Regular visitor to the weekend swiss tournaments at the House, Wayne Christensen, from the great state of South Carolina, tied for first place with 4 1/2 in the Under 2100 section of the Southern Open held last weekend in Orlando, the traditional city for the Southern. It would be nice to see the Southern Open held in a Southern city, such as Atlanta, or maybe Birmingham, Al, or even Music City, Nashville, Tn, for a change...
Spencer Bledsoe scored 3 1/2 points to tie for 4th-11th and win $400. His performance rating for the event was 2175! He would've won more cash if, as reported by his coach, the Legendary Georgia Ironman, Tim Brookshear, had been able to take out one of Spencer's rivals, class "A" player James Thompson, from NC. Tim finished with an even score and a PR of 1862.
There has been much talk concerning the reasons for the sharp decline in attendance at the US Open this year. Such was not the case at the Southern! The 171 players was an increase over last year's 157. And that with, get this, the Florida State Championship in St Pete two weeks later, and the big Miami Open two weeks after that! If those tournaments had been spread out over three months, there would have probably been even more players!
The first game is Spencer's truncated first round game at G/75.
Bledsoe (1825) - Boas (2011)
1.e4 Nf6 2.d3 c5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0–0 0–0 7.Nbd2 e6 8.c3 b6 9.Re1 Ba6 10.Nf1 Rc8 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bf4 d6 13.h4 Ng4 14.N1h2 Nge5 15.Bf1 Re8 16.d4 Nxf3+ 17.Nxf3 Bxf1 18.Rxf1 cxd4 19.cxd4 e5 20.dxe5 dxe5 21.Be3 Qf6 22.Nh2 h5 23.Rc1 Qe6 24.Qa4 Nd4 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.Qxa7 Rc2 27.Qa8+ Kh7 28.Bxd4 exd4 29.Nf3 Qd7 30.Ng5+ Kh6 31.Qg8 1–0
Mr Boas went on to finish clear third by winning his next four games...
This is the last, money round, game versus a tuff ol' veteran expert who has made a habit out of winning the expert section in sunny Florida over his career. He is like a triple A baseball player who just cannot quite make it to the show, but good enough to "reign in hell."
1.e4 c6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 e5 4.Ngf3 Nd7 5.g3 Ngf6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0–0 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.dxe4 0–0 10.b3 Qc7 11.Bb2 f6 12.Qe2 Nc5 13.Ne1 Ne6 14.Bh3 Kh8 15.Bxe6 Bxe6 16.Ng2 Bc5 17.Rfd1 Rad8 18.Rxd8 Rxd8 19.Rd1 Qb6 20.Rxd8+ Qxd8 21.Ne1 Qb6 22.Nd3 Be7 23.a4 Qd8 24.Qe3 b6 25.Qe1 c5 26.Nc1 c4 27.b4 Qd7 28.a5 bxa5 29.bxa5 Bh3 30.Bc3 Bc5 31.Qd2 Qxd2 32.Bxd2 Bg4 33.Kg2 Bd1 34.c3 Kg8 35.Na2 Kf7 36.Nb4 Ke8 37.Na6 Be7 38.Nb8 Ba4 39.Na6 Bd8 40.Nc5 Bc6 41.a6 Ke7 42.Be3 Ba5 43.Nb7 Bxc3 44.Bxa7 Bxe4+ 45.f3 Bc6 46.Bc5+ Kd7 47.Nd6 Bd5 48.a7 Bd4 49.Bxd4 exd4 50.Nxc4 Kc7 51.Kf2 Kb7 52.a8Q+ 1-0
Spencer said he did not feel he "deserved" his win, but I disagree. His older, veteran opponent took the two Bishop advantage out of the opening, turning down Spencer's draw offer, with the intention of winning the game. It was Spencer's job to make it as difficult as possible, which he did. Spencer may have had one hand off of the rope, but he never let go. His opponent seemed to think the game would win itself and seemed to play on auto-pilot. It was not possible for him to adapt to the new circumstances and admit he had lost his advantage, a common thing when one is faced with difficult opposition! As the game went on, he wore down. And, in the end, got lazy and stopped thinking and LET GO OF THE ROPE! Mr Bledsoe certainly deserved to win this game. He did it the old fashioned way; he earned it!