Thursday Grand Prix

Last night I decided to play a bit of chess for a change and entered the Thursday Grand Prix with a last round bye. When I arrived and looked around the room- i could immediately see three GM’s, several FM’s and a ton of masters- par for the course for a Grand Prix. In any case, my first game was against Corbblah 2177, who I have heard was a big jeopardy winner and in the past has been a bit of a jerk I have to say (he literally ripped a page out of a score book without buying it and then took it personally when confronted.) In any case, he was friendly enough on this occasion, though I only hoped to draw, I managed to win a simple and straightforward chess game. I’m hoping in the future we can get along without any further property damage.

In my race to 2000 this gives me a nice bump, up to 1744, just ahead of Boris at 1725. Hopefully this Saturday I can perform well enough in the U1800 to not be eligible to play in it next month.

Being at the bottom of the top scoregroup put me in a position of having to face Raven Sturt 2376- who I have beat before in a blitz game and so I knew that he was fallible. Having said that, he recently had Magnus Carlsen crushed in a simul- being up a piece out of the opening with an Eval of plus 2, but let him slip away incredibly. In any case, he played right into my recent Czech Benoni preparation and I achieved a winning position (eval. Plus 5!) in the middle game. When I stopped writing, I had only seconds left. What followed was a flurry of exchanges and moves with only 2 seconds left on Sturt’s clock and fewer than 10 on mine- leading to a position in which we both had a king, a knight, and passed pawn- though tragically his was queening first.