November 6-pack tournament

Went 2 out of 3, but the pattern continued, beat the two lower-rated players and lost to the higher-rated player. I wonder if Joe has somehow now surpassed me in strength, seems like he has. I need to watch my clock against him as he plays moves that I don’t plan for ahead of time, anyhow.

New Rating: 1825 -> 1833

Round 1

I know these games are kind of worthless without the analysis. There was a lot of coulda/woulda/shoulda in this game on my part. I saw the best moves that Crafty is rewarding, but my analysis simply didn’t cut through correctly to find out why. For instance e5 instead of Qf3 (somewhat passive), heck even a3 isn’t used so much ‘in theory’. Could have played fxe instead of the immediate retreat-move Ng3. This is my problem, somehow I find the other chances for the other side and it doesn’t looks so great – I’ll have to check out Crafty’s analyses. Anyway, for some reason he decided to throw his queen into a simple trap.

Round 2

Ah, so we were both tracking with the same moves as Crafty, or the other way around. Anyhow, you can see how I went into time-pressure induced stupidity mode at the end of the game, even saw my blunders as I was making them, kinda like an online game. hehe.

Anyhow, I learned something. #1, I didn’t have to lose this game, but the time-pressure was the major reason I did. If you see a move, don’t verify it for 15 minutes when you knew all along there was nothing better. It should be 15 minutes to find a move perhaps if necessary, hopefully not but, but definitely not wasting time with useless verification if it seems forced anyhow. Make weird moves quickly, same as with normal looking moves! This is what I have learned. Chess is full of weird looking moves so stop getting freaked out over them and this “Oh no, I don’t want to spoil my game with one bad move” mantra that I see so many others there engage in as well, not just me. Apply logic, same as any other move. There are no freak-out moves in chess, only freak-out emotional responses. And I for one can say that I saw a lot of weird moves today.

I avoided NxN early on, knowing that yes it was best, but not wanting to simplify. I did get my chance after his Re1? I could have played Bh4! I guess, but I was so locked into “defense-mode” by then. Actually, we both saw my Qxb2, but I guess I was “worried”. haha. Man I can be dumb sometimes, then he compounded that by playing Bc3, turning his weakness into a strength.

Joe actually was down a rook in his first round game to an upper 1700’s rated Black guy that I hadn’t seen at the club before. Joe won on time, the other guy signed his scoresheet as a loss and with a “happy-face” while he was away, and then left. The guy got there late, and we know how fast Joe moves, and that was it, the other guy didn’t play any more rounds.

My time-pressure strategy had a glaring weakness, that of only looking for “defensive” looking moves in time-pressure. This is very often a recipe for getting mated or losing as the best moves are very often attacking moves and not purely defensive moves.

Another “hole” in my game is the discrepancy between middle-game tactics and the endgame. Tactics are usually about anything but a pawn push on the wing (which is why I miss pawn pushes more often than any other move/tactic), whereas endgames are usually all about promoting the pawns. This change in mindset is like a bridge, good players can transition through it well.

Round 3

Yes, he did pepper me with draw offers up until the very end. Shyam was a bit better about not offering them too much. It intensifies the pressure as you think you are winning, but could easily lose it. Come home, oh yeah, Crafty has got me up by +8 and all, easy for Crafty to say. The kid was offering me a draw during this point, too! And people were watching, of course. I praised his comeback in this game afterward and said he simply needed to “beef up his endgame a little bit”. His dad seemed more interested in having him pick up the pieces and getting out of there than hearing anything positive that I might have to say. Yeah, who needs me when you’ve got Fritz, right?. hehe. Quite a few kids stuck around to play round 3 this time.

Next week is the G/60 tournament that I don’t play in, besides, I could better use it as study time – I will play Wednesday night, though. I thank God that I am able to continue beating these lower-rateds (usually kids), but I really should be playing more quickly/confidently against higher-rated players.

The funny thing is these “lower-rateds” take up a lot of time, even these kids, they are taking most of their time up, too! But the A players, it’s like they are playing G/30. it’s 30/90 and I played round 2 first 14 moves in 34 minutes, but then, it’s in the early middlegame that I suddenly let myself get bogged down in time, and I do it frivolously as I see the move I want to play usually right away, a shame.

