The FICS rating system

Here is another example of a reason not to care about it.

Creating: LinuxGuy (1718) VonSFdr (1986) rated standard 15 5
Challenge: VonSFdr (1968) LinuxGuy (1731) rated standard 15 5

My rating goes up a whopping 13 points for beating someone rated 270 points above mine, while his rating goes down a mysterious 18 points (I couldn’t even guess on how they calculate this stuff, but it seems like crap, to me, if you are the one trying to _maintain_ a certain rating).

Like I say, I couldn’t care less about my FICS rating, and sometimes I have simply let games go. I certainly don’t hyper-ventillate over the keyboard or nothing – only get really excited like that playing OTB.

Here’s the game score:
Caro-Kahn – Advanced var

Anyway, I just found it funny following Crafty’s point-score on some moves, since it’s usually a given when I win this easily that Crafty will be saying I played like crap. But after a minute or so, Crafty will suddenly start liking some of these moves that I played.

It’s interesting, Crafty says Black is winning with 18…Ne4 -.4, which I thought he would play, BTW. I post this game partly because Chesstiger does not like my e5, Ne2 variation that I made up. Well, Black got …f6 in like tiger says, and still lost. Does the variation suck for White? Who cares? If it can win at my level, that’s better than losing against the main-line caro, which I used to do consistently versus weaker opponents. I mean, perhaps five minutes from now I will change my mind about this variation, but it’s not like I’m losing sleep over it.

Incidentally, after 18…Ne4 19.Qe3 0-0 20.Rf3 RxR 21.gxR Ng3 22.Bh3, our fair-weathered Crafty friend, whom we’ve all come to know and trust (sarcasm), has changed it’s tune to .4 in _White’s_ favor.

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White to mate in 17

hehe.

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Yes, slightly sadistic, but see how many moves you can work out first. I didn’t even find the right first move, and basically lost the game under time-pressure. In my game, I had a chance to have a piece for 3 pawns, but that was the best I got, and only because he played it not 100% correct. Of course, the first move looks a lot easier to me to find now, less bleary-eyed, but I was not playing creatively enough.

The hypothetical game

Here is the actual game as I played it:
The actual game
27. Nc6??
27. NxB and because of back-rank threats…Bxg+ 28. NxB RxB, and White has a piece for 3 pawns – which is supposedly better for White by 1+.

2 out of 3

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.

Round 1
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.

Round 2
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.

Round 3
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.