Chris Chase’s first annotation for Chess Notes is an enchanting game between two local youngsters, Yuan (Ben) Zongyuan (White) v. Jesse Nicholas (Black) played last year in the Boylston summer Open. It is especially notable because the victor, Zongyuan, a rated expert, was in the eighth grade. Jessie is currently a sophomore at Boston College. Though he loses this game, Nicholas has been steadily improving, is climbing up into the Expert class, and will be an influential player in the future.
Nicholas likes to play unusual openings to start the game and move to the attack. Here his contribution is 4…Qf6, unfortunately, leaving his king’s file open. Ben’s sixth move e5 is critical as Black can’t take the pawn and it severely occludes Black’s position. White’s pawn center becomes powerful and he puts pressure on Black’s king side. Black’s queen cannot find a satisfactory sanctuary, and White provides a scenic attack and king-hunt to close out the game.