Got there 20 minutes early, the backroom was empty.
I was playing Isaac, son of Anthea, the tactical duo. So I knew what I was up against.
This game was interesting because I think we were both wanting to see just how tactically strong that we were. Both of us knew theory to the point where it left off. I almost played a Ruy Lopez because I figured that would be the “sensible” way to look for a win, and figured if I play Scotch he might play …Qh4 (being the tactical dynamo that he is). I also had guessed that Paul, his coach may have booked him up a little in this line. Lucky for me, it’s not really a strong line for Black.
I’ve seen …Qe5 in theory books before, but now that I see it with Crafty, I think it’s a bust. I didn’t play 9.f4, because ..Qf6 10.Nxf+ Kd8, 11.NxR Qxc3+ 12. Bd2 Qd4, and now White can’t castle, but didn’t notice that after 13.c3 that White can now castle. The theory behind this variation is that White gives up the e4 pawn to get Black to play …Kd8. So, Crafty is suggesting 8…Kd8 there. It’s funny how his blunders came when he didn’t want to give something up that he needed to give up. So psychology must have been working against him there.
I have to admit, when he moved his knight back I let out an audible “Wow!” – trying not to do this but some games a word slips out. At the end of the game, White threatens Ng8+(double-check)…Kg8, Re8 mate. Had 48 minutes left before my last move. I would have moved faster, but I started to sense early on that the game was in the tank. Uncharacteristically for him, he actually spent quite a bit of time in the opening, unlike last time we played where he was a blur. I guess he learned to slow it down.
I wasn’t nervous or tired and had plenty left in the tank after this game. After the game, he tried 14. Qh6, which I thought he was going to play, and mated him quickly in that line as well. Sure, he found a tactical quip wining a pawn, but it’s sorta meaningless to find those things when your position is so majorly shot to heck.
Went over another guy’s game with him, and also gave him my Mednis book, showed him that his tactics would have worked if he had looked a move deeper. I feel like I’ve improved his game a lot just discussing games/moves with him. I felt “on” today, surprisingly, like the chess-day where everything went right. It’s so funny to hear everyone talking about their rating at the D and C levels, like “I should be 1400 or 1500 or 1600” and they probably should, but it just sounds so funny. I wasn’t worried about my rating, but for me, well I guess I’ve sort of given up on the ratings chase unless perhaps I play in a weekend tournament against a strong field – those are coming up.
I felt like “Holy Toledo, all those books and studying all of a sudden finally paid off!” That Mednis book helped me a lot, that guy ought to be a better player if he studies it.