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Lucky Again!

Hi kids and parents.  Yesterday I played against GM Dmitry Gurevich.  It is a strange story—I played him in a simultaneous exhibition when I was fourteen years old.  I had just learned how to play chess, and naturally I lost.  But I think his visit to Alaska was one of the reasons I ended up getting so interested in  chess.  Who could imagine that thirteen years later  I would play him in the U.S. Championship?


Well, the game we played was very crazy, with lots of mistakes from both sides.  Neither of us apparently knew the opening very well, but that turned out well for him, since he made a very strong novelty (a new move in the opening).  Later I had the choice between an approximately equal ending and a very speculative piece sacrifice.  I chose the latter—maybe I was influenced by the nearly $1100 “brilliancy” prize?  


He thought I stood better, and I felt like resigning!  Probably the truth was somewhere in between, but when I decided to get a second pawn for my piece, it became clear that I was losing.  But then he made a big mistake, and I was back in the game; although after he found a nice way to return the piece for an attack I was still losing.  He missed a clear win, and the game went into an approximately equal ending, but then it was my turn to make a mistake.  Again he was winning, and finally let his win slip near the end of the game, by giving an unnecessary check.  So the game was a draw. 


Today I play black against the six-time U.S. Champion, Walter Browne.  GM Shabalov leads the tournament with the only perfect score.