Last Saturday, the Boylston Chess Club hosted its monthly quad tournament. In total, 39 players showed up to the tournament and played three rounds against each other. If you want to know how the quad is formatted, it goes like this: 4 players are grouped into one section, hence a quad, and they play against each other round-robin style, meaning they can’t leave the tournament or have to pay a $25 fine. However, since there wasn’t a number of players divisible by 4, the last section was small, consisting of 7 players in total. For me on the other hand. I was playing in quad 5 and I’m here to tell you the experience from my quad.

The people in my quad were rated 1760, 1600, and 1592 while I was rated 1706. The first game was an easy win for me, since my opponent made a blunder followed by a bunch of blunders that got me to win the game. What’s interesting was the opening of the game since I should’ve been in a worse position due to how I played the game. The opening was a Sicilian Najdorf and the variation was Verbeterde List in which black plays 6...Nbd7 in response to white’s 6.Bg5. The game went interesting when he played ...Qb6 and then I defended with Qb2. Black takes a risk in taking the pawn on b2 since his queen is vulnerable to attack and white gains time and development for the pawn. Instead he didn’t take and play ...nc5 to attack my e-pawn and I advance e5, but it was a mistake since it allowed his knight to come into e4 and attack my queen and weakened dark squares, but he failed to see this and exchanged and played ...ng4 and I was able to win a piece and gain an attack on his king.

The second game ended in a draw since my opponent was able to take advantage of my weakened light squares and undeveloped queenside rook and bishop. The opening was a Sicilian Alapin transposed from the Smith-Morra Gambit. My opponent played the variation in which he captured my d-pawn with the queen on move 5. Eventually I was able to get a decent position and I was able to get my king to safety and tried to protect the light squares. It should be noted that black has a backwards pawn on e6 and white has a powerful light square bishop on b3. I defended my position and it should’ve ended in a draw, but he made a mistake and allowed me to let my rook penetrate on f2 and I was able to win a pawn, but my position was shaky. Eventually his queen came onto my back rank and we agreed to a draw.

So far, I have 1.5 points out of 2 while the leading rated player in our quad had 2 points out of 2 and he was my last opponent. The opening was the same as the second game but instead of playing 5.Qxd4, he played 5. cxd4 for a solid control of the center. Eventually, he had a powerful pawn on e5 and soon we got into a position in which I was playing on the queenside while he was attacking my kingside. The thing is that I had a light square bishop on the kingside pinning his f3 knight and eventually he pushed his h and g pawns onto my kingside cramping the dark squares. However, he made a blunder when he moved his knight to e4 since it overloads the queen and allows my knight to jump to d5 forking his queen and bishop; he counterattacked and I was able to win the exchange after the smoke cleared and I exchanged pieces and won his queenside pawns before he blundered his knight and I won 2.5 out of 3 points.

The prize money for the top quad was $80, but I could only get $50. When I finished the game I told the tournament director, Nicholas Sterling, that I won the quad. He congratulated me, but stated that he couldn’t give me my winnings since he didn’t have the check, but said he would wing it. I waited for at leas 10 minutes before he wrote a check of $50 from his bank account and I went home victorious. This was the first time I ever won a quad fully without having to share the prize. Normally, I would go home with nothing or I have to share the money with other people but I felt wonderful that I won the quad fair and square. As I would like to say keep playing chess and have a wonderful day.

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