This was the fifth and final round of the Washington Senior Open and I had 2 points out of 5. I had already lost to my friend Fritz and almost lost to someone rated 1300. This was not a good tournament.
In this, the final round, I was paired against FM William Schill. He had won the Washington State Championship in the early 2000’s and was one of the top seeds in the tournament. He drew FM John Readey earlier in the tournament and had 3 points out of 6. A win here could put him in contention for first place.
This game is a good example of not giving up. I was worse in many parts of the game but I kept focused and maneuvered through the complexities to arrive at a draw.
The move 16. Na5?! was where the game took a turn for the worse. Resist the temptation to grab the bishop pair unless the position calls for it. The knight on c4 is an excellent piece – why trade it?. After ef5 Bxg2 Kxg2, the game is equal. The knight cannot be easily taken and both players have chances.
Creating a backward pawn with 23. cd3 was another poor decision. Rd3 is better as it allows trades and takes pressure off of the d-file. It also allows the interesting d4 which breaks up the center and equalizes the game.
Overall, this was my best game of the tournament but it had more to do with my opponent missing moves than me outplaying him. Still, drawing a FIDE master is no easy task so I am grateful for the half point!