City Championship Contenders

Aug 15, 2010, 7:15 AM |

Several years ago, Dave Griffin revived the old Spokane City Championship, a four game match between two of the city's top players with a rotating trophy as the prize. Each year's challenger is selected by a six-player round robin. Participants in the Contenders Tournament, as this event is called, are the winners of our major weekend tournaments (if local players), our club championships, and our grand prix point system that rewards activity and consistent success. This year is my third in the Contenders.

I've described this sort of tournament as one that I like becuase it is possible to lose every game--the competition is tough. Yesterday I had some success, winning all three games. This morning I play John Julian, last years winner (he went 1 1/2-2 1/2 in the City Championship Match against FM David Sprenkle last year). John is also 3-0 after yesterday. In the final round I play Dave Griffin.

In round one, my opponent fell into a Sicilian which he does not play often. He made a few inaccurate moves and fell quickly.

In round two, Nikolay played a strong opening, but lost a pawn to some tactics. When he lost a second pawn, he had a powerful passed pawn on the sixth rank as compensation. There was much maneuvering as he struggled to promote the pawn.

In round three, I offered my opponent a draw at move 13 so I could go home and prepare for today. He refused (as I knew he would), but offered a draw eight moves later, which I refused. We played a long endgame in which I had four pawns for a bishop and we each had a rook.