Last Tuesday, I played the final of the Quickplay Knockout against Brian Donnelly.
Brian drew White for the first game. We ended up in a position with castling on opposite sides. Soon after, Brian overlooked a threat that won material for me, and promptly resigned. This left me 1-0 up in the match.
In the second game, I was White. The game started with a sharp line of the Sicilian; I missed a chance to gain a big advantage, and the position became rather unclear. I then made a couple of mistakes, and Brian was able to finish me off. The match score was now 1-1, and we went into “sudden death”.
In accordance with the rules, we redrew colours for the next game, and I drew White. I switched to 1 d4, and Brian choses the ultra-sharp Modern Benoni. However, he did not find an effective counter to my unusual system, and I ended up with a significant long term position advantage. The pressure then told as he forgot about one of my threats, and resigned when I carried it out. I therefore won the match 2-1 and became Horsham Quickplay Knockout champion for 2018-19.
I give the games below with some notes.