The 1986 Pacific Southwest Open was one of my better tournaments, 3.5 - 1.5 and overall some decent quality games for my then-1678 rating. What I remember is that while my chess moves were pretty good, my chess gumption was excellent (if you have Rowson's Chess for Zebras there's a whole gumption chapter). I was willing to just sit there and play my best, as long as it took, and I seemed to be especially into the games and the tournament.
If I recall correctly this was one of those tournaments with an Open and an Under-1800 section. In Round 1 I defeated an unrated guy, and in Round 2 came up against Brian Zavodnik, a young guy near 1800 (I'm thinking teenager) who by 1991 was a USCF Master.
As you'll see, after 10 moves as White I already had a really bad position, but I still remember how I flashed on how Keres or Lasker or one of those guys would have handled it; Maximum Resistance! So I buckled down and after some inaccuracies by my opponent got back to pretty even, then blundered the Exchange. But for once I just played the position, with little or no thought about where we'd come from. And behold, he made some second-best moves, then apparently had a vision of a winning king-and-pawn ending that's...lost for Black.
Of course, despite all the gumption in the world, I could well have lost anyway. But overall, a very Memorable Game.
I think I've spent more time analyzing this one over the last few weeks than I've ever spent on any one game in my whole career, maybe six hours in total. So I hope the analysis is good. I certainly found plenty of mistakes by both players!
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