Round Four Karavade-Hambleton 1/2-1/2

In playing through this game earlier, one thing that struck me the most is that so many casual fans seem to complain that chess is nothing but draws.

On pretty much any active chess forum you’ll see posts decrying that “draw death” is upon us.  If you dig in to those threads you’ll see a pattern emerge where there are always a handful (typically a rather small handful) of folks who try to explain that not all draws are created equal.

There is quite a difference between the peaceful handshake on move 15 while still in theory because no one felt like taking any risks and a fighting draw that is played out until there is nothing left to attempt.

This game certainly qualifies as the latter.

Early on Aman sacks an exchange on his fourteenth move for full comp in the form of shattering White’s structure while gaining a beautiful outpost on f5 for his knight.

Then on move 30 White returns the exchange to fix his structural deficiencies and going up a pawn.  However, there are bishops of opposite color, and once the heavies are off the board Aman is easily able to hold the draw in spite of losing a second pawn.

Here is the game:

While there is no actual way to tell what score would be needed for a norm in any kind of open event such as this, it’s a good bet that the fewest amount of points Aman would need in his final five games would be 4.5, which would leave him on a score of 6.5/9.

Assuming his pairings get progressively stronger as he wins that still gives him a shot.

Of course the pairings may not work out and so he could score the 4.5 and it might not be enough.

Time will tell.  Let’s hope that great form takes hold and we all get to find out.

Tomorrow Hambo faces untitled Indian player V. Pranav with the White bits.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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