As I sat down for my third round match of the 2023 Washington Senior Championship, memories of last year’s loss to Fritz flashed through my mind. I had made a terrible blunder early in the game, and it cost me dearly. This time, I had the white pieces, and I was determined to play better chess.
Fritz is a formidable player with an aggressive attacking style. He had an impressive rating of 1941 and has been playing chess decades longer than me. As we started the game, I made my first move, e4, and Fritz responded with c5. The game was underway.
Fritz played a common continuation, and I had a plan to meet it. However, instead of responding with c4, I decided to try something else. I played Na3, – not the strongest continuation but I know it surprised him. My plan was to expand on the queenside with the moves Nc2, c3, and perhaps d4.
My opponent continued to play aggressively, and I had to be careful. I made sure to secure my knight on c4 and keep my bishop from getting trapped. I was worried about my bishop’s position, but I realized that it was not a real concern.
As the game progressed, I could feel the tension building. Scholz was making some powerful moves, but I remained calm and focused. I prepared my pieces for an attack and waited for the right moment to strike.
Finally, the moment arrived. I made a move that secured my victory. I could see the acceptance on Fritz’s face as he realized that he had no way out. I had won the game!
I was ecstatic. I had redeemed myself from last year’s loss and had played a solid game of chess. As I shook Fritz’s hand, I knew that we had a mutual respect for one another’s play. The game may have been intense, but it was a great experience, and I was thrilled to have won.