After losing my round two game and taking my usual round three bye, I started Sunday morning with 1.5/3 in the Eastern Washington Open. My round four opponent is returning to chess after fifty years away and is much stronger than his rating suggests. Even so, he missed a tactical finesse that gave me an opportunity.
Black to move
In round five, I had my third Black in four games. I spent some time with the tournament director looking at the pairings, the logic, and the alternate possibilities. Due to a large number of byes and several upsets by the oldest and youngest players in the event, someone had to forego the usual color equalization. My opponent should not have three Blacks in a row, so he had White.
While I played something resembling the Czech Benoni in round four, I opted for a more normal Modern Benoni in round five. When my opponent played the thematic e4-e5 push, I spent nine minutes working out the best response. Prior to that I had averaged one minute per move.
Black to move
Would you play these two positions the way I did?
I finished the event with 3.5/5 and tied with a bunch of players in third place, sharing the A Class prize with two others. The only Expert went 5-0. All of the A Class players suffered a loss, some more than one. One of my students took out two A Class players on Saturday. The young woman who beat me on Saturday beat another A Class player in round five.