He was winning,
but he didn't see it
and I escaped - as usual.

-Levon Aronian

Gafni 1, Fischer 0

By drunknknite

I had decided that I would accept a draw, especially after my opponent decided to let out with the Exchange Slav. Likesforests, this game is really ironic....

Last week, likesforests posted about the Exchange Slav. I wrote a long comment about how there are still ways to out play White and differentiate the position. The two most common and effective ways are to play Bg6 instead of exchanging on d3 and try to make use of the open h file after the exchange, or to play Be7 instead of Bd6 and keep the dark squared bishop on.

Then Fischer played the Exchange Slav against me in our game on Thursday. I did not use my above methods of playing for the advantage and just played for a draw. This is really not typical of me but I really wouldn't mind going home rather than spend 4 hours in this position just to reach a draw anyway. I played the most boring variation of this opening that there is.

One part of my comment rang true though: "Any move on the queenside can be fatal...just prod the queenside looking for White to slip."

Somehow, from the position after move 10 that likesforests posted last week, a position that is drawn over 98 percent of the time, I managed to get a completely winning position in under 10 moves. So I played for the win. I actually managed to blow it though, I think Fischer had very good drawing chances towards the end.

It was good that that happened though because I figured something out. In my last three games I have been playing multiple plans at once. I get an advantage but then my pieces do not coordinate because I am trying to do too much. For instance in this game at the end I cannot decide between playing in the center, on the queenside or the kingside. I just make random moves on all sides of the board. If I had figured it out and just played on the queenside, I think this would have been a more efficient win. My pieces are not focused on a consistent goal, they are all over the place and this is how I get caught. Just some things I was thinking about...

Anyways it was nice to get a win in the first game. Should not be hard to produce 1.5 out of my next three games and secure a place in the semi-finals.