Close encounter with an IM

Close encounter with an IM

Oct 11, 2016, 11:50 AM |

A few weeks ago, I played in a fun tournament in which I got to play and International Master and former Swedish champion, Mr. Dan Cramling. As you can understand, I did not expect anything apart from being completely wiped off the board. But as it turned out, it wasn't all that bad.

Should I go for the counter gambit?
The game went into a sideline of the Meran-variation, just because I had a poor memory of the main line. Still, my position was perfectly fine. But then we came to a cross-road.
A critical decision
From this point on, the game was an uphill struggle. However, it was not completely over. Despite the extra pawn, white's advantage is not decisive. But we soon arrived at another critical juncture.
To take or not to take...
I thought the pawns would be too strong, so I did not dare to take the bishop. However, If I had, I might have ended up with a holdable position. The diagram below illustrates what could have happened.

Can black hold this?

So how can I summarize this? Well, first of all, it was fun to get the opportunity to play an IM. That being said, I was surprised that he did not wipe me away with some brilliant tactical combination. But maybe his strategy was to simply wait for me to blunder and then take advantage. After all, that's what happened in the game. But despite this, I was not that far away from getting a holdable endgame. But I guess that mr IM would have beaten me with technique if that had been the case. Anyway, it was a fun game.