This year I was lucky to make it to Las Vegas International Chess Festival. It’s the best tournament I’ve been to so far and it’s a real treat for a chess player. Around 800 people participated in 8 sections. Former world champion GM Anatoly Karpov was there. It was nice to see him play in the simul and it was just great to see him, lots of respect. It was also nice to see people you usually see in the Chess Life magazine and watch them play – this year’s winner Alexander Lenderman, Timur Gareev, Varuzhan Akobian, ours truly Sam Shankland and many others.
It was my best performance so far and I, for the first time, exceeded my own expectations. I was humble setting my goal and it was to have a plus score and bring my rating to over 1800 mark (UCSF). I played in U1800 section and got 5 points out of 6. I didn’t lose a game, won 4 and drew 2 games. I finished 4th with 2 other guys, right after 3 people tied for 1st.
I got lucky too – in the last, most important game, my opponent dropped a queen. In game 3 I was offered a draw although there was a forced checkmate in 4 moves.
Game 2. This game I'm quite proud of. My opponent allowed me to make a nice finish with forced mate in 5 moves after 25. ... h6
Good games everyone!