I was up against Paul Taylor in the semi-final of the Horsham Chess Club Quickplay Knockout. The match was a tough encounter that I could easily have lost, but I managed to prevail in the sudden death playoff game.
In the first of the two “regulation” games, I was Black and established a reasonable position out of the opening. However, I then allowed my opponent to mix things up and did not defend accurately. Eventually, he won a piece and simplified to an endgame, so I resigned.
I struck back in the second game, taking the match to sudden death. I built up a strong attack against my opponent’s Sicilian Defence. He played some risky moves which backfired, allowing me to build up a strong attacking position. He eventually decided to sacrifice his queen to free his position, but this did not work and so he soon resigned.
The sudden death game started solidly enough for me. I had drawn Black and we reached a balanced complex endgame after 12 moves. However, I created some weaknesses in my position, which allowed my opponent to gain an advantage; further mistakes gave him a winning position, but fortunately he was tempted by a dubious combination which lost him his advantage. However, I went wrong again and he managed to build up a big advantage again, only to blunder catastrophically when running short of time.
I give the games below with some notes.