My Friend’s First Tango with a GM

My Friend Szymon, who a lot of my readers probably know from the Tea Lounge in Park Slope or as the captain of our New York Commercial Chess League Team, recently played in the 4 rated games tournament on thursday nights at the Marshall, and had the luck of being paired with GM Kekelidze. The game is actually very interesting, and certainly instructive for any KID players out there. I’m including Szymon’s notes and his pgn below:

My First Game Ever With a Grandmaster
Yesterday I went to the Marshall Chess Club for their G30 (actually this is 25min with 5sec delay) tournament, which they always have on Thursdays and I started to play in these once a month this year. They run them in the Swiss system, which means that in the first round, being rated in provisional 1800’s, I’m always paired up, and this time was no different- I had to play grandmaster (!) Mikheil Kekelidze, rated 2460 FIDE and 2536 USCF. I expected to be wiped off the board and proceed to the next round, but anyway I just wanted to play him like I would anyone else, that’s my approach- play the board, not the man. And it turned out to be a King’s Indian, where we both didn’t play the Classical Variation in the best fashion, but entering the middlegame, he was better, having deprived me of my light-squared bishop. And that was the point where I started playing better and better and making him think (probably at that point he could already think about the game going downhill), and the resistance I put forced concessions from him, which, after the queen exchange, amazingly, brought me a position which is really good, shame that I didn’t hold it longer and started thinking what to do to REALLY draw this game, because that’s where the advantage was lost. I should have been a little bit bolder and not have played 42…fxg3 for example. With both of us very low on the clock, he saw a beautiful tactic in the end and the inevitable happened. But managing to play a 49-move game against a grandmaster is something that I would never think I’m able to pull off. Please check the game for my comments and variations.