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.

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5 thoughts on “Class Championships in Denver

  1. I’ll comment on games 3 and 4 first:
    Game3 – 36… Kd6 and 39… Kb5 instead of Kd7 were the mistakes that decided the game, I think. You played well the endgame.
    Game4 – after queens exchange it looks drawish to me. Maybe Nh6 is not that bad, I saw these lines, playing f6 will activate your bishop.
    You can’t achieve a good rating getting yourself in time trouble in the half of the games. Whatever model you use, 40/2 G/1 is a really generous time control.

  2. The crazy thing is that these guys start out a lot faster than me, but they use all their time too mostly! I am thinking a lot of their moves, most I could play in blitz chess, so I have to agonize while they take forever as well. The first guy was the fastest, but even he had maybe 26 minutes left at the end. It should be generous for them too, right(?) Why aren’t they able to win quickly and not rely on my blunders? These are 1900 level players, taking their time, and I still have to further blunder!

    Game 3, he knew that …Kd6 lost him the game, but I thought he was intentionally trying to sucker me into trading all rooks, which wins for him.

    Game 4, I did not know that I could play f6 as if the knight goes to e5 and I play BxN, I am left with an undesireable rook endgame because of the pawn mess on the h-file, possibly I overlooked that it is defendable (!?)

    For me, it’s the chess opening that takes so much time. I am playing Open Sicilian and tracking Crafty’s database for 10 or 11 moves in a couple games. If I learned, trusted, and played known opening moves with confidence and got out of the opening in a good time situation, barring any other mental disasters, I should have a big edge over most anybody that I play.

    My strength right now is endgame/late middlegame technical positions. I am still making calculation errors, and lets face it it only takes one. I make up for this by having superior intuition or experience level than my opponents – I mean, I was beating everyone at the Army barracks back in 1987 (based mainly on endgame play), although I did run into two stronger chessplayers at the time, one was my best friend in the Army. I am just saying, was Carlsen even born yet? A lot of A players are older though, much older even, which shows how long this game can take to improve at if your strength comes from experience moreso than ability. How else would kids become GMs? Obviously it’s more ability than experience that they possess or they crammed a huge portion of their hours on this planet into chess, one or the other, and probably both!

    OTB, I think in dry technical positions, I am sort of beating everybody that I play against, only Neal back at my last club was better than me at these, and he was way better than anyone I have come across, probably master-strength easily when he gets to that part of the game.

    Rollingpawns, I think your playing strength is a lot like mine. You maneuver better and book up better, but you are really strong at taking the game into positional channels. You would think this is “boring” chess (real boring is the queen’s gambit IMHO) that anybody can do, but it seems that it’s actually the opposite of that, most people are looking at tactics. The 1800 level player (after taking my rating points) that I lost to these last two times at the club is also strong positionally, he is balanced though, so I should have a very slight positional advantage against him at my best, but he is a lot like my natural style, just maneuvers better than I do. Really, he’s also calculating better than I am, which gives him quite an edge tactically.

    Endgame strength is weird. Dean, older guy, 1600’s is very strong in the endgame and I would try to avoid him there – he’s the TD, and says he’s the most active player in the state. Jerry, that 1300 level player I lost to, somewhere in his mid 30’s I suspect, is also strong there, so both of those guys take away my natural advantage.

  3. I ran game 1 through Fritz. Until move 23 you were OK, then instead of 23…Nd7 you should have played 23… Qc7 24. Rcb1 Reb8 25. Rxb8+ Rxb8 26. Rxb8+ Qxb8 with equality. And yes, 34… Rxf4 35. gxf4 Qh4 36.
    h3 Re8 37. Rc2 Qxf4 38. Qxb6 Qe4+ 39. Kg1 Qe3+ 40. Kg2 Qe4+ is perpetual.
    game 4 – his knight sac was not sound and you had a win, yes, and then you had a draw. Time… you should realize that your total strength is defined by your weakest component, not average. Imagine somebody is really bad in the opening or misses tactics – doesn’t matter what else he can do well.

  4. You are right, plus I got stupid, figured I could win fancy but felt darned well that Rg1 was strongest. Once that attack went poorly, I was left without time to regroup or form a plan, looked at best moves like Nd7 but couldn’t find a plan based on it, I would have had to have played based on how it looks.

    Realized I was simply too impatient in games 1 and 2, which is why in games 3 and 4 you saw me simply “keep the tension” when in doubt and be patient. Don’t hurry for the win, simply screw the vice down tighter and tighter for however long it took, which is actually why I decided not to trade pieces and go king and pawn in game 4. I can play these tension moves rather quickly, just means I have to wait for the win instead of pouncing too soon.

    I actually thought his sacs and declines during the game were just goofing off, so I was sort of returning the favor, only to find out after the game that he thought a lot of his moves were necessary because I had some kind of big pressure or something. Even Crafty thought it was even or a little edge to Black (White has the very slight edge). I would have taken a draw at the time and in fact offered him a draw during the move flurry at the end. What I came to realize is that all my opponents wanted to use the max time they thought was safe to use and wouldn’t let me off the hook with a draw until they had expended their clock time.

    In game 1, I realized after the game that Qc7 was needed to prevent the pin, and had wanted to trade rooks like you say.

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