Another day, another screw-up.
Game 1, a 1788 player. Hard-fought draw as Black. I finally drew an ending that I meant to draw, imagine that after all my lost drawn games! I felt fortunate that I was able to craft a draw and that he played right into it, almost a thing of beauty.
Game 2, I had a win gift-wrapped against an older player, 70’s I’d say – I think he was 1936 rated, who doesn’t know openings much but knows tactics – by his own admission. I felt like MDLM personally kicked my butt because I simply made some bone-headed tactical miscues. After the game he asked me how to play that variation as Black and I showed him as he was very impressed with the advantage that I got.
Okay, so I had a HUGE, Ginormous advantage and then played Nb3. As soon as I played it (How does this happen where as soon as you play, you realize a mistake, but not before?) All I had to do was play BxN and I have Nd5 like ++- advantage. I played BxN 2 moves to late, and by then was so miffed that I was not looking at his counterplay seriously and missed Bh3 winning the exchange (I figured he might play Bf5). It should have been totally obvious, but will be going forward.
I played this game quickly. Long story I was going to try and win on time, a confidence-builder to know that I could play quickly. Ironically, technically I did win on time, by move 40 he was about 7 minutes over, but it said 53 minutes on his clock (I didn’t mention it to him). The problem was my old clock sticks badly, was acting up, so I had to press it a bunch of times at one point during the game to get it to unstick, and so it said we had made the time-control on like move 25. haha.
My board manners are getting better. I do need to cut down on taking so many breaks because it chews up clock time, but I don’t seem to get nervous anymore. My calculation has been abysmal during this tournament; If I got that squared-away efficient, that alone would be worth a couple hundred rating points, I have little doubt. I will probably be back to B level by the end of this tournament, but I could quickly make that back up as I feel I am actually improving when it comes to some of the intangibles, just need to maintain my focus better, more of a discipline problem than a skill problem. Calculation is more of a skill problem.
My Nb3 move was part of a rough-draft of getting in f4, but I realized he would get in …e5 first. I failed GM Melikset’s rule. If you see a plan doesn’t work out, get rid of it sooner than later. The quicker you dump it, the less it will hurt you. I sensed I was not scrutinizing it tactically, was not being my normal thorough self, but played it largely for the sake of the clock.
I think I let my emotions mar that game. Once went I left the board, I lost like 7 minutes, it was still his move and the clock had been pressed (or so I assume, perhaps he didn’t understand if the clock was working or perhaps I really didn’t press the clock) while I was gone – my clock was ticking, but before I left he had already spend like 12-15 minutes on this move, so I felt positive that I hadn’t forgot to press the clock. Anyway, I had to remind him to press the clock, he forgot a couple times, so I was totally on it, particularly when I left the board, even explained that we needed to subtract 60 minutes from our time because the clock thought we had made time-control. Long story short, when he left the board, that is when I got sort of ticked to myself, and made Nb3 right away. Heck, I even had all day to cheat and move it back if these things really crossed my mind and if I did that sort of thing, but I do think emotions affected me at that moment. He spent a long time on his last few moves for no apparent reason, he should have easily been able to make time-control.
Right after I resigned I was going to tell him that he missed time-control and should watch out in the future, but at that moment his wife stepped forward, and I felt too embarrassed for him at that moment to say anything negative. I said yes, he took too long in the opening, so it already seemed like I had made a semi-negative comment, and didn’t want to spoil the mood/victory for him. He was about 10+ minutes late for the game, and perhaps that irked me a little bit, too (especially being as it was the 2nd game of the day). I like when the other person has a digital clock that is easy to press. I should buy another clock, but I’m putting it off for now.
Ah, now I know what happened. I must have bumped the table as I left and that started my clock running, sad as that sounds. We got the tiny table and were shoved to one side of it. The table is two buttressed together (unevenly) and so half of the board (and clock) was raised like half an inch higher than the other side. I didn’t fix it because I figured it would disturb the people next to us, fixed it a little bit.
Gotta catch some z’s or I would give your game a close-look, RollingPawns. I liked how you came up with so many creative sacs. The turning point of that original attack, that stood out to me, is when you traded your bishop, put it back on e3 and he went NxB. I would have tried to hold onto that piece. You came up with some amazing attacks. I’ll post the two games later as tomorrow is an earlier start by 2 hours.
Polly’s cookie are delicious! She is an interesting person to meet. I’ll let the cat out of the bag and say she drew her first three games. Strong result! I dunno about ADD, she seemed to be fully concentrated and blitzing her moves out like the pro she is. She has a really nice wooden-piece set, BTW.