Today I finally broke through on chess.com by winning my first USCF-rated rapid 15 10 event with 4.5/5 points. That's the only way to gain rating points.
In round 3 I reached the position below. My rook is en prise but it's important not to panic. There might be some other moves; automatically retreating the rook would be a mistake. Plus my opponent was down to something like a minute and a half. So I gave up the exchange but as it turns out Black couldn't afford to take it anyway. I love the messiness of the position.
WHITE TO MOVE!
24... Nc3 ?? (24... dxe5 25. Rxe5 Bg7 and white is better) 25. exd6+ Kxd6 (25... Kd8 26. dxe6 Bxg2 27. exf7 +- ) 26. dxe6 Bxg2 27. exf7 (27.
Nf5+ Kd5 28. exf7 +- ) 27... Nxb1 ?? (27... Rg5 28. Re6+ Kd7 ) 28.
fxg8=Q Rxg8 29. Kxg2 Nc3 30. Nf5+ (30. Nf5+ Kd7 31. Nxh6 +- ) 1-0
The position below is from my US Chess Federation rated online blitz event. Yes, you can get your official USCF online ratings from the comfort of your own home. Both chess.com and ICC offer USCF rated events (blitz and active) several times a week. Give it a try. Your membership dues include a subscription to the monthly Chess Life magazine.
In the position below it's White to move. Level: easy. What's white's next killer move? 20. ?
I know it was easy but sometimes during blitz games it's not. 20. Qc2 wins a piece because it's a double attack. The c8 bishop is hanging and we are threatening mate in two 21.Qh7+ Kf8 22.Qh8#. Black played 20. ...Nf8 21. Qxc8 +-. I had plenty of time to collect the point.
This is chess and, as in life, things don't always go your way. I didn't play well in round one against my low-rated opponent. I will spare you the excuses like missing my son's soccer game.
White to move!
White is playing off his 10 second increment and play continued 1. Rxf5+? ( The best chance was rook down to the first rank to cut-off the Black King. ) Rxf5+? 2. Kxf5 Kh6 3. Kf6 Kh7 4. Kxf7 draw.
After 1.Rxf5? what does Black play? Hint: there are only so many good legal moves for Black.
Today was the last round of regular season and David Bissell came in on fire. He calmly demolished all three VCS3 kids. My sad contribution was a win and two draws; Len Molden had 1/3 for a total 6-3 win. The goal today was to finish in 3rd place and we achieved our aim.
Now we look forward to the play-offs in April. And remember, we will need new team members for the new season starting in the fall 2018. Message me (Vas) if you can play. Enthusiasm and availability are key, not your rating necessarily.
NCM Vas Sladek
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