This was Round 4 of the five round tournament on Wednesday’s this month at G/90, Inc/30.
It’s been said more than once by elite tournament winners that you also need a bit of luck to win a tournament, and this game was no exception to that rule.
I started off playing this ridiculous looking “Five and a half pawns attack”, which isn’t so great an idea against Paul perhaps, but fortune was on my side this time.
First, 13…Qa5. I was worried about 13…e5, when my attack stands to wither away considerably.
22.Rd6? I wanted to play 22.Nd6, which is dominating, and should lead to a win, but instead played 22.Rd6 based on a cute tactic which doesn’t work – 22…Bd7, 23.Nf6+ BxN, 24.exBf6, and not now …Qxf6??, but simply …Qe8, when I would seem to have nothing much left to show for my attack.
27.d7 I could also play 27.Bf3, and here Paul showed me …Qd8, 28.Kh1 Qb6, and then I saw after 29.d7 he has …Bf6, and Black is much better. As it was, I sort of swindled/hookwinked him through this part, as he missed continuations where he would have been better.
34.Nxc6 Again, at the board, I felt that 34.Nxe6 was crushing after …Bd4+, 35.Kf1 (my king is now one step closer), Bb6, 36.d8(Q) BxQ, 37.NxB, and now while Black has saved his c-pawn, it will act as a shield against his own king while I round up the a-pawn, and there is one less kingside pawn to stop. As it was, I chickened out and played the obvious continuation, which could have easily lost. Paul made quite a few bad moves and may have even been winning had he played it right, was at least equal for Black.
4-0 is my score in this tournament as it now stands. 😀