2.5 out of 3

Rollingpawns, good luck if you play tomorrow!

I beat an Expert, 2000 level guy. I had a clear win and then started botching the endgame big-time left and right. Eventually he probably even had a draw but thank goodness dropped a piece at the very end, which of course I was hoping for even though it seemed relatively obvious.

I drew against that little girl this time, didn’t take her seriously at first and made two obvious blunders in the French Advance var. opening (moved too fast, little too cocky). I was glad she accepted the draw. Lucky to draw as White, horrible game. I didn’t even want to play this variation because it didn’t look so good to me, but I read in a book once that such and such move is a mistake (that she made). Well, I am glad book authors have jobs because I didn’t find it to be a mistake. Worst part about playing the Advance French is you have to play the opening right, get your moves in on time, or it just plain sucks as White it seems. I wanted to play a quieter sub-variation and wished I had, but I am ecstatic that I got the draw.

I played Joe again. I was Black in a Milner-Barry gambit French. At one point I finally got tired and took a second pawn, and felt that something wasn’t right as soon as I made the move (plus I was trying to make up on time by this point). He sacked a knight and had a forced draw by repetition so I offered the draw. He refused and pointlessly went for the win which didn’t work and and since he was already down a piece, I won the game. There was a moment where I thought the combination might work and that I had lost the game. Luckily, I was alright!

Oh..my..gosh, I did it! I made A level player rating comfortably! Finally did it, not someday but today!! Wohoo! 🙂

My new rating is 1825.

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3


10 thoughts on “2.5 out of 3

  1. Excellent result, congratulations! Post that game with the girl (other too), I’ll run it through Fritz ( post the pgn text in comment, so I can copy), looks interesting. I didn’t lose rating after the last tourney, but I need breakthrough.

  2. I had a win against that girl, almost played Nxe but was afraid of Re8, but then NxR on f3 covers the e1 square. That is how bad I was playing. hehe.

    That morning, my landlord and another tenant were having an issue and the landlord got me involved, so later when I got there my mind was a blank. I had forgot to take either a multi-vitamin, a vitamin B-complex. a ginko-biloba, or even an aspirin as I usually take at least one of those before a match, so I went in in a completely normal state. hehe. I used coffee as a substitute since I had only been drinking tea for the past 2 days.

    Big thing that I learned going over these games is that I held an erroneous preconception. I, for some reason, was under the impression that tactics stop in the middle of the game or until a winning game is acheived, whereupon tactics magically go away. Not so, tactics are the key until virtually the end of the game. Really, I was too focused on simplifying things when better moves were available.

    In game 3, he did make a bad sac (he was losing at that point), so I shouldn’t have offered the draw.

    I need to change the gamescore later for game 2. How it happened is when I played Rd7, she did not go Rb7 right away. Instead she played Nf4, then I played Ng4, then she played Rb7. So it was really zwishinzug that lead to that chance. I could tell she acted like something had gone wrong, but I was not in much of a playing mood by this point. She started my clock with 30 minutes off, since I took a quick lunch after my last game and she was very helpful about assuring me we had reached 30 moves, even pushed the clock a couple times for me because I wasn’t sure, so I already wanted to offer her a draw at that point for being so nice, it was White to play move 31.

