I had Black against Marc M. (3rd Black for me in this tournament).
We were both quite late to the game. I went down on time first and thought that may become an issue, but then he went into some long thinks himself trying to find a win. At the end, I had 11 minutes left and he had just gone under 6 minutes when I offered him the draw and he accepted.
It’s really even, but he said he accepted because he knew that he’d remain in first place with 3.5/4. The TD said that Isaac had 4 wins, but I didn’t remember til later that I had won against Isaac in round 1, so I’ll have to email him about that.
It’s pretty tough to be on top when you get get 3 games as Black and 1 as White. hehe.
Next Wednesday is the final round – round 5.
Mark said that Bd7 (to prevent his Bb5) in the opening, followed by Bc6 was the way to play it. He had seen a game of Petrosian vs. Spassky in this line. Actually, we were following Crafty’s book, though, for the first 11 moves.
This is how Black should play the rest of the game, Crafty’s analysis and seemed right to me. If White plays …b5, Black uses the a-pawn and file as a lever to get the bishop out that way (Ba6). Otherwise, Black works for the c-pawn lever. It’s an equal game. That’s what I noticed as well, that the a-file was the only one that was harmless to Black, and otherwise the only natural break left was the c5 lever – only d5 in response was my concern during the game, but Black’s 7th/8th rank is also a concern.