The final round of the US Open began with Mr Studen, as Black, facing FM Andrew Whatley on board 13, and the Drifter and me scrutinizing every move. We were joined later by the Mouth of the South. It ended with Oddo ( "Whaaaaat?"), the Barbarian, and Michael watching the 'puter, filled with excitement! The Stud won an exciting game to finish tied for 5th-18th only a point behind the three players who tied for first, with a score of 7-2. Only four players finished with a better score. When he called after the game a little later, Damir informed me that the opponent of one of the experts with whom he was in contention, Kevin Michael Wasiluk, received a free point in the last round as his opponent, Kirill Kuderinov (2426), from Texas, did not show for the game! I cannot wait to get the scoop on this possible scandal!
Even with an opponent rated only 1487 in the first round, The Stud finished with a 2249 PR. His PR in the Denker was 2118, and the two tournaments combined produced a PR of 2197. But...Damir did tell me during one of the phone calls he had played in a quad with three masters, and won it! Full details will have to wait for the return of the Man of the House!
Now for the game...
FM Andrew Whatley (2326)-Damir Studen
1.d4 d52.Nf3 Nf63.e3 c54.dxc5 Qa55.c3 Qxc56.b4 Qc77.Bb2 Bg48.Be2 e69.Nbd2 Bd610.h3 Bh511.O-O O-O12.Qb3 Qe713.a3 Nbd714.c4 Bxf315.Bxf3 Ne516.cxd5 Nxf317.Nxf3 Nxd518.e4 Nf419.Qe3 e520.Rad1 f621.g3 Nxh322.Kg2 Ng523.Nxg5 fxg524.Rd5 Rf625.Rfd1 Raf826.R1d2 Rh627.Qb3 Kh828.Qd1 Qe629.g4 Bc730.Rd7 Bb831.Rxb7 Rhf632.Rbd7 h533.Rd8 Kh734.Rxf8 Rxf835.Bc1 Rf436.f3 hxg437.Qh1 Kg638.Rc2 gxf339.Kf2 Rh440.Qg1 Rg441.Qd1 Rg242.Ke3 Qb30-1
Since Damir has been reading the BaconLOG, he mentioned that he should've taken the Black pawn that had been pushed to e3 with the pawn, in lieu of the knight in the penultimate game discussed in yesterday's blog, as he would've won a piece! His monarch sure looked naked to me in my cursory analysis, though... With that in mind, I will make a few comments on the game.
The Drifter and I had trouble understanding how Whatley played the opening, especially 6 b4... His 21 g3, giving up the h-pawn could not be right...Damir got into time pressure and lost his edge when Whatley played 31 Rxb7, but 31 Rd8 may have been even better...It took some major cojones to play 32...h5! Especially in time pressure! It cannot be said that Mr Studen is not a fighter! I wondered if Whatley should've taken the pawn with 33 gxh5, and if, later, he should've taken it on move 35? After White's Qg1 at move 40, the last move of time control, I was looking at 40...g4, 0r 40...Qh3, when Damir played 40...Rg4, making time control, but, OH NO, MR BILL! It looked like the FM could play 41 Rc6!, thrusting a monkey wrench into the spokes! Fortunately, I did not have much time to look at it, as Whatley played 41 Qd1 rather quickly, and I wondered why? Boris Kogan once told me that it was important, after a time scramble, to get up, to come down and clear the head, before going back to concentrate. I do not know what happened there and can't wait to hear all about it when the Man gets back to the House!
Congratulations to Mr Damir Studen on a FANTASTIC RESULT! It will be OPEN HOUSE at the TNF for the return of The Stud!