Monument Open

2.5/5 A fair, if not unremarkable and disappointing result, but I can only blame myself for the blown opportunities. Round 2 was real howler, that is the one where I had no business losing such a won position. It’s one of those games where I don’t need anyone to stumble onto this blog like a week from now and point out one of super-obvious blunders that even a Class D player wouldn’t have made.

Round 1
He missed a tactic early that cost him a piece.

Round 2
In this tournament, I saw my blunders immediately, but I also figured out the part of my blundercheck that is wrong, it’s called needing to predict what the opponent will actually play on his next move before making one’s own move. I dropped a piece when instead Bf6, as I saw even then, was a huge advantage. I had decided to play an experiment and make fast moves and I played for a combo quickly there, then no sooner had I played it than I realized he doesn’t take the bishop. Later I had equalized to 0.0 but “took him at his word” that there was rook sac on my g3 pawn, which doesn’t work. In time trouble, I defended with my queen but just as quickly realized he would simply improve his bishop. An “ouch” game, for sure, had no business losing this one.

My opponents suggestions after the game were even better than blindly following Crafty’s suggestions.

Round 3
I went into this tournament more results-focused than ratings obsessed. I spent a lot of time looking at …dxc followed by …e5 breaks, but ultimately decided that if he doesn’t open up the position and make a blunder, then I will be satisfied with a draw. I was tired and not in the mood for any funny business for the sake of not losing a bunch of rating points.

Round 4
Arguably this miniature was the most interesting game of my tournament. I have more respect for Anthea as a chessplayer than any other player that I have been playing recently, and would play her if I could only play one other person. Her games are tactically inventive, and she actually has a lot of talent, not just another overrated player due to experience or gamesmanship. …Bf5 was obviously the losing move, but there was more to this game than meets the eye. For what I know this Kf1 variation is a novelty than I invented OTB, although I’m sure someone’s played it before somewhere. Crafty has a lot of bad moves stored in it’s DB for some reason, so the e4 sac would seem to be a blunder for White. She should have played …Nf6 back, and kept the single pawn advantage.

Round 5
I was even or had the tiniest advantage until I blundered, according to Crafty. I saw my blunder as soon as I took my hand off the piece, another horror moment, but I’ve done it before. I think he took close to a minute verifying before he took the knight. After the game I asked him what he would have done had I played the obvious …Re7 instead. He replied “I dunno”. So I basically threw this well played game onto the garbage heap.

What happened is that I started to get tired after having barely slept for the past two nights. At 28 minutes I told myself to stop doing a blundercheck and play fast (under 30 minutes) right before playing it. Famous last words. What a blundercheck should be, and now I’m clear on it, is to ask yourself what your opponents next move will actually be (best, reasonable, or most immediately forcing move) before playing one’s own move. This is what I didn’t get, although I often did it when I was spending lots of time on moves.

After the game, I wondered if I had played ..Re7 instead followed by doubling rooks on the c-file, before focusing on his isolated pawn. Crafty also liked the doubled rooks on c-file. The thing is though, best I could come up with was a 70 move draw. I realized that his style is not to worry about advantages in the opening as much as maneuver in an equal yet playable middlegame, with some initiative, until I, his opponent either mess up due to the clock or blunder, pretty much one and the same. Saving 28 minutes against his style is not enough, since one must go the distance to assure a draw.

Incidentally and rather ironically, Black has so many tactics against White, that if I had played …Re7 the NxNd6 move becomes virtually forced anyway to avoid losing. Another example of how a “true blundercheck” is actually finding your opponents next move, and not simply “Oh, nothings hanging or loose, so I must be okay.” Not so.

Another form of “bad blundercheck” was show in round 2. Verifying that your calculations are accurate doesn’t mean much if your opponent plays an entirely different move that you didn’t even consider, particularly an obvious one!

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5 thoughts on “Monument Open

  1. Game 1 – it was an easy win.
    Game 2 – yeah, looks like you counted only on 22… Qxc7, and Bf6 was preventing the castle, right. In the end your position was good enough to get a draw, I think.
    Game 3 – this game was destined for the draw, I don’t see much for any of the sides.

