Los Angeles Times Clipping


Below is a scan of a portion of page A28 of the
Sunday, December 3, 2000 edition
of the
Los Angeles Times.

It shows a position from my Round 7 game against
Vanessa West in the 2000
American Open!

The moves leading up to this position were:

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nxd5 4. d4 Bg4 5. c4 Nb6 6. Be3 e6 7. Nc3 c6 8.Qd2 N8d7 9. O-O-O Nf6 10. h3 Bh5 11. g4 Nxg4 12. hxg4 Bxg4 13. Be2 Nxc4 14.Qd3 Nb6 15. Rhg1 Bf5 16. Qd2 Nd5 17. Bg5 Qa5 18. Bd3 Bxd3 19. Qxd3 Nxc3 20.Qxc3 Bb4 21. Qb3 Qb5 22. Bh4 O-O.

Normally castling is one of the safest moves you can make. Here, on move 22, it deserves a double question mark, as it immediately loses by force. As soon as I castled I realized this... as did my young opponent Vanessa.

Going back a couple of moves further, instead of 20... Bb4 I should have played 20... Qxa2, which I had been planning all along, beginning with my 18th move. If I had done so, it seems Black would have had a slight edge. Instead, I decided I didn't want to go pawn-hunting and thought I would develop my bishop with tempo. However, her reply of 21.Qb3 was stronger than I thought. The threat is simply 22.a3 and then 23.Qxb7.

Many thanks to BrianDeegan, on USCL,
for calling this clipping to my attention.