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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Boston Chess Congress 2015: Ivanov - Zierk
 IM Steven Zierk
  June 2015
I came into this event not sure what to expect, as this was my first over-the-board tournament in over two years. Although this was a strong event, headlined by GMs Ivanov and Jimenez, I decided that my goal would be an ambitious one – to win the tournament. I knew I was capable of winning, and my results in the US Chess League were encouraging. The first round was a warning that could have been much worse. Playing Black against NM Terrie, I reached a bad position out of the opening, and two overambitious attempts to turn the game around left me with serious difficulties. After a long defense, a hopeless middlegame turned into a pawn-down rook endgame. It was still lost, but there were defensive opportunities. At around one in the morning, long after every other game had finished, I salvaged an unlikely draw in a time scramble. The lesson was learned, and although I continued to play ambitiously, I avoided overextending, and the next three rounds saw three wins, including a very satisfying victory in the Najdorf against IM Vigorito. Going into the last round, Ivanov, Jimenez, FM Winer, and I were in a four-way tie for first with three and a half points out of four. In the fifth and final round, Winer-Jimenez reached an equal queen and bishop endgame, which I expected would peter out to a draw. Jimenez showed me how mistaken I was: he continued his characteristically energetic play in the endgame, and a little passivity by Winer was all it took for his position to be ripped apart by the Cuban GM. This left only GM Ivanov and myself in contention for a share of first place with Jimenez. How that turned out can be seen below:
GM Alexander Ivanov (2603)
IM Steven Zierk (2543)
2015 Boston Chess Congress (5)
French Defence [C11]

Steven Zierk is an International Master and current MIT student. He won the World Under 18 Championship in 2010.
This faceoff would be the climactic finish of the 2015 Boston Chess Congress, the fourth annual event at the Harborside Hyatt near Boston’s Logan Airport