  2. Game 4 – In DB 288 times it was played 8. Nc3 with ~66% score for White, and only 2 games 8. Kf1 – 1 draw, 1 loss for White. It’s quite sharp stuff you are playing…
    So you got revenge, using your opponents weapon – tactics :).

    Game 5 – I would play 16… Nd5 instead Nc6, occupying square d5 with the knight.
    You should careful with these IQP positions, where are a lot of open lines and the pieces are concentrated in the center, see the end of this game (it finished yesterday):
    http://www.chess.com/echess/game.html?id=40437106

  3. Thanks, Rollingpawns. 🙂

    Game 5, I had actually conned White into over-extending his attack right there. This is probably one of the most impressive games of mine if you handed to a GM right before I blundered. After …Re7 instead White is forced to develop Black’s position in order to unwind. Black is up 1/3 of a pawn here. Your …Nd5 suggestion was more playable, sure.

    This was actually my best game of the tournament, but fatigue of only having gotten maybe 5 hours sleep total in the last 2 days finally caught up to me at that moment, and I knew I was going to have to pick up the pace on the board with just 28 minutes left for the game. Yes, I was analyzing and talking for hours on both days after games, even during lunch.

    Game 4, …Nf6 instead of Bf5 would have been crushing, but taking the second pawn is still a trap due to an eventual fork on b6 of Ra8 and Qd5 which would be the end for Black.

    I don’t understand how Nc3 works since it allows White to win the d-pawn, I just noticed it was in Crafty’s DB, but I am learning not to trust that. 😉

    Incidentally, where I really missed my opportunity in Round 2 was all the way back where I played Be5. Instead, I need to play g3 there. Then ..NxBe2 as in the game, but now I can play Bc5 and Ne5 which is finally putting Black away for real. If Black plays …b6 to prevent ..Bc5 earlier, and 0-0-0 instead of ..d5, there are some wicked tactics to open up the king’s position, sacrifice based on the Black queen’s vulnerable position.

    Another aside, Round 3 was possibly winning for Black (me). If his idea was to trade knights on e4, then his isolated pawn loses and there is no way to thwart that reality unless Black messes up, but I was hanging out with him and his mom (and dad) all tournament long, so I’m glad for the draw as I was tired anyway. He won a nice prize for his 3 points, so I am happy for him.

    I find your games interesting since as much as I try to maneuver, I do it for more aggressive reasons usually. You are kind of like my ‘anti-persona’ at the chessboard. You use time efficiently, reposition your pieces for another day/attack, don’t necessarily try jumping on any little advantage as much as level play continues to give your opponent chances to go wrong. Great tactic at the end of that game, BTW!

    You could have played French Advanced, of course, where ..a6 is a wasted move. If I had been Black, I probably try …d4 there instead of Nf6-d7. You reply BxNf6, doubling his f-pawns, before taking on d4, which seems best, but White’s queen then doesn’t have an immediately useful move such as Qh5.

    You are right that his blunder was just like mine in Game 5, only more complex. I looked for some tactical shots against your position but one is giving away too much material on g3 and …f5, the problem there is his backward d-pawn is so vulnerable, plus gives up the light diagonal Bh5 to d8. Crafty rates the position as equal, but this fits into what I think of as your “performance quotient” formula for winning. Your opponent can hit their head against the wall, but you will take be spry to take advantage of any fresh weaknesses in their going for a win. hehe. Black’s position with the isolated pawn seems too hard to hold. Having an isolated pawn with White should be bad enough, but moreso with Black.

  4. Played quickly over the games and i must say i dont see any improvement over other games of the past. Your opening is somewhat good because its bookknowlegde but then in the middlegame you, not always, seems to play without a real plan. Its like, oh ooooh, i am out of book, what now?

    Anyway, since you know your openings you can play them fast so that you have plenty of time for the rest of the game. With other words you dont have to invent every darn opening again and again. Learn also the plans of the middlegame resulting from the opening you studied instead of being satisfied to know 15 book moves by heart of x amount of openings. Heck maybe its even better to learn positions characteristics so that when you spot them you know whats possible.

    Oh yeah, stop being a baby and call fatigue and not enough sleep as excuse. It gets tiredsome to read that stuff. It’s your own fault, i am sure that one can rest enough between games and/or have enough sleep during the night.

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