In the 4th round of MSL, tournament, things looked bleak for Prospect as the first four games to finish, 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 8th went Buffalo Grove's way. The games on 1st, 4th, and 5th looked promising, but Prospect's Caleb Royce was down a knight for a pawn on 3rd board in a position that didn't seem to offer much hope for counter-play. If Caleb lost, there would be a four-way tie at for first at 3-1. If Caleb could draw and the other three games went Prospect's way, the match would be drawn at 34-34 and Prospect would win the tournament with 3 1/2-1/2.
Caleb isn't the type of player who is happy defending an inferior position (not that anyone really is), but he hung tough and displayed unusual patience. Although down on material, his pawn structure was solid and there were no obvious weaknesses in his position. Buffalo Grove's Mike Diamond was unable to come up with a plan to convert his material advantage and Caleb managed to create a passed pawn. Eventually, Mike was forced to give up his extra knight. Although the game could still have gone either way, Mike was in time trouble and his king was exposed, which proved his undoing.
Another nail-biter was Nick Martin’s game against Karen Wilber. The players had castled on opposite sides of the board and Nick was attacking Karen’s king. I wished at the time that Caleb and Nick could trade positions as Caleb’s attacking instincts are stronger while Nick is the more patient defender. Nick missed several chances to deliver the coup de grace, but he kept the pressure on until the defensive task proved too great.
With Caleb, Nick, and Mike Monsen on 5th board winning, the match game down to Robert Moskwa's game against the strongest player in the conference and one of the strongest high school player's in the state, Buffalo Grove's Matt Wilber. Robert was up a piece but there was still a lot of play in the position. Eventually, Robert was able to quell Matt's counter-play to bring home the game as well as the match and the tournament.