I went into the 6th round with a 1.5 point lead over the field. It didn't matter what I did in the last round I was winning the tournament. I drew the last round. One might assume that I went for a quick "grandmaster draw". If only it had been that simple. I wanted to go 6-0, but I had a serious brain fart early in the game. After 17 moves I was down a rook for a pawn. I almost resigned on the spot, but I didn't want my wonderful tournament ending on such a crappy note. I also thought about "Winners never quit. Quitters never win." What are you doing when you resign a chess game? You're quitting that game. I'm not advocating playing out ridiculously hopeless positions. However why should I resign barely out of the opening with queens on the board?
28 moves later we reach the following position after 45. Rxb7.
Now I'm down a rook and a pawn. He's threatening Bg7+ forking my king and knight. It also looks like within a few moves he can get his queen down to the back rank and get mate. Once again I'm giving serious consideration to resigning. I start thinking about where I can possibly place the knight to avoid the fork. I finally come up with 45...Nf3+. 46. Kg2 is his only move. 46. Kh3 loses outright to 46...Qh1+ 47. Qh2 Qxh2#. I was hoping, but he did find Kg2. This little cheapo accomplished one thing in that it made him burn a good chunk of time.
The game continued 46... Ne1+ 47. Kh3 Qg4+ 48. Kh2 Nf3+ 49. Kg2 Nxh4+ 50. Kf1? He can avoid the perpetual with 50. Kg1 Nf3+ 51. Kf1 Qh3+ 52. Qg2 Nh2+. I run out of checks. I think he panicked because he was running low on time.
50... Qd1+ 51. Qe1 Qf3+ 52. Qf2 Qd1+ 53. Qe1 Qf3+. I salvaged a draw out of a totally lost position. It was a nice way to end a fantastic tournament. Grandmaster B. M Kim will be proud of me for carrying his Taeo Kwan Do credo to chess.
Steve Immitt presents me with my prize check for $300. This is the most money I've ever won in a tournament. This is the same Steve who organizes and directs "Four Rated Games Tonight!" on Thursdays at the Marshall. Steve was kidding around with me yesterday after I started off 3-0. He said the pairing program kept wanting to put "please wait" next to my name but couldn't. When he gave me the check he and Andre (in the background) were kidding around about how many Thursdays it would take for my rating to go back to its normal level. I gained 59 points this weekend. I'd like to think that this is the start of my rating moving back towards 1800, and that I can beat some of these guys on Thursday.
In the next day or two I'll post a couple of the games. Some of them were very interesting.