Okay, if I said I scored 2.5/3, that would sound as if I did really well, but I just calculated my new estimated rating. Was 1716, now perhaps 1725.
Won against 1345
Drew against 1652
Won against 1566
I was tired and played like heck, but God was kind to me and fortune smiled her favor on me once again.
In the game with the draw, I think last time I got a draw it was with the same guy, and about 10 years ago. I had the advantage and he was defending, then I flat ran out of gas for a couple moves. I was too wary and took too much time because the guy I drew against had just beaten a 1960 player, the guy I lost to last time in the French, KIA.
Two French and one Scotch. I completely wild-@ss blundered the Fr. Adv as White, was quite tired and saw it coming, but thought I could figure it out when I got there.
If I can recreate these games, I should study them, but I don’t feel like playing another real chess game for a few weeks.
Looking back, I had a large soda before that second game. I hadn’t had any soda in over half a year, then had one the day before and then again yesterday. I think when that wore off, that is what helped me to hit the wall with fatigue; no real need to be tired when I was controlling the initiative in that position. But I am also starting to realize that he played an intelligent defense, took me by surprise, and I had spent too much time on the clock up to that point.
I did some research of rating points calculation, and looked at another club members’ tournament history, and I realized something. The important thing, the way the rating system works nowdays is not so much about trading wins, but getting perfect scores. A 3-0 score can jump one up around a hundred rating points. When I used to play long ago, people’s ratings did not really move, it seemed, including my own. After 7 years of tournament play, my rating was actually at its lowest, like 1338 or something. I don’t remember people thinking that the big 3-0 was going to net them 100+ rating points. The thing that surprised me was when one of these guys I regularly beat, he had been in the 1100’s back when I was in the 1300’s. Suddenly he was 1600+ (and winning), and grinning, and so I am thinking what is in the kool-aide these days(?). Anyhow his floor became 1400 and now he is regularly 1400, like right now. hehe. So you hang around wating to catch the next 3-0 performance rating boost, I guess, or better yet go in pumped up trying to get the 3-0 and not thinking 2.5 is a pleasant result. hehe.
Game 1 was expectedly the least competitive, but it also served to remind me that there is nothing much to the Scotch as I should either try the gambit variation or go back to the Lopez. As I told Michael after the game, he could have played h6 and forced the exchange on f6, when my bishop on d3 could become bad, as h6, Bh4, g5 Bg3, Bg4 and my queen is forced onto the open e-file where he can oppose her with a rook. I should have followed with a more mellow opening build-up.
Round 2 was against someone who has been playing the French as long as I can remember him, which is around the early 90’s. 😉
I was up by by 2.5 at one point according to Crafty. I actually had the rare temper tantrum saying “damn, I missed g5!” right before he played Kc2, getting his king all snuggly-wuggly in front of my pawn, and shutting down my attack. I can’t remember ever being that angry at myself at the board before, but I was at least pleased that meant some energy had returned. hehe. This game taught me not to waste time when I am not under real pressure at the board. I should be spending time when something is in doubt, and not when I am “counting my money at the table.”
Round 3, “winning ugly”, what more is there to say? I feel I won mainly because my opponent went into a very visible self-doubt mode every time I found some little tactical resource. He basically beat himself as I played enough junky moves to allow him to draw. I think he even had Rf4 instead of Rh3 to win the h-pawn. I was getting low on time, but luckily so did he. I lost close to 10 minutes because I had not realized that I had not punched the clock and he was taking forever on his move, so I played sorta scrambly after that, letting him off the hook, which he didn’t take.
Best move of the game was 20.Nc8, and even Crafty gave it a low rating until I played it.
At the beginning of the game I was really tired, but started drinking coffee right after my mistake and got back in it. I really wanted to play the Milner-Barry gambit, but figured since I was tired and not spiffed up on theory that I should avoid it, but I should have played it; also considered Nd2 var. Just occured to me, that instead of Nc3, I should have played b4 with Bb2 to follow.
My opponent was drinking a red-bull. I think drugs (caffeine, etc) make people more emotional, and in chess that counts against you where you need to stay calm, unperturbed, clear-minded. I notice that when I am emotional, it works against the part of the brain that wants to calculate, and patiently assess all the details and plans.
Here is a hypothetical finish to the round 2 game:
I made Crafty play h4 to stop the g5 threat since …g5 is so winning it’s ridiculous (played that out already). It’s too bad I trusted my opponent to play the pawn structure correctly. It’s amazing, I always see these old-stalwarts as closed-game players, but I trust them too much. h4 should have been screaming out obvious. I can’t trust these guys, none of them. lol.
I played 2 more hypothetical games from roughly the same position there, so let me know if you want me to post them. I figured out Kurt’s strength, why he can draw me seemingly at will. He plays quickly and confidently even in any hairy positions (he was picking up pawns from near expert without seeming overly concerned). But here is his basic outlook, I think, and perhaps of the stodgy club veteran in general. They want to take you down the 80 move road to give you more chances to mess up. It’s not so much that it always appears that they play “closed positions”, but that they try to put the height of struggle off for 40-50 moves, so you will see tons of pawns late in their games. If you haven’t managed your clock well, you will be SOL and begging for a draw, not to mention you need to have your energy late in the game.
I was able to beat the Ongs, tactical and high-rated, because they start out the height of the struggle right off the bat, so you know what you are in for and are using your time to solve real problems. Against Kurt, he just seems to keep delaying, giving me what I want. His positions often look crappy late, but you still have to have time on your clock, energy, and experience at handling late positions, like the 5 move combo on move 48 or something. Yeah, good luck with that, but that’s really where you need to find it.
As an example, when I played …f5 in the opening of the French and asked why he didn’t play exf (as Crafty would). He said “Oh you have a file against my king, blah, blah” Didn’t really make _too_ much sense, but I can see where his “strategy of non-commitment” puts the battle off for late. Even the near expert suggested that I shouldn’t have played Ba4xNd1 (which even Crafty suggested that I do, and it played it _very_ well for Black in the theoretical sense), but rather hold onto it, with Bb3 or so (I mentioned that move, and he seemed to approve). To myself, I always wondered why I seem to get “clear-looking” positions as opposed to other players. Now I have answered that question, in general, to my satisfaction. I don’t play cagey and coy like unless there is a very calculated or clearly understood reason for doing so.