11 December 2018, played on a cold night in the waning days of 2018, Bratya played this game at the Whitmire Community Center against a local thought to be the strongest player in town. With 20 years of experience and 15 of those spent hustling in prison for cigarettes and commissary, this game, an early use of c4 – an opening Bratya would come to favor – would last for nearly 4 and a half hours. The result, however, by the middlegame, was never in doubt. A positional and strategic masterclass of maintaining pressure and striking with precision, this game saw Bratya emerge as the player to beat in his town of Bumfuck, Nowhere. 2019 would see our would-be master move up from a rating of 1520 at year’s end to drawing a Candidate Master by the end of 2019.
A game without inaccuracies, mistakes or blunders; the first game of mine to achieve such an evaluation.