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Seize New Opportunities

Seize New Opportunities

Apr 27, 2016, 5:25 PM 1
The big chess happening in Houston, TX last weekend was the Center 64 Spring Tournament. A total of 56 players squared off in two sections split on the 1900 rating level. Full results are available here. Being placed in the championship group, I struggled, but did at least take home two draws.
The first game I played was truly enjoyable and entertaining, and I felt I should have taken advantage of the active play I had to take home a victory. However, I learnt a couple of valuable lessons:
1. Just because your opponent has a higher rating doesn't mean he or she won't make mistakes.
2. Don't be so stuck in your own plan that you don't see new opportunities arising due to your opponent making a mistake. Always take a fresh look and see if an unexpected opportunity has arisen.
3. Remember to visualize lines and what would happen if the blocking pieces weren't there. If that looks like it could create a threat, search for a way to make the pieces "disappear" and make the threat real.
Here is the first critical position where black has a great move that I did not see. Do you see what black should do?
Below is the full game.

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