Game #38 displays one of my favorite things I like doing lately: sacrificing the exchange for the two bishops, especially if I can pick up a pawn. I was sleep walking through the opening then realized I put myself in a bad position where I was losing a pawn and decided on the sacrifice to imbalance the game. It worked out rather well. So much for the idea that tactical positions should be avoided against juniors!
Game #39 was a queenless middlegame that should've been a crazy tactical middlegame, but my opponent chose a safer route that avoided any complications. Very surprising decision coming from a junior. After a very equal and difficult maneuvering stage, the position became very tactical and my opponent didn't respond well.
Game #40 features yet another exchange sacrifice for me. This wasn't a very well played game by either side as it was a rapid (G30) time control, but my final tactic was pretty. This was also my first win over a class A player in a very long time.
Game #41 is a continuation on a previous theme. Expert plays Dutch against me. Expert loses. (See December 13, 2015 post for this same result). Move 14 is a nice positional move with a tactical justification my opponent overlooked. Score one for reading over annotated master games for your opening prep. After winning material, I was relentless in pressing my advantage, shutting down all counterplay and leaving him no option but resignation. This was a nice turnaround from previous encounters with experts where I blew a won game and lost.
Game #42 is another exchange sacrifice that was sadly declined by my opponent. Later analysis confirms not only was my offer 100% correct, but I should've continued to offer it the next move as well. We end up in an equal queen endgame that my opponent doesn't play well and I win rather quickly.
Game #43 was part of my club championship against an opponent I had lost to twice in rapid games. I had come prepared with some fresh ideas in his line of the Nimzo, but that turned out to be a waste of time. We ended up in a Saemisch KID, which I haven't studied in a long time, but I remembered some good lessons from Ward's book. Once the position opened up and became tactical, my opponent chose to greedily snatch a pawn,only to find his king under fire.
Game #44 was played as part of another club championship that is still going. I get Black in the Re1 variant of the Berlin endgame. My opponent quickly moves to trade off queens followed by heavy pieces, hoping to outplay me in this endgame. Around move 35 I became worried that my position might be busted, but I was never that badly off. A tactical miscue by my opponent turns a draw into a win for me.
No instructive draws or losses here, just some nice wins that I'm proud of. In fact, losses have been hard to come by! I figured I should follow the munich plan of never losing. I am very happy at the mental toughness I've displayed in these games.