28 February 2024


In the Inland Classic tournament last weekend, I played reasonably well, despite giving up a 520 point upset to an underrated high school senior who has been one of the top youth players in my city since he was in elementary school. There were points where my play could be improved. The positions below highlight points when errors were made. How would you play?

1. Black to move
How should Black meet the fork threat?

Later in this same game, my round one loss, I had a clear advantage after errors on both sides. Choosing the wrong course from this position turned the game in favor of my opponent.

2. Black to move
In round two, I had a decisive advantage by move six. Nonetheless, I missed a quicker finish from the following position.

3. White to move
My round five game was a long battle and was among the last games to finish. Early in the middle game, I made a sensible move using a minute of thinking time. The position demanded more thought because another idea, which I considered briefly, was sufficiently complex that it could have offered my opponent the opportunity to go wrong.

4. White to move
Two moves later, I threw away a small advantage.

5. White to move
My error in this last diagram maintained a clear advantage, but there was a much better move.

6. White to move

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