Manitou Springs Open – Pt 2

So in round 4, I won against a 1505 player and in round 5 I lost to a 1945 player, I think his rating was.

I’m not really making progress with my rating, 2.5/5. At this point, I feel amazingly lucky against lower-rated, but as soon as I play up, that’s been more like a brick wall for me.

1826 -> 1817. I am just hanging on to that class A rating.

40/2 SD 1 is too long. The next round takes forever and am already starting to get a little tired by then (which is all it takes). If it were only one round, that wouldn’t matter so much. I prefer the 30/90 SD/30 time-controls, this shortens it by 2hours. Most people seem to drive home and come back between rounds, that is too long. After kibitzing about chess for one to two hours and waiting around for another two, that last round gets tiring 2 hours+ into the game. It’s an hour to drive home and back, doesn’t seem practical to stretch the time controls out that far for a large tournament. After a while, no one is left playing but hardly anyone is there because they took off – so the next round can’t start early because when everyone is done. Most of the games that I noticed going on late were clear losses or draws, IMHO. Getting past a weaker player early in the day just to get to the stronger player at the end of a day when I am tired doesn’t give me a lot of incentive to play in a long tournament. Luckily this one was nearby. There is a class championships in another month and a half or so where you play exclusively within your own class. I would try to study some openings before going to that. For example, I don’t have anything prepared against the Caro-Kahn (that I like), would try winging the fantasy variation if I had to play one right now.

The class championships is April 24th, but they stick the unrateds into the Class A section. To me, that is ridiculous, so now a class A veteran has to play someone with little tournament experience, and then wait a good 4 hours to get to play a legit class A player. The only time this even makes any sense to me is if the person is rated FIDE Expert, but no USCF rating. How often does this happen? Very seldom on a percentage basis, IMO. And that’s in Denver, about an hour and a half drive.

Round 5

Like I said, I meant to play Re1, attacking his knight, before playing Nxa7, but after the game he said that he would have played Nd6 forcing NxN…QxN, and then after that, he got my bishop to f1, doubled rooks on my 2nd-rank, and I could not stop his mate – QxRf3, and the rook OTH really has no place to go, dropping the f-pawn also should lose. My pawn sac was bad. I considered playing Nd2 instead of Nb5, but there were problems there as well. I hadn’t considered his …Rd2 threat. I almost never play this Panov attack, but figured now was as good a time as any to give it a look vs. a stronger player.

I was trying to get in Nxf7 and then Bxe6 forking king or queen and the en-prise rook on c8, but it was never happening, and this guy was just too good, tactically, to bamboozle with that. I followed it on Crafty to where even after a queen exchange, Black is demonstrably winning due to the rook pair, picks up another pawn, can even use a threat vs. the king to trade bishops.

I played this game in under 50 minutes:
Round 4

I didn’t spend much time contemplating Nxc3, winning a pawn, figured it probably dropped a piece. Normally, I’d be “Oh glory day, winning a pawn!” Nope, continued mulling about. Even my h6 I didn’t feel would be as strong as ..f6. Actually, I didn’t even think …Rd8 was good, hitting his queen, but Crafty liked it. Like he said after the game, all he needed was to play Bd1! instead of Be2, and it was a draw.

I think club-play makes more sense than these “big tournaments” A big tournament may be every couple of months, and then you feel like you “have” to play, even if you were really looking forward to doing something else instead. Club play is there when _you_ want to play and feel up to it; plus, big plus, you don’t have to wait forever between rounds. Some clubs have quads instead of “open” format, which is even more of an incentive. Again, I stress and I don’t see anyone else acknowledging this, but MDLM had a lot of Experts and Masters to play at his club, and this is a big advantage in getting there. He “shined” in the “big tournaments”, but by looking at his record, I’d say he built his rating up at the club, playing a steady diet of stronger players. Even the guy I played at the club, Joe, he went up to 1974 and is back down to 1854. I think the emphasis is get to Expert then quit while still ahead. Once you get to Expert, it’s no longer about “yay, I made it!”, but rather on maintaining it, and there starts to be more people below you looking to get where you’re at that you have to play.

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5 thoughts on “Manitou Springs Open – Pt 2

  1. Game 4 – I don’t like that endgame for Black, I wouldn’t go there with that bishop.
    Game 5 – did you blunder twice ( Nxa7 and Re1), was it wrong move order? You look out of shape in this tournament, rusty as Aziridine said.
    Maybe you could play some blitz, sometimes it gets me in shape.
    I play much better in the club, than in big tournaments, it’s generally good if I don’t lose rating there. Still, big tournaments give you perspective were you are from the strength, openings, everything … point of view, so I consider them useful.