  3. Here is the game 2 analysed by Fritz. Looks like you missed your chance on move 31.
    1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.a3 Bd7 7.Be2 Nge7 8.dxc5 Qc7 last book move 9.Bf4 Ng6 10.Bg3 Bxc5 11.b4 Bb6 [–0.26 Fritz 11: 11…Be7 12.Nbd2 h5 13.h4 Ncxe5 14.c4 Bd6 15.0–0 Nxc4 16.Nxc4 Bxg3 17.fxg3 dxc4 18.Ng5 0–0–0 19.Nxf7 Qb6+ -1.26/16 ] 12.Qd2–+ [–1.47 Fritz 11: 12.Nbd2 h5 13.h4 Ncxe5 14.c4 Qb8 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.cxd5 exd5 17.Nf3 Bc7 18.Qxd5 Nxf3+ 19.Qxf3 Bxg3 20.fxg3 0–0 21.0–0³ -0.26/15 ] 12…0–0 13.0–0 Qd8?= [0.12 Fritz 11: 13…Ncxe5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Rc1 Rad8 16.a4 a6 17.a5 Ba7 18.Na3 h6 19.h3 Nf3+ 20.Bxf3 Qxg3 21.c4 Bc6–+ -1.77/15 ] 14.Re1³ [–0.66 Fritz 11: 14.c4 Nce7 15.c5 Bc7 16.Bd3 Nc6 17.Qc3 f6 18.exf6 Bxg3 19.fxg3 Qxf6 20.Qxf6 gxf6 21.Nc3 d4 22.Ne4 e5= 0.12/16 ] 14…f6 15.exf6 Qxf6 16.a4 a6 17.a5 Ba7 18.Na3 Nce7 19.Bd3³ [–0.47 Fritz 11: 19.Nc4 Rac8 20.Rac1 Rcd8 21.Nb6 Bxb6 22.axb6 Nf4 23.c4 Ba4 24.Nd4 dxc4 25.Rxc4 Bb5 26.Bxf4 Bxc4 27.Bxc4 Qxf4 28.Bxe6+= 0.14/16 ] 19…Nf5= [0.19 Fritz 11: 19…Nf4 20.Bxf4 Qxf4 21.Qxf4 Rxf4 22.Nc2 Rc8 23.Ra3 Nc6 24.Ne3 g6 25.Rd1 Kg7 26.Ra2 Rcf8 27.Re1 h6³ -0.47/15 ] 20.Bxf5 Qxf5 21.c4 Rad8 22.cxd5 Bc6 23.Qc2 Bxd5 24.Qxf5 Rxf5 25.Nc2 Bxf3 26.gxf3 e5 27.Rad1 Rc8 28.Ne3 Rxf3 29.Rd7 Rb8= [–0.21 Fritz 11: 29…Rf7 30.Rd6 Nf4 31.Ng4 Bd4 32.Kf1 Rf5 33.Rd7 h5 34.Ne3 Rff8 35.Rxb7 Nd3 36.Re2 Rf7 37.Rxf7 Kxf7 38.Rc2 -1.08/17 ] 30.Ng4 Nf4?+- [2.57 Fritz 11: 30…Bd4 31.Re4 h5 32.Bxe5 Nxe5 33.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 34.Kg2 Re3 35.Rf4 Be1 36.Nf3 Bc3 37.Kf2 Re6 38.Rc4 Bf6 39.h4 g6= -0.22/17 ] 31.Rxe5?± [0.94 Fritz 11: 31.Nxe5 Rxg3+ 32.hxg3 Nh5 33.Kg2 Nf6 34.Rdd1 Rc8 35.Re2 Re8 36.f4 h5 37.Kf3 Rc8 38.Red2 Kh7 39.Rd8+- 2.57/16 ] 31…Rc8 32.Bxf4= [0.00 Fritz 11: 32.Re1 Nh5 33.Ree7 Rf5 34.Rxb7 Bd4 35.Red7 Nf4 36.Bxf4 Rxf4 37.Ne3 Rh4 38.Kg2 Be5 39.h3 Rh6 40.Rb6 Rcc6 41.Rxc6± 0.95/17 ] 32…Rxf4 33.Ne3 ½–½

  4. Thanks, RP! 🙂

    It does help to analyze games. I was thinking afterward how it had probably helped me analyzing Polly’s games, even though I blew a lot of time doing that.

    Even during this game, for much of it, I felt that I was pouring down the drain my previous progress. After game 1, with such a tense ending against a higher-rated player, I was really looking for a break here, draw being a nice chance to regather before round 3.

    If I had won this game, I would have faced Portwood, who has bean on a tare lately, but it would have been a more meaningful game as I’ve had Joe’s number as of late. I was actually looking forward to playing him, but he got to play Simone, the little girl, plus it blew my chance to win the $70 section prize. Instead I got a $25 gift certificate (you have to spend it on merchandise there).

    I need to play more tactics in the first rounds. It’s great that I beat a higher-rated player, but I need to try and shut ‘er down sooner, so that I can win after fewer moves and get a break in before round 2 that won’t cost me. Plus, tactics can be a real energy-saver later on, getting games over with quickly.

