Pushing Through Part II
I was lucky on Saturday but didn't yet know it. (Fritz 14 humbled me quite greatly with regards to the first game.) I knew I had yet another opportunity to make this a big tournament. I had teased big performances before going 3+0=0- on Saturday of the 2013 Statesville Open defeating two 2100s and a 2300. I also had strong performances for most of the first town rounds of the first two FM Ron Simpson Memorials defeating masters in round one of each event while coughing up a +13 advantage against a 2100 in the first Simspon and getting swindled for a draw by the eventual co-champion in the second version. Sundays though had also been very tough on me throughout the years. Whether it be fatigue or some kind of mental block, I really needed a little something to get over that hump.
Not having played the 3rd round though meant a good night's rest. It also kind of helped that I would be familiar with my fourth round opponent Jonathon McNeill. Jonathon had crushed me with a queenside attack in the Panov-Botvinnik the last time we played, so I decided to test an idea of Slovenian GM Emir Dizdarevic and see if I could get a better result. I did not play the exact line of the idea, but the chaos that ensued broke well for me.
The g5 move looks silly, but contains some interesting threats and the piece play is unusual. His knight looked to be very active on d6, but my Bg7-h6-f4 maneuver forced the pony to vacate the warmth of his stable. Instead of retreating to the queenside (which Fritz rated as dead even.) my opponent blundered a piece when he missed a zweischenzug on d2.
*This was my first tournament since the 20th anniversary of my first tournament game (A rated quad between myself, my brother Curtis, and my high school classmate Jeremy Lingenfelser and his brother Josh in May of 1996. I went 2+0=1- in that quad.)
*This was also the first full tournament since my 1000th tournament game (a wild but entertaining loss to Josh Lawson at the Greensboro Open in February.)
*This was also the game that clinched me pushing through into the expert class for the first time....
Three points with one round to go.....