World Open, Round 2

Jul 2, 2015, 9:24 AM |

Another round, another teenage girl opponent. This one was from Kyrgizstan, with no USCF rating. She was assigned a rating of 1750 for pairing purposes based on her FIDE rating in the low 1600s, but it is pretty clear that her post-tournament rating will be considerably higher. She played a lackluster opening and I had a great position after 16 moves, but then I spent 36 minutes trying to find a good way to exploit her uncastled king and weak c-pawn and, frustratingly, nothing I thought of seemed to work. I couldn't come up with anything better than the plan of transferring my queen to b3, whereupon my advantage evaporated, and she started playing really well, seizing the opportunity to strangle me like a python after my 25.Qd1?

Not one of my better games... but the highlight of my evening came after the game, as I watched the legendary Artur Yusupov work long and hard to break through the defenses of 13-year-old Ben Li.