Manitou Springs Open

Wow, I really cracked this time.

First game, I was playing a 1550 girl, really sweet, she told me after the game that she was amenable to a draw, and really I had nothing, but played on because I didn’t want the draw, and she didn’t defend best and took a poisoned pawn instead late in the game, so I got my attack in on her kingside and won.

Second game, you don’t want to know, you are not going to believe it. I played a Master as Black in the French and told myself he’s obviously going for the cheapo king-side attack, which he acknowledged – after the game we analyzed and it was given and take, we both had useful suggestions/analysis. I castled kingside, okay you really aren’t going to believe this, and immediately said to myself “Oh, shoot, we’ve been over this a hundred times, Bxh7+.” I still had one chance after that but tried to play the move too late. I lost to a knight fork (I was going to play Qg4 instead of Qh3, but forgot about the fork), but it was lost, another one where I saw it as soon as I made my move. I resigned before he could play the fork, but he was moving his knight there, hand in mid-air. He was talking minutes to make his first couple moves and I became impatient. See, first round when I do well, I don’t get impatient. In fact, I was so patient that I made my last 25 moves in like 15 minutes, had about a minute left in first time-control when I checkmated her king.

Third game was against a 1602 player, as White. I was winning, but it felt like 90 degrees in there (They have these huge hot-air blowers somewhere, I could feel the wind from them, but I look around and it seems like I am the only one affected as other people are wearing more clothes than me) and I got hot-tempered and no longer wanted to win but win as big as I could. I made some blunders and by the end couldn’t even focus anymore, the heat had gotten to me, but OTW would have felt great. I knew if I played Bd2 and Qh3, calm moves, I could easily win, but tried for too much, so it ended up as a draw. He offered the draw, up a pawn, and I graciously accepted.

The best part was I got to check out Manitou Springs for a couple hours after round 2 debacle; I felt like Polly, having the perfect excuse to check out the whole town. Beautiful town, gorgeous, best strip I’ve been on for that sort of thing, there is even a mardi-gras like avenue, lots of side-avenues to check out and shops, biker bar and other bars, etc. I also got to talk to the guy who plays chess in Colorado and shares my last name. Wow, I think we even look related, super-cool guy.

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3

This is such a bizarre result, it makes me feel that I have lost “it”. Even when I thought I was playing okay, I wasn’t so much. I forgot how different that OTB chess is. Just because my FICS rating is about the same, doesn’t mean that I am doing any, or expected to so much, deep analysis during those games.

Wow, I can’t believe how many tactics there were to look at with the early Nxd7. I saw some of them but not just missed a lot, there was a lot to analyze for that one move, you could spend the better part of an hour just on that one move OTB, I would imagine, if you wanted to get it right, and weren’t analyzing quickly (round 3 game).

Went through game 2. If I had played the saving move Ne5 early, I would have actually got a winning game, but the tactical analysis is just about the craziest I’ve seen. He said after the game “Sometimes it’s hard to know when Bxh7+ works and when it doesn’t. In all honesty, I couldn’t see the refutation at first, but realized I probably wouldn’t hang on as well as he in the complexities either.

The third game is another wow. …Bxb did work, and it did seem right, but it takes a tactically energetic refutation of White’s gambit there.

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7 thoughts on “Manitou Springs Open

  1. From the comment on my blog I thought you went 0:3, come on. Drawing with ~1600 is not a worst thing you can do, I proved in the last tornament.
    Game 1 – I liked the attack on the kingside. 32. Qxh7+! was winning on the spot. Will look more.

  2. Oh well, this stuff happens when you’re rusty. What were you doing shuffling pieces on the queenside for most of game 1? That’s not what the Open Sicilian is about! Ironically, though, both 10.a4 and 11.a4 were strong moves you missed. And I’m not surprised at all that b-pawn could be taken; if White plays fxg7 Black doesn’t need to recapture, since White needs at least three moves (one for the queen and two for the rook) to bring some firepower to the kingside, and meanwhile both the c1-rook and the d4-bishop are loose after 29…Bxc3.

    I find game 2 interesting because 8.Bxh7+ doesn’t win on the spot like I imagined it would. I don’t see an outright refutation though; I think you’re referring to 12…Nxe5 as one, but after 13.Qxd5 Bxe6 14.Qxe6+ Kh7 15.Qxe5 Bd4 16.Qg3 White’s even up a pawn but his king’s exposed. But White has two chances to improve, either with 11.Qg3 (which strangely leads to an opposite-coloured bishop ending with a positional edge for White) or the unorthodox 10.f4!? if White wants to stay on the attack.

    Couple of ideas early on in Game 3: 5.e5! and 11…d5!.

  3. RollingPawns – well, I blundered a piece in round 5, for real, straight out and knew it right away, but I would have lost anyway so you are also right.

    Aziridine, I saw a4 from Crafty, it showed me. I thought a4..b5, but cxb…Nxb, then …a5 to protect it leaves a hole on b5 and White has a huge advantage, didn’t realize that White could give Black all that. Qd3 was right, better than getting Qg3 in that round 2 game. I didn’t even know Black could survive until Crafty said so and the Master player also said so.

  4. I ran game 3 through Fritz – the sacrifice is sound, but after the best move
    11. Qg3 (as Aziridine already noticed) White is +0.67, and after 12. Nxe6
    Bxf2+ 13. Kf1 Nc5 ( Qh4+ is not good – +2.72) Fritz thinks Black is even a bit better – -0.28. So Bxh7 not necessarily winning, but requires crazy calculations to keep balance.

  5. Qg3, we looked at that a couple times, it looks okay at first. I agree with what you are saying, Rollingpawns, not an easy game for White considering White started it.

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