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4 thoughts on “November 6-pack tournament

  1. In games 1 and 3 you simply outplayed these guys, the difference in class shows.
    Game 3 – of course the mistake is because of the time trouble, but how did you get there by move 23 ? Was it because of his weird opening?

  2. No, not the weird opening but because he was forcing me to attack as defense and I really needed to stick with that theme. His Nxe6 exN Bxe looked devastating since his queen and bishop were both covering the light-squares and he also should get the exchange back, and his rook is bearing down on my depleted king’s position.

    I almost made the move at one point but then did another rethink and simply never came up with anything else, same with Nxf, it’s looks like I am active, but it’s all forced. Even Qxb was forced (which I saw but didn’t play). I’m simply responding to what he is doing. I even was second guessing taking his h2 pawn instead. It was simply a weird feeling that I _had_ to attack to stay above water.

    The part that always seems strangest is when I come home and Crafty is finding the same moves for both sides. Drives me nuts because then I realize I should not be doubting what is going on. Sometimes I even look for moves that could have been played, after the fact, when of course I shouldn’t be. Then his Nxh changed the character of the struggle, and his moves were easy to play quickly because he had thought about them on my time, since my play was so forced.

    I don’t even know how that much time passed since it was such a short game. Even if he used 20 minutes total and I used 86 minutes (you lose 3 minutes because of the delay) – 2 minutes still left – it seemed like the game didn’t last anything close to that length of time, seemed much shorter. 15. Nef6 was the only move that should have taken some real time, but even then I spent too long on it. But definitely I felt that I did not have control of the game, which would have been true regardless.

  3. Is it me or does somebody else also notices it? It seems that you have two ways of playing chess and it all depends on which rating you play. Or it must be that the lower ratings play so badly against you that it looks like two different ways.

    I just want to stretch that no matter the rating you should always play your game. I guess its a way of thinking. Always think positive but respect the opponent. So always think you have chances of winning but also always expect a though challenge. Thats how i begin a game and i have noticed that it helps to do so instead of thinking “Oh my god, he has more rating so he will show me all corners of the board”. That way you are doing a selffullfilling profhecy and call the law of Murphy over you.

    So next games you have chances to win but your opponent will give you a hard time, but nevertheless, a win is possible, no matter what the rating of your opponent is.

  4. Chesstiger, astute observation, but that’s not quite it. The lower rateds find a way to lose the game in the first 15 moves. If my opponent doesn’t collapse like a duffer in the first 15 moves, I seem to have this psychic meltdown for some reason. It’s like for them, their knowledge of theory ends on move 14 and the blunder comes on move 15, and I’ve come to expect it like a dog expecting his meal by a certain time (I exaggerate, of course). In any case, I need to correct this expectation.

    Once a genuine blunder has been made, I haven’t come across OTB the player that has prevented my technique from converting the win, unless I am exhausted.

    Also, I don’t know if this is part of the Swiss-style system or what, but it seems like there is a very decided preference for giving the higher-rated player the White pieces. This accentuates the process I described above because it’s usually Black that is going slightly wrong in the first 15 moves, not White, so there is more psychological pressure on Black after the opening, and Black is now coming up with original moves to counter White’s sustained initiative. Whereas, White still often has a plethora of attacking options, Black is still reacting to White’s choices, mostly. Black definitely has to analyze whereas White can analyze to get the quick kill or keep playing intuitively quick moves from the gut-instinct.

    The other thing that goes unsaid is I think at the 1800 level, we don’t calculate well, or deep enough. What this leads to is the confident, intuitive, from-the-gut player often winning out because if a calculator can’t calculate correctly, then they have nothing, unless they were calculating incorrectly but still making the correct ‘gut’ move at the end. In a tactics book, you know the 3 move cheapo is there, and OTB it’s still there, but the end result doesn’t look the same, so you have to have more confidence with that ability, and more discipline to look further, wider, more efficiently. If the calculator ever gets their act together, they should make a big ratings jump, this is my feeling.

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