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. šŸ˜‰

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.

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6 thoughts on “2 out of 3

  1. You said “I feel like I could play all 9 rounds of the World Open and still try to get as many points as possible, so Iā€™m saying I feel completely adjusted to playing now”.

    This is very positive the way forward.

    Game 2 2 bishops v 2 knights plus he had the more active king,more optoins.

    Game 3 would 24.Bh7+ Kxh7 25.Qxf8 mate next move,if 25…g5 26.Re7+ Kg6 27.Qg7+ Kg6 28.Qh7+ Kf5 29.Rf4++ or 27…Kh5 28.Qf7+ Kh4 29.Rh3+ Kg4 30.f3+(Kf5 31.Qh7+ Kf4 32.Re4++)Kf4 31.Re4+ Kf5 32.Qh7++
    Perhaps i need more painkillers!!!!
    But your finish is quicker.
    A great Tal type finish.

  2. ChessX, you are right about 24. Bxh7+, I did not see that until Crafty showed it to me. These quicker mates, like the one you found, are better.

    Nice of you to point out how to play the first part of that finish. I would continue with 27. Qf7+, instead of Qg7+, and that way his king is forced back to the inside of the board. 27….Kf5 28. Qh7+…Kf4 29.Qe4 mate.

    That last variation you gave is a very nice mate. šŸ™‚

    Thanks for the kudos. šŸ™‚ When you look at my games, the saying that an A player once told me holds true, that all a person has to do is “simply stop dropping pieces to make it to A level”, astounding as that is. The thing is, when one gets to play 1900 level players like Neal or David, it’s more about keeping the tension, not prematurely commiting to something bad that can’t be gotten out of – different style of play.

    That game 2, I do like his g6 move now, after sleeping over it. He could probably break up the king-side fortress with a5, trade one pair of pawns and win the other pawn with his king most likely, while my king stays back to defend g7.

    It would be fun for me to try a “World Open” schedule right now, as I am still fresh from the past 2 days. So here would be my recommendation:
    1. Play regularly at club, to get used to playing OTB often.
    2. Exercise once a day during tournament, even if it’s light, which may mean staying at a hotel with a workout room, or simply spend the the time jogging instead of driving home.
    But if you stay at the hotel, that is easily over a $1k for 9 days, so you must win!! lol.

    Good luck on your foot! Try not to get discouraged about the pain, as it’s easy to spend all day sleeping, watching TV, and looking at said foot. Then a month or two goes by, and you are still thinking about your foot, and saying “What did I do with all that free time!” hehe.

  3. I am spending my time playing over Tal games at the moment,thats why i could spot 24.Bh7+ with the follow on moves.
    Give it a few weeks and i wont remember a thing.!!!

    You sound so much more upbeat and positive thats good.

  4. I was busy playing in the very big tournament. Played 4 games on Saturday and Monday, had to take 2 byes on Sunday. I played in the U2000 section, was in the bottom of the rating list. I had equal or better position after every opening, but it didn’t reflect on the result. It’s not quite good, though partially expected – 2 draws, 2 losses against the guys rated in average 130 higher. I played the variation you suggested in Scandinavian, h3/Bh5, g4/Bg6 and Ne5. I had better position, missed good moves several times, once – -2.79! Then made a pawn sac and ended up in the lost endgame. In another game played Benko with Black for the first time, pressured him, he spent much more time than me. Crafty found that I missed winning a piece in 3 moves. I agreed to a draw later. In the last I misplayed French Classical, got all of it – attack on the king side, bad bishop, etc. So, a lot to think about. I will post later.

    I looked at your games. In the game 1 your activity paid off.
    Game 2 – I agree with chessx about 2 bishops, I think both exchanges – Bxg2 and Bxg5 were mistake. Game 3 – good attack and nice mates – both yours and chessx’s.

  5. hehe. Chessx, I know what you mean. Going over attacking games (i.e., not that stale Zurick ’53 draw stuff), you can really try guessing their moves once the opponent slips, and take away a lot from that, tactically.

    RollingPawns, thanks for honoring my blog with your tournament report here. šŸ˜€

    I don’t even remember the analysis I give, so I’m glad you did! But yes, I remember the early Ne5 and g4. Just for playing g4, you have my admiration and congratulations for playing such a gutsy move, even if you end up with a loss. You will grow more as a chessplayer (for later) than the loss will hurt your rating today, in any case.

    I hate those draw offers! Yes, they are so useless now because if someone offers one, you should just tell yourself that they must be totally lost or something because it is happening too often now that that is the case! Maybe if the guy is having a heart-attack, or the position is 3-fold repetition, you give the guy a draw, or at least so I think to myself.

    I can’t wait to see your games; post them all, even the losses!

    I played the Benko for nearly 2 years. A big part of the problem is that White just expects the oddball replies, and is prepared for those, but the main problem is that there is usually one way to play the Benko, as Black, and if you miss any critical move or play an oddball move, or simply an ill-timed …f5 or such, it’s quickly curtains, and you are 1 pawn down, so that “one move” _has_ to be found by Black. I found it too unforgiving for regular use, but did get some interesting games from it. I remember that Nf6-g4-e5 stuff, all timed right and kosher with theory. Any White deviation, such as f3, lead to a whole different type of strategy/game.

  6. Thanks for your compliment. I posted the report about the tournament with the couple of games, the rest will follow. In this case draw offers were reasonable, especially the first one. You know that blitz experience is not the same thing as OTB one. I am satisfied with this Benko game, but you probably need to play at least a few games with the strong opponents to get a real feeling of it. He didn’t let me to play Nf6-Ng4-Ne5 because he played early f4, but that’s it. I didn’t let him to play e5, pressing on the queenside. It was a good experience for me, because as you know, we all like to play on the kingside.

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