Here is our selection of games from the 26th Space Coast Open. Two game boards are provided below this introduction, each with multiple games. To see the available games, click on the down arrow (triangle) in the white box above the board window.
First we present the 3 games by the Brilliancy Prize winners, selected by Brilliancy Prize Judge IM Javad Maharramzade.
First Prize: $200 to Eric Cooke. In response to Cooke's 1.e4 Black played an unusual Dragondorf (...g6+...a6), but never put the Dragon Bishop on its long diagonal. Black fell behind in development leaving his King in the center until move 19...0-0-0. Here White had an edge but Black was still in the game, however he then blundered on the very next move. A ruthless sham sacrifice and a series of hammer blows brought the game to a swift conclusion. Beware the Dragon as it may be your own fingers that get singed!
Second Prize: $100 to Oleksandr Bortnyk. Bortnyk sacrificed two pawns for what appeared to be somewhat dubious compensation. The game entered an endgame with Borknyk having a pair of Rooks and pair of Bishops vs. Black's Rooks plus Knights. But White also had pushed Black's forces in some disarray, with the Black King stuck in the center disconnecting his Rooks. In spite of this, Black briefly obtained the better prospected due to the extra material but under pressure, made some inaccuracies. Bortnyk was relentless with his Rooks and Bishops, eventually hoovering up three pawns as first the minor pieces and then one pair of Rooks were exchanged. In the process Bortnyk went from being two pawns down to being a pawn up. Bortnyk then gave a master class on the Rook and pawn endgame to bring home the full point.
Third Prize: $50 to Paul Leggett. This is another game where Black neglected development and omitted castling until it was "too late". Leggett capitalized in exciting fashion offering a pawn to pry open lines for his Rook, Bishop and Queen. Black spurned the pawn but four moves later, immediately after he managed to castle, Black was facing unstoppable mate in one.
The second set of games includes all the games available for publication, consisting of the broadcast games from the Master section and a number of games hand-entered from scoresheets or submitted by players (67 games in total, including the 3 brilliancy games). Special thanks to IM Maharramzade (assisted by his son Amir) for providing a number of manually entered games has he searched for the best games.