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Ben's Blog: Spring Spice Cup - Rounds 1 and 5

[imagefield_assist|fid=3523|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Another tough day and two more tough draws.  I was lucky in both games, as I stood worse for about 90% of the moves today!

IM Irina Krush and I played a crazy game, which started quietly, then, after she won a pawn, I got some good counterplay.  Irina was better, but, after we both missed some tactics, and both got lucky at various points, a draw was the logical result. Afterwards, we had a nice lunch at Applebee's (Is that possible?) although Irina's salad had too much dressing. It's nice to have a pleasant dining experience with your opponent after such a hard fought battle, and the feeling of camaraderie amongst the players here is great.

My round 5 game was pure torture as IM Davorin Kuljasevic tried to exact revenge for his quick loss last year in the Spice Cup B Group in September 2009.  He was putting the squeeze on me the whole time, but I would not budge (most people have trouble budging me).  I was happy to draw after a tough defense. Several players went to Abuelo's after the afternoon/evening round, and that was quite cool!

Two more games tomorrow, white against GM Jesse Kraai (at 9AM!) and black against FM Eric Hansen. The games I have played thus far have been exceedingly difficult and I can feel the pressure every move!

[pgn|pgn= Bd6 9. g3 O-O 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. Qb3 Rb8 12. Rd1 Qe7 13. Qc2 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a6
15. Bd2 c5 16. dxc5 Nxc5 17. Rac1 b5 18. Bf1 b4 19. Na4 b3 20. Qc4 Nxa4 21.
Qxa4 bxa2 22. Qxa2 Ne4 23. Be1 Bb4 24. Rd4 Ng5 25. Bg2 a5 26. Bxb4 axb4 27. h4
Nh7 28. Qc4 Nf6 29. Qc7 Qxc7 30. Rxc7 Rb6 31. Kf1 Rfb8 32. g4 b3 33. g5 Ne8 34.
Rc6 Kf8 35. Bf3 Ke7 36. Rxb6 Rxb6 37. Bd1 Nd6 38. Ke1 Nb7 39. Kd2 Nc5 40. f4
Rb8 41. Kc3 Rh8 42. Bxb3 Rxh4 43. Bc2 Rh3 44. b4 Nd7 45. Rd3 e5 46. Kb3 f5 47.
gxf6+ gxf6 48. Rc3 1/2-1/2>>>|white=Dacorin Kuljasevic |black=Ben Finegold|white_rating=2552|black_rating=2534]Standings after 5 rounds:

1. Becerra 4.0 (+3)
Yang, Ippolito, Antal, Papp 3.0 (+1)
6. Finegold 2.5 (=)
Kuljasevic 2.0 (-1)
8-10. Hansen, Krush, Kraai 1.5 (-2)

Honey Bee