I drew my game last night against Hadi Soltani (previously known here as "The Dentist") and won the Reno Chess Club 2008 Class B Championship!
It was an interesting situation to go into the last round knowing a draw would win the tournament; having read a lot of chess history I knew there were many examples where someone "played for a draw" and lost through timid, flaccid chess, so I planned to just play normally and go for a win if the opportunity came. A loss would result in a three-way tie (in a three-player event!) at 2-2.
I had White, and he played something I don't believe I've ever seen in one of my games: 1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Be7, allowing 4. e4. I took him up on it, and when he played c5 a few moves later the game turned in to a kind of Maroczy Bind with his bishop on e7 instead of g7. After a bit of maneuvering he played the d5 break and things got tricky and tactical. He made a queen move I hadn't seen the full strength of, pinning a knight and hitting a weak square in my camp, but I found a way to come out okay, then he played Qe3+, I went Kf1, he went back Qh6 hitting my h-pawn, I went Kg1 guarding without creating any weaknesses, and he went Qe3+ again. He didn't seem to have any strong moves to avoid the repetition, and an ending would be better for White, he played Qf4 this time. It turned out he didn't really understand the three-time repetition rule, he thought moving to a different square in between invalidated the repetition, so he went Qe3+ a third time and I claimed the draw. He was quite pleasant about it, a gentleman, and I was happy about winning the tournament.
Once again patience and just hanging in there paid off, I didn't play perfectly but I never do and neither does anyone else (except a 2700+ one in awhile). The afternoon before the game I had read this post by Rocky Rook and it assisted in focusing and flowing through the game. Thanks, Rocky!
I'll post the game in a day or two. It is possible my latest score book is gone forever, but it only had three games in it, two were already published here but my win against Vern Young from last week may never see the light of day, which I've decided is hardly a major blow to the world's prospects for happiness.
I estimate I'm going to garner another 20-25 rating points for this event and my new rating will be around 1673, the highest since 2000. I also estimate I'm going to have to take another step up in applied playing strength to compete with the A-players and Experts. All in good time...
And now a little R&R, a few posts about other interesting chess subjects besides me, and in two weeks the qualifying tournament for the Club Championship matches. Meanwhile, I'll see you "In the Cool of the Evening."