Sunday, November 17, 2019

My Games from the 2019 Seneca Lake Open

The 5th annual Seneca Lake Open was held on Saturday, November 16 in Geneva, NY. It was a quick four-round event with time control of G/60. My last round game in particular was especially entertaining.

Round 1

My first round was against one of our young talents from Rochester. Unfortunately, he started off on the wrong foot in the opening and things quickly went from bad to worse.

If black does not want to play a Tarrasch defense against the Catalan, he can still (after 4.g3) play 4. ... dxc4 (instead of 4. ... c5 immediately), and then after 5.Bg2 play 5. ... c5, which is actually one of the main lines that Grandmasters use with black.

Round 2

My second round game was also against a class A player. It was pretty sloppy as I completely missed some important tactical details, but had a neat finish in the end.

I actually remember almost playing 21. ... Nd3? in the middlegame but fortunately noticed the strong exchange sac in time - that's an instructive example of how a bishop can actually be stronger than a rook. That was a somewhat up and down game where white missed a big chance on move 12, but after that black got a nearly winning position by move 25 since white's pieces were so restricted.

Round 3

This game was another against a regular Rochester player who I also played a couple weeks ago in the club championship.

Black was doing fine in the opening, but went off the rails quickly with the berserk sacrifice on move 13.

Round 4

This was by far the most fun game I had over the weekend - my opponent played an old romantic line of the King's Gambit and his king staggered up to d3 before move 10!

White actually would have had a playable position with 7.Bxf4! 0-0-0 8.Ke3!? instead of 7.Kd3?! In the game white quickly got in trouble after my strong break 12. ... d5!, opening up the center. Definitely don't miss my note on move 3 - that game from the 1800s is a real treat!

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