After my recent disasters at the Marshall Chess Club, I decided a little change of scenery and format would be good for me. The Westfield Chess Club (New Jersey) meets every Sunday afternoon at the Westfield YMCA. Several times a month they run quads. They've been running these quads for many years. They are very popular, and tend to draw around 40 to 50 players.
I like the quad format because it's a 4 player round robin with opponents close in rating. One doesn't get the extreme pairings that are typical in an open Swiss. I couldn't complain about the rating distribution in my quad. 1705, 1700, 1700, 1651. I also managed to avoid having any kids in my quad. That was the good news. The bad news was I played horrendously in round one and walked into mate on the 31st move. Believe it or not, that's not even the designated Wacky Wednesday game. It was too long to qualify.
Round two was an interesting game. I was up two pawns, but black got play for them. This is the final position after Black played 42... Qc2. The question facing White "Is Black's exchange sacrifice sound?" Unfortunately I ran out of time trying to find the answer.
Accepting the sacrifice allows Black to force a draw. 43. Bxe2 Rxe2 44. Kf1 Rh2 45. R3d2 Rh1+ 46. Kf2 (Not 47. Kg2?? Mate in 7 for Black. Highlight text between the brackets for the answer. [46. Kg2 Qe4+47. Kf2 Qxf4+ 48. Ke2 Qe4+ 49. Kf2 Rh2+ 50. Kg3 Qe5+ 51. Kf3 d4+ 52. c6 Bxc6# ]) 46...Rh2+ 47. Kf1 Rh1+
White's best plan is 43. Qg3 Re1+ 44. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 45. Qxe1 Qxd3 46. Bg2. White is up two pawns and Black's atack has run out of steam.
Interesting position, but not the wackiest thing of the day. That came in round three. I guess winning the toss was a sign that perhaps things might turn around for me. I was 0-2, so things couldn't get much worse for me. The inner pessimist is asking herself "What's the worst that can happen now? I can lose again and end out 0-3." When my rating can't go any lower, I don't sweat 0-3 versus 1-2. Though after a long afternoon of chess, ending with a win would be a nice way to finish. My opponent was very accommodating on his part.
This game was painfully quick for my opponent.
When I played 17. Qh7+ my opponent suddenly realized what he had overlooked. It was nice to be on the giving end for a change. Lately, I've had too many games end in such an abrupt manner with me having the "OMG what was I thinking?" moment.