  2. Right move order. I was disgusted that I blundered by not playing Re1 first, and knew I had lost, so I played it on the next move just to play it, didn’t care about the game at that point.

    The endurance, forget about chess, that tournament had nothing to do with chess as far as I am concerned. I kibitzed for a couple hours on peoples games, etc and waited another couple hours, then I get some guy who just drove back who was taking it easy or whatever at home during all that time? And I get him at the end of the day, it just feels like BS.

    I liked day 1 better because I at least got 3 games even, even though I still waited my butt off. I would have preferred 5 G/90 in one day. Forget the rest, I wanna know that everyone else is just as tired as I am and didn’t go home and take a nap or whatever. I go to play, not to wait around waiting for everyone’s games to finish. Even the Master I played took a bye in round 1, so I was getting him fresh, but that didn’t bother me, it’s when they do it before the last round that is disturbing. I don’t really have an big interest in playing another one of these, I’d rather play G/90 or one round. I got there at 9am for round 1, and it was already getting dark when I got tired in my second game. That sucks.

    a6 was a threat because the knight had no retreat square but if I had played Re1 and he defended with …f5, then Nxa works. He wasn’t going to play …f5 though, but rather bring the knight back to d6 to force an exchange of knights and keep his advantage of about -2.00+ according to Crafty, and it plays out that way.

  3. I think club-play makes more sense than these “big tournaments”

    You have hit the nail on the head with this comment.
    It’s the waiting between rounds not the playing that gets to most players.
    In many cases players play chess in between rounds anyway,not resting.
    We are our own worst enemies in things like this.
    We need rest but our minds are pumped up,so what do we do,we play chess.

    As Rolling pawns says big tournaments tells you where you are relative to others.

    So which devil do you choose,club or tournament? or both!!!!!!!

  4. Thanks, Chessx! Exactly!

    It lets you know where you stand, yes, but who really needs > 20 minutes to recover from a game? And then you see the games that go on way too long, and they are the dumbest games. Even when someone kibtizes, they point out a pawn that is hanging in an endgame and neither player sees it.

    Game after game I thought that they must either be at the brain-dead stage, simply don’t want to admit a loss/draw or both. I think I’ve been there myself in some endgames that I lost. On the one hand, it is was so obvious what to do, OTH, couldn’t think anymore and forgot train of thought. That’s why it’s better to win quickly when possible.

    I think that club-play is best. One game may only serve to whet the appetite, but then at least you can go home, analyze it, realize a bunch of stuff that you didn’t see, and then it feels like you got your two games in. 😉

    I got like 5 hours sleep in-between days, woke up at 6:30 am and analyzed previous rounds, so it’s like having been up 12 hours by 6:30 pm and I always seem to hit my wall after being up for 12 hours, but if you blunder before your second-win, then it doesn’t matter if you feel a lot better after the blunder because it’s too late by then.

    I don’t plan on playing another 6 hour per game tournament. I wish the local tournaments were G/2hrs, but I’d rather learn to play G/90 more effectively than play at standard time-controls and wait around. It puts too much stress on the value of the individual game and moreover on the player. I don’t have something meticulously prepared for every opening that I play. I want to be able to sac pawns at times and not have it be such a big deal that I have waited months, and long hours for this game and so need to play super-cautious. Sometimes I will intentionally play over-cautious, and sometimes I will intentionally throw caution to the wind, it is just a game at some point, not a rations card where I get a better apartment in the Soviet Union if I win and don’t lose.

    I think that online chess is good for the mind, in terms improving/sustaining cognitive function, but feel that the stress from too much OTB play at once is actually harmful to the brain because of the inter-personal stress factor. I know it’s not just me, I see other people look at the board strangely at times too and know that they must feel a social pressure. The two stresses of game and social are not complementary pressures. Half the time was spent kibitzing and I for one have to really monitor what I say and not just blurt out some harmful comment. I am not that socially polished. All the stress of the day adds up. When I played weekends at my last club, those were near ideal conditions. I got to know the people and didn’t have to wait much to play games. I could talk to people I knew and look at their games or look at books or knew where to get some food, I had it too good I guess, but you sort of need that because OTB chess is a high-stress endeavor.

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