January Thaw - Round 2

Jan 26, 2015, 8:14 AM |

Round 2 was fascinating as well as heartbreaking. This was the first chance for me to play Mark Anderson in an official, lengthy game, and I had victory in the palm of my hand when Mark found a forced stalemate with only 7 seconds remaining on his clock.

Unfortunately, I had to stop recording my moves as the endgame got started, since I was down to 5 minutes and had to play blitz. It ended with my queen and multiple pawns bearing down on his king, while his queen and only two immobilized pawns struggled to stay alive. I put my king on what I thought was a safe square. When I used a move for a critical pawn advance rather than check, he moved his queen right next to my king and forced me to take it. After that, he had no legal moves and got the draw!

My best recollection of the final position appears below, with Mark as black moving his queen to h2 and forcing me to take.

Because of this blunder on my part, Mark and I wound up splitting first place. However, I can safely say that he earned it because he saw an excellent move in a very stressful situation.