Tag Archives: French Defense

Greatest Hits of the 2000s

With no recent games, I figured I’d fill in some of the blanks with older games. Hopefully I can find enough games to keep this “series” going …

Back in 2000, I beat my first FIDE 2600+ opponent at the Koltanowski Memorial in San Francisco. I had started out pretty well at the event: I drew in the first round with black against GM Shulman (where I had the better of the draw), followed by 2.5/3 against non-GM opponents. In round 5, I was paired with Ehlvest. At the time, he was about 2630 FIDE and in the top 50 in the world (not his peak as a top-5 player by rating, but still, I’d take either one!).

I had played Ehlvest earlier in the year, also as Black, and he managed to engineer a miraculous escape in my time pressure:

(FEN: 1r4kr/2q2p2/5Pp1/p2p3P/1P2np1Q/5N2/2P4P/R5RK b - - 0 35)

I was tempted with a little tactic to win White’s queen, and played 35…Ng3+?. If 36.Rxg3, then White is just down an exchange with no compensation after 36…fxg3, while 36.Kg2 Rxh5 37.Qg4 Qxc2+ leads to checkmate.

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