2019 Winter Quick Championship Report

On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the RVCC held its Winter Quick Championship. Six players competed in a 5-round G/15 event at RVCC headquarters, Raleigh Court Public Library.

Ben Dubuque won clear 1st place with a 4.0 score. Drew Gripp got 2nd with 3.5 points. Isaac Spence came in 3rd place with 3 points. Eduardo Z., a visitor from Brazil, was in 4th place with 2.5 points.

Isaac Spence vs. Ben Dubuque: In a Leningrad Dutch, the game quickly reached an unbalanced position, with White having queenside space and a Pawn to Black's superior kingside space. Black (Dubuque) sacrificed a Pawn for some initiative and the material became extremely unbalanced with White (Spence) having 2 Rooks, 2 Pawns, and a Knight vs. Black's Queen and 2 Knights. The ending was eventually converted into a full point by Black.

Eduardo Z. vs. Drew Gripp: In a Budapest Gambit the game remained equal and transitioned to a drawish Knight ending with Pawns on opposite wings. After missing a check late in the game, Gripp held on for a draw despite serious time pressure.

Eduardo Z. vs. Ben Dubuque: In a Grunfeld, after White's 10th move, Black played the novelty (and after admitted home prep, even if dubious) 10.... b5. The game reached a crucial position after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Be3 c5 8. Bc4 Nc6 9. Ne2 Qa5 10. Rc1. This quickly led to complications, and after a long grind and transition to a roughly equal ending, White gave up a Rook for Knight, and then blundered the game.

Ben Dubuque vs. Tien Nguyen: The game with some light analysis follows, because of the Draw between Eduardo Z. and Drew Gripp, this game would determine if first would be Gripp, Dubuque, or shared between the two.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f4 e6 7. g4 b5 8. g5 Nfd7 9. Be3 Bb7 10. Qf3 Nc5 11. 0-0-0 b4 12. Nd5. A bold sacrifice, though somewhat justified, as the position is difficult if other moves are played; accepting the sacrifice is terrible, as it allows White to develop his Bishop and bring his Rooks to the center advantageously. 12.... Nxe4 13. Nxe6! (A shot out of the blue, these two moves combined are often thematic sacrifices in the Najdorf, and here it works to devastating effect, opening up Black's position and anchoring the d5 Knight; and because the Knight on e4 is en prise, it isn't even a sacrifice.) 13.... fxe6 14. Qxe4 (taking the simple route to victory) 14.... Kd7?? (stouter defenses existed) 15. Nf6+ Kc8 16. Qxe6+ Kc7 17. Ne8 Kc6 18. Bg2 Kb5 19. Bxb7 Be7 20. Qd5 Ka4 21. b3 Ka3 22. Kb1 1-0.

Ben Dubuque vs. Drew Gripp: Drew managed to win a piece in a complex position in the early middle game of a Philidor Defense. He then ground out an ending for the only defeat of the eventual tournament winner. Classic technique from a versatile player.

Other notable games included a game between Isaac Spence and Drew Gripp where Spence managed a win in a messy position that transitioned to an ending.

Club President Mike Huff and Ben Dubuque co-directed this event, with Ben helping out with pairings, playing, and providing the game scores and analysis here. Ben also graciously 'spotted' the Brazilian player Eduardo Z. $5 to help cover his entry fee. Mike stepped aside to let Tien play, to avoid pairings with byes. Cooperation and good sportsmanship just naturally happen at your local chess club!

As always, the RVCC appreciates the Raleigh Court Public Library, for hosting our weekly club meetings and speed tournaments.