My costliest defeat was against GM Dmitry Gurevich at the North American Open (NAO) in 2006. And I realized that was the case after I scanned through the cross-table one last time after I resigned.
As I marked the result, I realized a draw could have gotten me a great U2450 prize and a spot to the U.S. Championship, and a win would gave me the outright first U2450. But all the ‘could haves’ turned into a painful loss.
I had a great year in 2006. Winning the Georgia State Championship and a few other tournaments in Atlanta. I also got my peak rating at 2347.
At the end of the year, I played at the NAO again, my favorite tourney, at least result wise. My first GM scalp was against the late Walter Browne at NAO. I’ve also won the U2300/2450 prize in the Open section twice.
This time, things continued to go my way. After getting a good start, I was paired against Dmitry in the last round. I had a draw and a loss against him before, but this is the first time I got the white piece.
I played my favorite opening, Sozin, and got a position I wanted. I was attacking, putting pressures constantly.
In the position above, 28. Rxe7 would have netted a perpetual check, and here is the complete game with the above mentioned variation.
The game continued, Dmitry found a way to trade queens to limit my attack. But I still got a good endgame position.
As we approach the first time control, my old headache of time trouble kicked in. This is the problem of INDECISIVENESS, and I’ll have much more to say about this topic in another post.
I knew I could have traded the bishop and go for 3 pawns against 3 pawns on the opposite sides. For some reason, I dismissed it.
Then, he had a powerful pin on my bishop, and things started to go from bad to worse until the end where he had three pawns against my double a-pawns, when I resigned.
That was it.
At the time, I didn’t think too much, but after I stopped playing chess, this game often crossed my mind while dealing with missed opportunities.
The reason I like chess and many other games is that no matter how bad a defeat was, I know I can ALWAYS start a new game.
Onto the next journey!