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Games from the 29th Space Coast Open, May 3-5, 2024

Written by: IM Javad Maharramzade

Here is our selection of games from the 29th Space Coast Open. The game board provided below this introduction can be used to view all the available games (40 games). To see the available games, click on the down arrow (triangle) in the white box above the board window.


Included in the games we present the 3 games by the Brilliancy Prize winners, selected by Brilliancy Prize Judge IM Javad Maharramzade. Below are his introductory game summaries. These are the first three games in the drop down.


First Prize: $200 to Aniket Shukla (White vs. Marvin Gao). In a classical French position with opposite side castling and all material still on the board by move 20, White demonstrates how to undermine a seemingly solid pawn chain by executing a well-timed breakthrough with 20.b3! followed by 21.c4! to start his attack on the Black king. He then proceeds to build up his attack using the newly opened files, and then executes another powerful and this time far less obvious breakthrough 29.d5! sacrificing an exchange. From there until the finish White produces a series of precise moves each deserving an exclamation point.


Second Prize: $100 to Theo Slade (White vs Aniket Shukla). A classical Catalan squeeze! As is typical in such positions, Black's main problem was the undeveloped queenside, and the queen bishop in particular. It looked as if Black was pushing White back with 19...f6, but White found the incisive 20.Nd7!, objectively the stronger alternative to the more flashy yet practically far less clear exchange sacrifice 20.Rd7 thoroughly investigated by WGM Sabina Foisor during the live stream. Black tried to escape by exchanging his queen for two rooks, but White demonstrated convincingly that the queen is much superior to the rooks in such situations. 


Third Prize: $50 to Wayne Strickland (White vs Nicholas Weisberger). This prize is to give tribute to the fighters of the lower sections. White starts a powerful attack with the 21.h4! pawn sacrifice and soon after demolishes Black king's pawn shelter with two more sacrifices on g6 (27.Bxg6!, 28.Rxg6!). Black declined the last sacrifice as it would have led to a mate in 2, but the game was already lost anyway.


Special thanks to IM Maharramzade for once again serving as our Brilliancy Prize Judge.


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