and as a side note, there happened to be a blizzard going on outside, so travel for both of us would have been quite dangerous the longer the game went on.

I know that taking such draws isn't necessarily in the best interest of chess, but at the same time it seemed like playing out the game would have just been foolish. I ended up taking the draw after thinking for a few minutes about it. Then I stuck around for a bit since one of my friends was using my board. While waiting for that game to finish so I could go home, the Master walked back in. His car was stuck and he needed help to get it out of the snow. So the TD and I went and spent about 30 minutes to finally, with the help of two other passers-by, get his car out to a point he could drive it. By this time my friend's game had finished and I was able to get home safely. Now the next game with that Master looms a mere week and a half away, and I will finally get to see what could have been in the quick draw.