This game was back and forth. I should have lost multiple times, and then didn’t see the point of his piece sac until he was winning his piece back. He just barely flagged on move thirty-three, and I called his flag. I added more moves after that to show what I was going to try if the game had continued, but it’s only a draw if it had, objectively speaking anyway. If 37.Re1, then …Rg3+ is a draw.
The dropsies against Paul, and no middlegame plan.
This game is like a bit of a joke. I started thinking about how I forgot to take my wallet, and then I started blundering like crazy. I looked at Pete as soon as I moved my bishop, because I realized I had dropped it. I wasn’t taking this game too seriously, and you can sorta tell, it’s really awful.
This game totally deserved to be a draw, as I was going to play 29…RxR followed by 30…Qd8, which is equal, but instead I decided to play 29…Qb7?? because I wasn’t sure about the queen ending in the other line, and didn’t see his 30.Qd5! coming.
In this game, after 30…h5?? I remembered to ask myself the question “What is my opponent’s threat?”, and appropriately moved my rook to d7 (31.Rd7??) to allow my bishop an escape square on c7, since otherwise after ….h4, the bishop is simply dropping. Unfortunately, reacting to his threat simply loses the game. The question I should have asked myself after finding the threat is “What is the drawback of my opponent’s last move?” (i.e., “the secret to chess”). Answer: Moving Black’s h-pawn undefends the g6 square, or more specifically the h-pawn no longer guards the g6 square. Now, before every move, MDLM would ask himself “Do I have a tactic?” In this case, the answer would have been “yes”.
What’s worse is that before my opponent’s blunder I myself didn’t find a good move for him (30…Qe4 holds the position, though), so I should I should have been more on the lookout for such a possibility. Plus, we were going through a forcing series of moves where it seemed that neither of us should have really seen to the end ahead of time (since I sort of lead him into this maze).
One thing I want to throw out there is that there is a lot of “Quick Chess” in Colorado these days. In fact, there is Quick chess on Tuesdays this month in CO Springs, as well as on two Fridays each month here. There was an “Ironman” tournament of G/30, Increment 30 in Denver on Saturday. One thing that Quick-Chess cannot imitate within a single game is the fatigue factor. When I missed the tactic on Friday, I told myself I’d figure out a defense and then come back to look for a refutation (I noticed right away that h5 was defended by his queen). Well, I was so fatigued by this point that I couldn’t think of anything and could only muster a dull, vacant stare at the same final board position (unless I was willing to max out my clock until inspiration struck). The other thing is that our game started close to 6:45 pm, and the two blunders are happening after 10 pm. So, in sum, it seems dumb to me to waste a perfectly good, beautiful Saturday morning where a Quad round-robin tournament could take place on an “Ironman” Quick-Chess tournament for $45 in Denver. I can think of at least one person playing in it that can’t afford to be spending that kind of money on a Quick-Chess tournament which is ubiquitous here in CO.
Another great video by Grandmaster Maurice Ashley that doesn’t disappoint!
I watched another video again by Maurice, which I had watched late one night in a fog and missed what was going on, but followed it more easily this time. What I find fascinating about this one is that although it contains unbalanced material, the whole video is really about finding counter-shots, and the games are between 1750 type players. These games have multiple counter-shots back and forth, where say one guy traps a queen but then it’s losing (lots of queen sacs). He says that chess is wicked like this and that tactics are always hiding in plain sight. It made me realize that you won’t find this so much in books, where you are being shown a best game (because that person is usually winning the whole time, with the point-of-view that they are allowing all of these tactics because they know they are winning).
This is actually an important lesson when playing this way because many players who are Masters or Grandmasters will avoid a lot of these dynamic types of positions and shoot for endgame advantages straight away – check out a Chessbrah (Master) blitz session video if you don’t believe me.
Here is a great example of a game with a counter-shot that I just played!
It’s a miniature. His resignation was perhaps premature, but the psychological effect from the counter-shot was not. Incidentally, I missed the drawback of my own move …Bd6 when I blundered the Nd5.
I misplayed the opening, then got a chance to equalize. Instead of ….c5?! I should have simply taken his h-pawn. Later I attacked his f-pawn, and as soon as I moved saw my a-pawn hanging, and blundering that a-pawn lead to the rest of those queenside pawns falling, and to a losing position. The whole game was interesting, but I was only “still in the game” for a short number of moves.
I believe I had about 65 minutes for this game, as I had to drive back in traffic to pick up Alex beforehand.
I spent ten minutes on this game. Normally, Paul starts the rounds 15 minutes late, and there was a parade through town, so it took a long time to find a parking spot, and it was quite a distance away, so I had only 12 minutes on my clock when I got there.
I did see the 22.Qe3, 23.Rb6 type of idea to win the bishop, which I thought I was going to before she played 21…Rc8, but I didn’t have time to notice that Qe3 was defending the c1 square. Stockfish lit up that I was winning a piece, so I looked at 22.Qe3 Rb8, 23.Rc1 Qxd6, then noticed Qa7 wins the piece. This is the sort of move that I would have needed time to spot since I was wondering if I could win her bishop.
Sara offered me a draw with 2.5 minutes on my clock to 2 minutes on her clock, and the position was indeed a draw. I wanted to play on, but decided wisdom was the better part of valor.
I told her after the game that she could have taken my e-pawn, but she decided to take my d-pawn instead. When she played …f5, I should have played Be2…a5, f4…e4, but here also I didn’t see this in the amount of time that I spent on the move.
After I played my last move of …Qxd4 (Mark pointed out that …Nxd4 was better since after Qg5, I have ….Rg6), I noticed that Mark’s flag had fallen. I thought he had played his last move with a couple seconds remaining, but apparently he bit it too close. In any case, Black is winning, and I still had three minutes remaining on my clock. All in all, it was a good tournament and I may have won a couple of rating points, although I lost to Daniel in the First Round (he won the tournament).