Class Championships in Denver

RollingPawns replies: We are waiting for the games :).

hehe. How cool! 🙂

I played some long ones. You are going to hate me for this, but in the that game I won, I had maybe 7 minutes for my last 24 moves and won. lol. It just seemed like I had 5 minutes forever.

In the game I drew, I got lost in Denver and was over 50 minutes late off my clock, he was using a BHB analog clock. I was just under 4 minutes and he had 10 minutes for our last 8 moves and I just did not see the point of bothering to blitz it out (since I had already been playing the game like it was G/60 to make up for my time deficit). Ironically, I probably stood much better with my 4 minutes to his 10 since I wasn’t spending as much time.

Okay, I’ll try and get some of them up before I hit the hay. 😉

Round 1 I had a draw with 34…RxN, almost played it, didn’t find the draw in the meager time I looked for it, but lost this game due to terrible, terrible clock management. I hung my rook with Rd6, a planned move “if he does this, I’ll do that”, but as soon as I took my fingers off the piece I was like “I just hung my rook”. It took him a minute to notice it! Imagine if we had both been in time-trouble!

Round 2 I didn’t realize that Kc5 would have got me out of the pin, so I took the pawn on a4 at the end of the game. This game came down to me making a bunch of bad moves at the end of both time-controls. The last time-control I only made the one losing mistake, Crafty gives it 0.00 move after move. This is a great example of how cagey old veterans will try to beat you on the clock (even if they aren’t consciously doing it).

Here is Round 3. My only win. Round 2 should have been a win, and I guess round 4 as well.

Round 4 I am surprised he is the highest rated. In post-mortem, I explained to him the difference between a3, Be2, and Millner-Barry systems. He didn’t know the very basics of Milner-Barry! – although one has to play it to learn the basics, not just read the MCO on it or look at it (it drops 2 pawns!?? err, no.) He calculated well, but I was surprised in post-mortem he made a losing move, but could have been okay (his king needed to lose a pawn instead of defend a pawn immediately), would have been move 38. Anyway, it was hard to expect him to mess up, and you can’t trust skittles analysis.

…Nh6 in this game was bad and I didn’t calculate …Nd7 (best) correctly until after I had moved. The reason …Nh6 (never tried it before) doesn’t seem to work is that Black needs at least one knight on the board still, IMHO. NxBc2 got rid of the knight that I would have needed to make any kind of sense out of this move, I thought.

The upshot of this tournament is that now I now what my problem is, but ironically a lot had to due with my low confidence level at the beginning of the tournament. By the end of it, that level had made a complete turnaround and I realized that other people aren’t necessarily going to make what you think are the best moves, so don’t spend too much time!

If I follow the Rolf Wetzell model of disciplining myself on the clock, at 40/2 G/1 time-controls, it’s hard to see why I couldn’t just as easily also be rated in the 1900’s. I wasn’t exactly getting blown out of the water, even when I wasn’t playing at my best, since they aren’t always playing at their best either!

New rating -> 1761 Correction: They revised it down later to 1745, gee thanks.

This week

Did not play this week as I have been studying somewhat for a job interview, that might not happen after all as it turns out.

There is a class championship this weekend, but don’t know if I will go or not, could play in A section if I went.

All which isn’t to say that i haven’t still been playing online games. 😉

May play in the class championships this weekend, if I get up early and am motivated. My problem is I play my openings seat-of-the-pants so often that I sometimes feel like I don’t know what response I should play, usually go by mood…which gets me in trouble later, mood that is.

This week’s games

Wednesday’s game
Lost to the 1770 player I had also lost to last time in a Sicilian Najdorf as White.
I had an advantage, should have kept the pawn but did not see that I had a zwischenzug. I offered a draw, he refused, and I blundered where we both had ❤ minutes on our clocks. I wasted 20 minutes on one move, but the reason I did is because I did not want to leave any time on my clock and go home without having tried. What I didn't realize is that both of my opponents biggest weapons were to use that fact against me.
Thursday’s game
I lost to 1380 player as White.
After not much coming of the opening, he made a bonkers move in the middlegame but I got into time-pressure. I thought Qe4 would be stronger than Ne4, and is, but I did not see I could exchange queens or win the a4 pawn. Really, I did not think my moves were best but was in time-pressure.

