Re: Long Days of Summer

Steve:  The last-round game between John Coffey and Michael Morris-Pearce was extremely exciting and seems worthy of comment.  Morris-Pearce, who seems to be improving rapidly, played a brilliant positional concept involving the sacrifice of two pawns to obtain a monster passed pawn on d7.  John's position appeared to be on the brink of collapse, but thanks to his prolonged, tenacious defense, he ultimately garnered a full point when he seemed on the brink of taking a "zero" for the round.


John:  Michael is improving rapidly.  He seemed to benefit from the long time control, because after a very long think he offered me a pawn and then a rook sacrifice that caught me completely off guard.  Up to this point I was up a pawn and overly complacent.  It seems that after the rook sac I could have still been winning, but the combination (25. ... Nh3+ 26. Kf1 Rf8!)  was almost too subtle to see over the board.    I also made the mistake running my king to the corner when 26. ... Nf7 would have been better.  After this I found myself having to play nearly perfect moves (according Stockfish on my iPhone) just to stay alive.  On at least one move I offered him my knight (28. ... Nf7)  just so I could reach an unfavorable ending which seemed like my best option.  Later I deliberately gave him a chance to sacrifice his queen (34. Qxf7+!), again so that I could reach an unfavorable ending which was my best option.  Finally I set up a combination where I would give him a rook for a bishop and pawn (37. ... Rxd7)  to once again reach an unfavorable ending, but I was confident enough in my endgame skills to think that I might survive.   However, at this point Michael played the combination wrong and went down 2 pawns. 

I am sure that he had multiple ways to win.

This is the strongest 1184 I have ever played.  Even after I reached a won ending, he put up a tough fight.  He feels like someone who could be 1800 in a year.  At long games I am pretty sure he is at least Class B strength already.

[Event "Long days of summer "]
[Site "American fork"]
[Date "Jul 27, 2013"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Michael-Morris Pearce"]
[Black "John Coffey"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Qe7 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Nc3 b6 8. O-O
Bxc3 9. Bxc3 Ne4 10. Rc1 Bb7 11. Nd2 Nxc3 12. Rxc3 d6 13. e3 Nd8 14. e4 c5 15.
Nf3 Bxe4 16. Re3 f5 17. d5 e5 18. Rfe1 Nf7 19. Bf1 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Ng5 21. Qd1 f4
22. gxf4 Rxf4 23. Bg2 Rxc4 24. Rxe5 dxe5 25. d6 Qd8 26. Qd5+ Kh8 27. Qxc4 Rc8
28. Qd5 Nf7 29. d7 Rc7 30. Rd1 Kg8 31. Qe6 Kf8 32. Bf1 Qg5+ 33. Kh1 Qe7 34. Qd5
Qh4 35. Qf3 Ke7 36. Qd5 Kf8 37. Bc4 Rxd7 38. Qa8+ Qd8 39. Qxd8+ Rxd8 40. Rxd8+
Nxd8 41. Kg2 Ke7 42. Kf3 Ne6 43. h4 Nd4+ 44. Ke4 Kd6 45. a4 g6 46. f4 exf4 47.
Kxf4 Ne6+ 48. Ke4 h6 49. Bd3 g5 50. hxg5 Nxg5+ 51. Kf5 Nh3 52. Bc4 Nf2 53. Kg6
Ng4 54. Be2 Ne5+ 55. Kxh6 c4 56. Kg5 Kc5 57. Kf5 Kd4 58. Bd1 Nd3 59. b3 Nf2 60.
bxc4 Nxd1 61. a5 Kxc4

As I was leaving the tournament, I saw a clever last round win by Eric Hon against Allen Bolen in a position that I was sure was a draw.

All this tough competition in Utah might discourage people who haven't played in a while from coming back to tournaments.   We have a number of people who will probably reach the expert class in the near future.  Congrats to Bryan Leano for winning the tournament and making 2000.  That is quite an accomplishment.

Thanks to Petro and Grant for their efforts in running the tournament.

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