Mike and Silvio were the first two to finish. Alan had another one of those crazy games where he was down two pawns early. Eventually he won a rook for a bishop but the opponent had these pesky looking passed pawns on the queenside. It was a crazy looking position with back rank mate threats for the opponent, but Alan came through again with another nice finish.
Once again I had one those boring looking games where I thought I had nothing. However a few small mistakes on my opponent's part gave me the opening I needed. Here's the crucial position:
I had just played 32. g4. He played 32... f6? This move is terrible for black. He spends rest of the game playing a knight down because it never gets back in play. Better would be 32... Ng5+ 33. Bxg5 hxg5. Up to this point I had been fiddling around waiting to see what was going to happen on the other boards. Once Silvio and Mike won I can take a draw, but I figured I had more play because of his dead knight. The game continued, 33. h4 Kf8 34. Bd2 Ke8 35. Bb4 Kf7 36. Rb7+ Kg8 37. Rb5 Kf7 38. Ba5 Rd7 39. Kf4 Nf8 At this point he picked up the knight puts it on f8 and before letting go he takes the move back and tries playing Ke8. I called the touch move. (Never try to slip a touch move by a TD.) I'm not sure this was critical tempo for him or not but he does waste time moving the knight back.
40. Bb4 Nh7 41. Rb8 g5+ 42. fxg6+ This was my second en passent in this game, and third one in the tournament for me. I think that's more en passents then all of last year combined. 42...Kxg6 43. Rg8+ Kf7 44. Rb8 Kg7 45. Kf5 Kf7 46. Bc5 Kg7 47. Ke6 Rf7 48. Kxd5 f549. gxf5 Rxf5+ 50. Ke6 Rf6+ 51. Ke5 Kg6 52. Be7 Ra6 53. d5 Kf7 54. d6 I debated about this move for awhile. I was concerned intially that he'd start get a bunch of checks, but it's easy for me to come towards the rook. The bishop on d6 pawn are working well together.
54...Ra5+ 55.Kd4 Ke6 56. Rh8 Rd5+? 57. Kc4 Rf5 (If he plays 57...Nf6 58 Bxf6 Kxf6 59. Kxd5.) 58. Rxh7 Rf7 59. Rxf7 Kxf7 60. Kd5 Ke8 61. Kc6?! I was so concerned about stalemate I missed forced mate in 2. 61. Ke6 h5 62.d7# He resigned.
So we won 4-0. This should put us back in the main ballroom with the big boys. Hopefully I can get some good pictures from the costume contest. My next post will be the food review after dinner at Ruth Cris Steakhouse.