I was writing the moves down and didn’t raise my head to look at the board when I played b3 (out of the corner of my eye), but when I lifted my head about half-way up I immediately noticed that I had blundered the exchange. New rule, I won’t write the other players move down until I have thought of a response/move, then I will write my opponent’s move down, look at the board again, and then decide if I still want to play that move.

What happens is I hate to bob my head up and down in time-pressure, so when they make a move while I am writing my move, I reach out and make a move without lifting my head. Anyway, I am going to go back to an old habit and write down both of our moves at the same time, so the other person can’t bob my head up and down like a jack-in-the-box in time pressure (obviously doesn’t happen in online games). His aggressive play in my time-pressure netted him the win. Once he played Qf2, I knew I had been had.

Played a Master

as Black and lost.

I went for a dumb pawn sac, and then realized right away that it loses and I should have played …e6 first.

The post-mortem was interesting because I asked “What if I had played ..e6 before playing NxNe5.” He doubles on the c-file, not too surprising, but he showed how easily I could be constricted there and the real problem is that a Ng4 and the Bg7 get locked out of play. I have scanty recent experience with kingside fianchettoes as Black, so I was not prepared for this opening and went for a passive position. He showed the active possibilities that I could have taken early on, but I played Nd7 and took on a very passive yet rather predictable-looking position. It’s hard to defend strategically against a master, but like I say all the interesting stuff happened in the post-mortem. Strong strategic player.

I also realized after the game, more than he did (people usually see their own best moves more easily) that Rxc1 was a huge mistake, not that it wasn’t already in the tank, in any event.

When I went for the pawn sac, I wasn’t paying enough attention; I was worried about g4 and g5, but after I sacked I realized rather immediately that he couldn’t have played that move because it drops the g4 pawn after NxNe5. I was also confusing that with a variation where he plays NxNd7..QxN, IOW I was swotting variations, but naturally after I played the sac realized there was nothing real to worry about and that I had blown it. Interesting, I didn’t even sac it right, …Ng4 instead of …Ne4 was also a big mistake now that Crafty shows me.

I didn’t spend that much time on the game, was thinking about a programming task because he spent a lot of time and came late. So, by no means was I a bit nervous like back in the days when I took it all so serious and really bore down. This was the highest-rated player that I have faced, so I really didn’t know how to take the game anyhow. Like I say, I am only barely familiar with the opening that I chose. He even said he was trying out g3, which was an effective choice…but, he seemed to have researched the basic replies that I could have played, just didn’t know them in detail.

To be honest, I had called in for a bye earlier in the day, but it turned out that I had the time, and since there is not much to lose vs. not playing I wasn’t in a mood where I felt any pressure. Colorado Springs is really nice in that you know there is a tournament game going on and you can get there so quickly. In Los Angeles, going somewhere seemed like such a big deal because you were risking your car and a lot of time in traffic, so it seemed like you had better make the trip worth it. Here it’s like stopping by the neighborhood bar or something, except that it’s a chessgame instead of a social call.
Here’s the game

He is 2228, and reached Master 6 years ago, just noticed. Next week I am scheduled to play a 1300 level player again.

April club game

I won a quick game as White against the guy that drew me at Manitou Springs. He’s a really nice guy and was tired from the day. I showed up late because I had trouble finding the place driving from a different direction, so he was nice enough to play. His rating is about 1595, and he is the TD.

After the game, he showed some better moves that he could have played but for some reason didn’t. He resigned prematurely, but I could tell that I was a lot more fresh than him, although his analysis was pretty good still; it happens that way sometimes.

I was looking at Bg5 in the final position, although another guy suggested Bf4, which is probably sounder. I told them both that I still believed in the Bg5 piece sac and would have given it a hard look even though we did give it a look with ..Kf7 soon following. Crafty actually liked Bg5 a bit better than Bf4, imagine that. He actually resigned before I played Nd5 because he thought Qc7 was winning a piece, and I told him it wasn’t and that he should play on, but Qc7 was actually +4.0 ish by Crafty because it does setup threats on the king leading to winning that rook, how ironic is that.

This Bc4 with c3 against the Sic Dragon, it was really prepared for the Classical Dragon playing kid that I lost to the last time, didn’t realize it would be getting double-duty.

Current rating: 1765 -> 1773