Game 1 I dropped a piece and he didn’t even see til later that he could have gotten it back (2009 rated player, so he’s ‘expert’ rating here in the states). Anyhow, we reached a dead drawn ending. He refused a draw, so I tried to make it more obvious by exchanging rooks instead of spending all day trading down pawns. Big mistake, he won king+pawn ending where we had the same number of pawn 3pawns vs. 2 one ones side and 3 vs. 2 on the other. So I lost a drawn game.
Played Black against French Milner-Barry gambit. Wildest game I’ve ever played next to that game with Anthony Ong. Julian Landaw walked by twice and shook his head when he saw me take the second pawn (he’s a Master). So I went to look at his game and it looked boring as heck, pawn-fence looking position.
However, I played awesome and had a winning position, it was not in doubt. Suddenly, in dual-time pressure, I let up and gave up pawns like I was Santa Claus or something. I thought I was going to win, but gave away a pawn needlessly for initiative, then I blundered a pawn from fatigue, but by that point no longer saw the win. However, I held the game down 2 pawns with rook against bishop for the draw.
I’ll post both games when I get the chance. 2nd game was horrendous time-scramble he had less than a minute and a half for moves 25-40, then I got caught up in it since I was no longer using his time to figure out my moves. This probably saved the game for him since it looked completely won for me.
Wow, the really surprising thing is that I am no longer intimidated by these players below Master. Really, I think I feel I should have beaten both of them (Game 1 I didn’t play a sharp variation that I felt I should have, so was never winnning, but did have the initiative for most of the game, up until I threw away the draw). In the first game, I played conservative and did not ‘go for it’, although amazingly I still found chances.
In the second game, he made the mistake of trying to go Tal-like on me. Like I said to him ‘Yes, I am good at finding ‘only’ moves’, that is not the way to play me, be more subtle with your attack, don’t jump the gun.’ Where I go wrong is when the position is not forced calculation. Actually, I blew it in 2 endgames, so the adage about better players winning in the endgame once again held true. It’s funny, in game 2, after the game I showed him how I had it drawn against best play, another guy joined us in the analysis. So when it’s forced, I do great! When you need to come up with a plan, be cool, don’t panic, don’t jump off the deep-end, have faith that things will come out well – that is where I seem to screw up most.
I took tomorrow off for fourth of July, too old for this nit-picking endgame stuff. 😀 But I’ll be back on Sunday, will probably play 2 games against some seriously struggling players. I look forward to improving that endgame part of my game though.
Another thing, a 1650 player showed me his game where he drew a 1400 player, as Black. He replayed the whole game from memory, he played awesome, and they both played great. I told him basically ‘look, there’s nothing you can do as Black to win that game, you played a slow system, but you outplayed him and it was a draw. The only way to get ahead rating-wise is to play the upper group, that way you are trading wins and draws with the top guys.’ I don’t feel like I am better than either of them. That’s the problem with amateur section, people tend to be under-rated there anyway.
Here is game 2, I should title it as ‘Dueling tacticians’, not perfect play by Crafty’s measure, but a heart-riveting game. I see where I went wrong, I was winning before my last blunder, but I was too worried about his king and a-pawn getting involved, and was even naively worried about avoiding 3-fold repetition although even he did not have an accurate scoresheet and was not recording the moves while blitzing (I was at least scribbling down my own moves, if for no other reason than to know what move we are on and to be able to recreate the position if need be), huge blank section on his scoresheet for what looked to be at least 10 moves, and I mean completely frickin blank (those things can be stressful, if you are tired). Really, I was just wanting the game to be over by this point. 2 games at 40/2 SD/1 will do that to you, especially as everyone seems to want to eek every minute out of their clock, made it even more tiring, that’s 6 hours that a game can last, winning position or not.
And yes, he did try and spend all his time trying to eek out a win which doesn’t seem to be in there (we tried everything after the game, as I can even sac the rook for his a-pawn and still hold it for a draw) – I cut the game score short here, suffice it to say that he played down to around 7 1/2 minutes left and tried all that seemed reasonable to him at the time. Yes, I realize how obvious the position looks when playing over it quickly now, how I missed Bxa right before he played Nxf. Most of the game is in the analysis, lots of sacks, you don’t see it playing over the game, almost looks like as if he were wishy-washy with his attack, but Crafty was giving him the nod for some reason after his Qe5 move (yes, Crafty is right it wins for him, now I see – Bf5+, then RxN+, then Qa5 winning my queen in one fashion or another (I had lots of advantageous moves that I missed, lots still to look at with a chess-engine even after all that, apparently, to compare analysis with). I know, I should figure out how to comment these games but it would take just as much work to cut out my verbosity. 😉
I’m still rather tired from it, although I could have played today alright. The hardest part is psychological. People will gladly give you the feeling that they have “no life” by holding you captive at the chess board for 6 hours. The galling thing is that’s why they do it, because they can. I have no doubt that if the game were 12 hours, they will still have no problem trying to wear you down, eating that next energy bar in the 11th hour. I can understand if you actually _need_ the time, but people take it just because they have it, that is hard to deal with psychologically.