As some of you know, I have a soft spot for the Van Geet Attack, which I’ve written about previously. and played extensively in online blitz. Tonight at the Marshall, I had the pleasure of playing it over the board for the first time in a tournament game, and beat Vladimir Bugayev 2305 with it. Throughout much of the game, black is actually slightly better according to my engine, however, white’s game is just so much easier to play. Once we stopped notating, the position wasn’t a simple win for me, though a few moves later I was able to double on the open a file and won a central pawn with check, at which point my opponent made an illegal move with only seconds left on his clock and decided to resign as his position had become hopeless. His queen, and likely his dark square bishop were both bound to fall off to the checks coming on the 7th rank. Unfortunately, I stopped notating as well and so do not have the complete score.
In the same, tournament I had Margulis 2273 completely crushed but made an incredibly bad decision to give back the piece that he had been forced to sacrifice to hold off a mating attack. On move 17, I can simply exchange the dark squared bishops and emerge with a clear and simple advantage of two good centralized knights v.s. a bad light squared bishop behind a pawn chain. The eval is plus 2 on my engine after that exchange when the position would be rather simple to win. I’m not sure what got into me, as I saw that continuation, but then thought that if I gave the piece back in order to open the kingside i would have a nasty attack- naturally, I forgot the strength of the pin on my knight and only a few moves later it was me who was losing a piece. Truly tragic. Nonetheless, I had a performance rating of 2290 and in the race to 2000 I should have a bit of an edge after this tournament.