Round 1 – Won against Winston
Round 2 – Lost to Neal
Round 3 – Won against Joe
I’ll post the games once I’ve entered them in.
I had a Dr. Pepper with my lunch, and an instant coffee from the machine before round 3. Felt totally normal all day, but OTB chess does make the heart speed up at times. Studied chess yesterday and played today. I feel like I could play all 9 rounds of the World Open and still try to get as many points as possible, so I’m saying I feel completely adjusted to playing now. Still wish I knew opening theory at the board, but I suppose that will always be the case. 😉
New rating: 1826 -> 1836
Looks like my playing strength has finally settled into a consistent spot, so from here it should go up as long as I am doing the right things; perhaps very slowly, but I should feel as though this rating is real now, and not simply in my head from only a few results. Next weekend I won’t be playing because it is G/60 3 rounds, then 1 rd G/75, and while I do adapt to the clock, I’m still simply taking too much clock time to compete in that arena.
On move 25, Winston plays …Nc5 and my eyes are as round as saucers “I’m winning a piece!” But then I tell myself not to doubt my confidence by calculating it out too much. Unfortunately, as soon as he quickly played …Nxb, I immediately realized that I had put the wrong rook on c1! not that I thought it mattered, in my exuberance.
During the opening, he was nicely booked, and I felt clueless; so he grabbed the initiative, and instead of getting defensive about it, I looked for counter-play, which came, nice! He’s such a sweet kid, I almost feel guilty for winning. He was all happy “Look daddy, I play the same guy again!”. Someone smack me for winning this game, I slapped down a piece toward the end, and made a “pshhh” (out of frustration for not finding anything better) and he resigned right away, so I felt really guilty about that, because otherwise I am quiet and respectful. I do try to control my manners OTB, though, and told him it was a “tough game” which it was, you only need Crafty to notice that.
I felt that we both blundered on move 48. him for playing g6, and me for not getting over to defend g7. If he plays gxf..gxf, he can get his king and bishop to attack the backward g-pawn. The light bishop takes a knight defender of it, and Black must recapture away from the pawn, so then the dark-bishop wins the g-pawn and the game.
I would have had counterchances, had I got back to the pawn as it was, but in any event, I did make the key amateur mistake of falling asleep at the wheel and headed for the draw instead of playing a real game. As he told me later “it was a big mistake (of mine), trading down the heavy pieces.” I thought I could hold but once he pushed his f-pawn to f5, I realized it was lost. Definitely, though, there was some real fatigue at the end from the long battle.
It’s too bad that I made the obvious mistake of heading for the ending against the higher-rated player and not keeping it in the middle-game. I knew ..Bc8 would have been better than BxN on g2, and I wanted to play …h6 but was being a scairdy-cat. Next time I’ll know to keep it in a middlegame. Even Crafty’s point-score did dip, as I felt it was during the game, particularly after trading queens, but I realized my queen would be defending against his anyway, the rook trade is what cost me the most.
Looks like I am more of a tactical slouch than I fancied myself. Joe pointed out that I had a quicker win with 23. QxR+ KxR 24.Bg6+ and 25.Re8 mate.
During the game, I thought he might play 11…Nf6, and then I looked at 12. dxe Bxe 13. RxB fxR 14. Bg6+ Kf8 for a while, but decided it wasn’t enough compensation and figured I would go with 12. c4 instead, but Crafty likes 12. dxe in this variation.
So …h6, instead of castling right away, was his initial big mistake, but I thought it might go there as soon as I saw …c5. I am getting used to players who try and save that castling tempo, as Black, to make some attacking move.
The true importance of rating is simply being able to play in higher sections. Shawn was stuck playing the kids in the next section down. He should be playing in the top section, trying to take first place, but that is what happens if you drop a bunch of rating points for whatever odd reason. It’s nice to have the opportunity to play Neal or David or another A player. Taking first in first section is achievable, but playing down in rating is more a bigger downside than upside. I just wish I could play the important game in round 1 or 3. Round 1 because I am able to concentrate the most, and round 3 because I am usually not quite as tired as my opponents. hehe. That, and that one coffee helps.