So I go to Panera, thinking I’d probably get paired with Fred S., somehow thinking that Paul A. and Imre, the top two players would be playing, but then I found out I was getting to play Imre as White – thank heavens it was with White.
I got there right before pairings were announced, so I was caught off guard a little bit about what to play against Imre. Of course, I should have played the Open Sicilian because Imre is going to be super-strong positionally, but what to do, one has to play moves and I was fine with c3, particularly after seeing his …Nf6 rejoinder.
Well, I did my level best, but nothing came of it until the very end. Imre is tough, and one sharp-cookie, positionally.
No lie, on move 14, before playing d5, I thought to myself that Paul Anderson would probably play 14.Rc1 here, and win in some unspecified manner. Guess what? Fruit loves Rc1! I don’t even know what the move does other than it’s not a marginal move like the one I played.
I had offered Imre a draw earlier, once it became apparent that we should both keep our rooks on our second-rank and call it a day, but he wanted to play on a little longer. So, after I played 38.b4 he said “Okay, it is a draw then!” waving his hands. He was right that the position was 0.0, but I wasn’t strong enough to know that! and so played on, thinking that I was winning when I was not. Nevertheless, Imre quickly threw out …38.a5?? which I knew was losing (I knew that …Kc5 was losing too, but didn’t realize that ..b5 was not losing), and I blitzed out the win.
At one points, Imre had around 54 minutes to my 12 minutes. I got down to 2:33 on the clock and then seemed to make my last 15 moves without spending any time. He was blitzing me in my time-pressure, which was obviously only exhausting and frustrating him a bit, but not myself. Are you kidding, I love it when people do this to me!
I didn’t even realize that this was the final round until Dean Browne was shoving money in my face – I love when he does that. hehe.
Anyway, Imre was on the cover of Chess Life or the Colorado Chess Informant back in 1964 when he was state co-champion. That was before I was born! 😉