    Oh, I was going to add, I’ve felt fortunate even at the board that I have been getting openings which I am familiar with. I am still reminded occasionally about the infrequent openings hole that showed up periodically during a game on FICS. Luckily, that memory is growing fainter. I heard Portwood 1900’s beat a Master not long ago because hearsay has it that Portwood said the Master didn’t know the opening that he played, found a hole in it, so he mopped him up swiftly. But I checked once and I think Portwood has been 1900’s for close to 10 years!

  5. I ran some of my blitz game games through Fritz and I was astounded by the amount of missed tactics that Fritz found in every game (not only in the middlegame). These were games played by regular openings, no gambits/crazy play. It was very upsetting, even I was telling myself – it’s blitz, come on. But I think there should be a positive conclusion – that knowing it (how many chances actually you have) and by training your vision/calculation you hopefully can raise essentually the level of the play.

  6. Nice games your aggressive play shows in each of these.
    In game 1 could 48…Ra3 have been played,it protects a2 and helps to stop white queening the c pawn.
    Should white have pushed the c pawn earlier.

  7. Thanks, Chess! Usually I do feel in an aggressive mood, but on Saturday I was feeling relatively subdued. Happy to take draws, not my normal self. Although draws do have the ulterior motive of saving energy for the next round instead of on an endgame in which there is little margin of victory left to play with.

    RP – Blitz, I just can’t see combos, not enough time to scan the board and sum up all the possibilities, much less to calculate any of it.

    You are right, it’s all there, the combos are nearly ever-present. I think me, you, and ChessX, our stars are on the rise. We’ve just got to get far enough out of the opening without blowing too much where we can sense what is going on positionally and fire off the series of tactics for the win.

    During the games, what’s weird is that I sensed I had a stronger positional understanding of the games than my opponents did, except for game 2, and I think her weakness is more pronounced in tactics. VanCouvering is really good tactically – you didn’t see the surprising mate from his other game. He went 2 wins – 1 loss.

    I asked VanCouvering if he knew the idea behind my g6 move, if we had both castled kingside, and he said “you mean the Nh5-g7 to support Bf5? Yeah, I’ve seen it played on me before. That’s why I played h3 to stop it.” Amazing because I too had figured that h3 had stopped it and was a good move, but had wondered if he knew that! We both admitted that my g6 was a mistake and that I should have played something like a5 to discourage queenside castling, but like I told him I was comfortable in the opposite-sides castling, that’s my comfort zone, and that it is harder to play White than Black.

    But like I say, it helped me to keep the game in positional channels where he wouldn’t out-calculate me tactically, unless of course he handed me something.

    RP, I’ll have to go through that analysis that you gave. During the game I thought about playing c4 earlier and such. One thing about what you said on tactics, it makes sense to stay close, don’t always need to pull the trigger but below A level you can pretty much wait for a tactical blunder, if not positional one. In my game 3, I could see his positional “blunders” before he even made them. I practically saw his moves coming and even forced some of his better ones, my mistake for being out of creative energy by that point, but even his combination was the blunder that I should have been waiting for. I was tired and rather demoralized when I first saw it, but it goes to show that a player needs to reserve time on the clock for the _other_ players adventures or misadventures, not just your own. Sometimes, it’s better to be able to roll with the other person’s ideas than have to come up with correct ideas of your own.

    I can count on one hand the number of moves that I wrote down before I actually played on the board, only a couple. It’s amazing that I am playing as well as I have been and not even writing moves down beforehand which had once been a key part of moving from 1300’s to 1500’s. Even the ones I was writing down were the first few “automatic” starting moves in the opening, was simply trying to save some time. The key here is scanning the board and doing a mental blundercheck before any move where immediate threats are perceived (at least).

    I’d like to add that there is a difference between playing against a typical player that is 1900+ from one that is not and that is intensity. Some people around 1800, I can tell that they are bored out of their skull at times, I probably even do that from time to time. It’s a clue that they aren’t totally there. Stronger players, you can really feel their intensity bearing down on their moves, whether they are up or down at any point in the game; people who are up and coming also at least try to do this for as long as they can manage.

  8. Thanks, Aziridine!!

    I remember when you congratulated Katar on making Expert. The monkey is definitely off my back now that I’ve made A level.

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