How I ended 2016 with a positional queen sacrifice, clinching 3rd in Eastern Open
After another dismal start of 0-2, I fought back like hell to win four games straight and to tie for 3rd overall (first U2350) in the Eastern Open last week. I don't know, maybe I have a penchant for hard-fought comebacks! (I detail my extreme comeback experiences in the 99th and 100th Marshall Chess Club Championships here and there.) GM Lenderman won the tournament in style and GM Shabalov came in 2nd.
The last game happened to probably be the best of my entire career, so it definitely provided one of those metaphorical queen-on-top-of-the-cake moments. It's not every day that Caissa provides us with opportunities to execute speculative positional queen sacrifices in must-win situations to complete a raging comeback, so hey, I say we ought to cherish those moments when they happen! This game was against the young, solid expert Evan Ling, whose only loss up to this final round was against the sharp FM Carissa Yip. So he wasn't about to give me an easy game in his final round with advantage of the first move. Indeed, it was a maelstrom. Enjoy!
Lastly, I want to thank those special people in my life who have given me the hope and inspiration to fight on when times (chess and otherwise) are the toughest, giving me the fuel to execute a comeback like this one after a terrible start! You know who you are!
Chess is all about the fight, about the grit needed to overcome the gargantuan psychological obstacles that will inevitably be placed before you. How will you respond to them? Will you channel your inner Lasker? You have to know that you will get knocked down; it's your ability to cope with it that determines and shapes your character at the end of the day. Here's to some great fighting chess -- politically and otherwise -- in 2017!
After the game, I had the chance to play some blitz with chess journalist Jamaal Abdul-Alim, who wrote up some really good stories about the tournament in this Chess Life article.
Below is a photo of the above game courtesy of Bill Simmons Photography. Thank you!
As you can see, this photo is an allegory of the intergenerational dimension of chess. How many games or sports can you think of where old men compete on the same battlefield as little kids (or in my case, an adult against a teen half his age)? Chess knows no boundaries.
My site: www.chessprofessor.net
My twitter: @chessprof
Awesome Black Chess Queen Cake by Sara Giustizieri Cake Studio, Rome, Italy
UPDATE: I won 3rd brilliancy prize (published in Chess Life) and 3rd best fighting spirit for this game...giving me 3rd in everything! Hey, I'll take what I can get!
P.S. In addition to Fischer's mesmerizing Game of the Century, my particular inspiration for this game goes to this tune: