Another interesting game from this year’s City of Dublin was the round 3 clash between Carl Jackson and Anthony Bourached. [Click to replay.]
Black had a simply overwhelming position throughout and it seemed only a question of choosing which way to win. Even after allowing White an unnecessary attack, all seemed under control, e.g., 43. … Qxa2 seems to leave White with nothing. Disaster struck, though, and after 43. … Nd8? White uncorked 44. Rxd4!, reaching the diagrammed position, and Black resigned.
But is this justified? The win may be gone, but after 44. … Qxf3+ 45. Qxf3 Rxf3 46. Rxd8 Rxh3+ 47. Kg2 Ra3, White’s a-pawn will drop, and the c-pawn must surely follow and with it any chance for White to win: indeed White might have to be careful here. Was it a loss on time? Or a case where the shock of 44. Rxd4, combined with disgust at missing earlier chances, prompted an unjustified resignation?