All-Out Brawl

All-Out Brawl

IM dpruess
May 28, 2011, 11:21 AM |

[previous round]

During the Metropolitan Invitational, I started off posting all my games in between rounds, typically during the 2 or 3 hours I waited at the tournament site for Kostya to finish his game. However, on the second to-last day of the event, I stopped posting my games-- and it's taking me well over a week to gradually get them all up. Why? Because rounds 7 and 8 were the only two rounds of the event that I prepared for!

After finishing my lame game 6, I was observing my opponent for the next round playing. His opponent was in severe time trouble (though he was not) and he was shaking his legs up and down in a way that I sometimes unconsciously do too, but with an incredible power. I felt myself almost bouncing off the floor from ten feet away. At the same time he was making incredibly loud chewing sounds (though there was no food in evidence). I felt so bad for his opponent. I just knew that if the next round I got into time trouble and lost because he was being so wildly distracting I'd be infuriated. So after checking in on for a couple hours of work, I decided to grab a spare 40 minutes to prepare instead of uploading my game, in order to avoid that sad fate of becoming angry.

I had a different reason to not post either game (rd 6 or 7) when I got home that evening: I'd been looking forward to my game 8 since the first day of the tournament. This was the only round when I would be paired with someone who I thought usually answered e4 with e5, and so it would be my only possible king's gambit of the tournament. (Since I played 1.d4 in my other 3 white games, there was definitely no chance of playing another King's Gambit). And so I had looked forward to this round all tournament long as the most delectable experience I would have in L.A. I wanted to also make sure to win the game, so once again I prepared.

I had seen Atoufi play e4 e5 f4 Bc5 against Tim Taylor in a previous Metropolitan Invitational, so I started looking at some lines that evening. However, I did not find anything really exciting in the hour I took before bed, so I went to sleep uncertain what to play (and a little concerned, because nothing could redeem the event if my one king's gambit proved a debacle). In the wee hours of the morning as I dreamed, I dreamed of an incredible move... 3.Qh5! lining up the undefended pawn and bishop.

We woke up a bit late and tired, with no time for breakfast. On the way I told Kostya about the move I had dreamed of, and he responded with some measure of disbelief. However, I analyzed the move out to move 5 or 6, and it seemed plausible, so I sat down with every intention of playing it--

Now that was a game that could have gone either way! I think my opponent did not seem at all upset when he lost, and I would not have been too upset to lose either in the end, because it was just a good all-out struggle by both of us. However, the 60 move game explains why I was again not able to post any of my games, before round 9 began...