Sunday, December 16, 2012

DC Chess League: December Edition

I was back at the board on Friday night, playing down 300 points in the DC Chess League. This presented a special challenge because I had a large rating gap and needed to win, both for my pride and to ensure a victory for the team. After looking at a couple of my opponent's games online I realized that he sometimes played a very drawish continuation against one of my main defenses against e4, so I turned to a line I knew well but hadn't played in a couple of years. Fortunately, a half hour of flipping through Mihail Marin's, "A Spanish Opening Repertoire for Black" gave me the needed confidence and even though he played a sideline, many of Marin's ideas were relevant in the game.

 My opponent played pretty well and I made a couple mistakes, so the game was roughly even until move 34 (pictured below) when he was overly hasty with the move a4. He didn't think long on this move because attacking my a6-c4 pawn chain is a normal idea, but he missed a couple tactical details that let me pick up a pawn. I think he became discouraged after losing the pawn and blundered twice more before resigning the game.

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