Montana Open - Round 5
Round 5 saw me finally reach the top table -- Board 2 -- to square off against Tim Schoessler, who is an absolute monster at tournament play and had the advantage of playing white. I had played Tim only once before and drawn him, but I remembered it as a very difficult game and knew this one would be similar. Besides, Tim already had racked up a perfect first day by going 3-0; his only loss was on the morning of the second day, and that was to Grandmaster Yermolinsky.
I'm happy to say that I played a very strong game against Tim and had him in a mating net that almost worked. Being as good as he is, though, Tim put together enough counter-play to make me offer him a draw, which he accepted.
Since Tim told me that he reads this blog, I'll have to work on some other openings and not share them. Perhaps that's the only edge I'll have next time!
UPDATE: It appears Tim made the right call on move 17 by not taking my h pawn with his queen. I indeed could have trapped it, as demonstrated below. Now, if I were truly an awesome player, I would foreseen all this when initially deciding to plant my knight on h6. But that's the great thing about chess -- there's always room to improve.