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Some chess players dream of retiring and then travelling the world playing in tournaments. Michael Dougherty is living that dream.

Dougherty retired from the Ontario government last November and now plans to visit several countries to play his favourite game. His first outing was at the Reykjavik Open in Iceland last month where he turned in a strong performance, finishing in a big tie just two points shy of first place.

“I started playing in the aftermath of the Bobby Fischer era,” says Dougherty, 61. Following Fischer’s victory in the world championship over Boris Spassky, there was a huge boom in chess activity that inspired many players to take up the game.

He made slow and steady progress over the years, eventually earning the master title from FIDE, the world chess federation. Dougherty says his strategic understanding of the game remains sharp, but his stamina is not what it once was.

That’s why he prefers the European style of tournaments that feature one round per day. He has plans to play in Britain and the Czech Republic in the next couple of months, and in Italy later this year.

“The competitive juice is still there. I want to try to be as good as I can be.”

Erik Hedman v Michael Dougherty, Reykjavik, 2022

The Globe and Mail

Black sees a way to break things open to his advantage. What is it?

Black played Ncxe5 and unleashed wild complications to his advantage. This is how the game finished: 18. fxe5 Qh4+ 19. Qf2 Qxc4 20. Rxd7 Qxc3+ 21. Bd2 Qa1+ 22. Ke2 Qxe5 23. Qxf7+ Kht 24. Rxc7 Rf8 25. Rf1 Bxg2 26. Rf4 Rxf7 Bc6 and Black won.