Round 2: 5.5 – Moses Outside Canaan – A glimpse of the Promised Land.


After the first game between Brandon and a titled player, as we saw recently, he made a speculative queen sacrifice in the early middle game, which was not the best of moves. Though he got an initiative from the sacrifice, a queen for a knight and bishop, he would later miss a number of chances after equalizing by move 28. In the end, he missed a final tactic, another sacrifice, one he looked at but talked himself out of playing.

The next game in which he would face a titled player saw him in a familiar position, a position he will find himself in twice before seeing his goal of beating a titled player would be realized. This video will be the endpoint of that, but in the interim, two games against titled players – an IM and CM respectively, which are available here:

Game 2 saw Brandon playing a CM, with the black pieces, and he had chances to get a winning position – and again, he talked himself out of the move. It would be an opportunity he would pass on, and a move he would regret.

The following position was before him, and Brandon considered the obvious move —






In the following position, the only move that gives black advantage is Rxc3. The pawn can’t take because of the pin, and the rooks are going to double; white has problems Brandon planed this move, after the previous move, the bishop check, but he thought he could win the opponent’s queen — and so he blundered.




https://lichess.org/study/Xwh58W0R/5e1iwMnc





Yes, he would win the queen, but he would fight out the rest of the game in an equal position with a queen against two rooks and, in the end, the players agreed to a draw. Though he had chances to get an advantage, he blew it; by choosing not to do what he was so known for as an up-and-coming player.


The rest of the game can be seen by following it here: https://lichess.org/L8JhIRCg/black


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