Round 4 – final round.
So, right before I got to Colorado, seven years ago, there was a local Expert named Mitchell A. who was once rated as high as 2042, and was mostly over 2000 back then. He was even the Colorado Springs City Champion once. Well, he finally returned to play in his first tournament after all that time (would love to hear the backstory on what he’s done since then). He said that he didn’t care about his rating just now since he’s only getting back into chess after a long spell. He says he changes his openings all of the time, and tries to reach novel positions, so this game was no exception.
He missed 15.Nh4, and I thought it was unclear after 15…Qh7, 16.gxB Rg8, followed by …g5, when I was not planning on taking. Stockfish does say that that’s equal, but 16.Bf3, taking time to attack, instead of grab material and defend, is +2.
In any case, he sacked his queen and smiled at me, as if it were a wink. He had some ideas to make the queen sac work, but mostly I think he was just trying to have some fun and an interesting game. He’s not a weak player, he just decided to try and have some fun, and I’ve gotta say we’ve all done it at some point, from time to time.
I was thrilled that I didn’t get into a technical game with him, as he strikes me as an ace at technical positions/endings, which you would expect from his rating, and those are the games in which he seems to win with ease.
I did see Nf3-g5xf7 forking rooks idea (since he hasn’t moved his bishop on f8), but I guess I forgot about it, much like he said he saw my Nh4 move, but forgot about it. Putting up the game score, I realized that I was worried about him playing …e5, and then his Qd5 does cover f7, and I was worried that Ng5 would give up …e5, so that is probably what I was looking at, but the engines say it works and is over +1.5
This tournament brought my rating back up over 1800 (1819). We’ll see what tomorrow night brings. I’m looking forward to playing in the Fall Classic 2 1/2 weeks from now, even though the first two rounds are at the club-like time-conrol of G/90, d/5.