Last night we played the very tough b2 or not b2 in the TCCL. The lineups were:
Chris Shomenta (1828) v Kelly
Joe v George Paulik (1767)
Aldaberto Yanes (1715) v John
Blaine v Bruce Winters (1538)
Obviously we had our work cut out for us. The average difference per board was about 400 points. Yeah, that's always fun.
I had a Closed Sicilian against George. I decided to veer from the more open lines to learn something new. I took plenty of time in the early middle game, using about 35 minutes for my tenth through fourteenth moves. I didn't have much time to look at my teammates' games with the exception of Kelly's game, as he was sitting next to me.
John got up about halfway through my game, their game having finished. I didn't have a chance to ask him about the game, as I was splitting attention between my game and checking out Kelly's. He was a piece down, but he had chased Chris' king out into the middle of the board. I thought Kelly had a win going. It was a very interesting game.
When I finally had a chance, I asked John. He won!!! I thought Kelly might win his. Mine was okay, but I didn't feel great about it. I was pretty sure I would have to fight hard for a win.
Kelly was running low on time, and where I thought he had a forced win, he did not have time to execute. Kelly lost, but a brief analysis showed a draw for Kelly. I was feeling a bit sad for Kelly, but he played an excellent game.
I lost mine next, and I thought out of the three of ours--John's, Kelly's, and my own, I had the worst of them. It wasn't ugly like my game the night before at the Castle, but I made at least one strategic error that shut me out from getting at least a draw.
When I stand up, Blaine and Bruce are still going. It was Rook and King for Blaine against Bishop and King for Bruce. "Should be drawn," I thought. Blaine played like a very tough SOB and managed to win the Bishop. With that, we drew the match!!!!
I was very excited for our team! We have a score of 2.5 (2-2-1) for the season, with just two more to go. We have no shot of first place or anything like that, but what we don't have in our established ratings, we make up for at the board. All of us have had some exceptionally strong games this season. With the Winter and Minnesota Open coming up, I think all of our ratings should improve in time for next September, and I am very satisfied with our team!
Tags: chess, Twin Cites Chess League