Thursday Round 1

I played Dean, the TD, in this game. This is the same person that I drew last week as White. The turnout this month seems decent. If all the same players show up next week, I will have the White pieces against a class A player that I drew once before as Black (he won against Isaac in round 1).

Move 10 for Black was the “combinative moment” of the game. The longer I spent, the closer I got to solving it, but since this isn’t 40/2, SD/1 time controls, I don’t have the luxury of spending close to half an hour solving it. In the end, I just sort of threw my hands up into the air and hoped that he would trade queens, which he did. So instead of being the right move, it turned into a “scare them with your rating points, and hope they flinch” moment. At this point the game was winning, albeit via my cowardly move, since I didn’t want the clock deciding the game.

Incidentally, the right idea was to win the g-pawn (beginning with …cxd), which I didn’t discover but looks obvious enough in hindsight. I miscalculated, but the thing is one has to see the idea and calculate it correctly, so I failed on both accounts. I did figure out quickly enough that winning the e-pawn was losing for Black, as White’s queen gets too much play, but I didn’t know what the right idea was as there was more than one option to consider. Other possibilities were such things as sitting tight with Bb7, or contemplating …b4 in a further attack on White’s king, but I sensed that I needed more development first.

There were endgame inaccuracies, but luckily for me, he was the one blundering a pawn making a quick move in time-pressure. I guess different people experience time-pressure at different times. By the end of the game, he had 20 minutes left to my 11. I was making inaccuracies in time-pressure as well, I felt, simply didn’t blunder anything.

At least today, I did want to win in response to the almost gift-draw performance that I gave last week.

In other unrelated news, my cat is missing again. Last I saw him was on Tuesday morning, he was being a good kitty underneath my trailer and didn’t want to come inside. A bad young Black kitty was terrorizing the birds from the top of the woodshed and jumped off when I walked up to him. It was hot enough inside and cool enough out that I let him stay out there. It’s starting to get cooler now though, and he plucked out a lot of his fur. I checked out the last house across the street he was in, but wasn’t in there. There is even another vacant house next to that one, but the door is closed and I hear no meows. It’s kinda sad for him, he should somehow know that this is his house only, and not every other house on the block. Who knows where he is now, I could hope he is doing well, but that isn’t necessarily the reality of wherever he is now. The cat seemed surprisingly fine, but who knows, maybe it up and died somewhere and a neighbor disposed of it. I dunno where it could be, as I have acute hearing when it comes to hearing meows.

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6 thoughts on “Thursday Round 1

  1. First i know i have not been heard of for a while,in fact a long while,but now i should have time to post.
    I am sorry to hear about your cat going missing,i hope it turns up soon.
    I had a stray cat for about 8 months,it had several homes/families it lived with.
    They are very good at looking after themselfs,still it would be nice to know where he is.
    Nice game,first time i played over it i thought not castling was not good,but then it clicked.
    I would have castled it seemed the natural move,but them been out of position for doing it.

  2. ChessX, Nice to have you back, and thanks for the encouragement about my lost cat. 🙂 I suspect that I’ll never see it again, but even last time it was like seeing a ghost. Curiously, I saw 3 cats that day, including my own, and none since. I’ll check with the Humane Society next week, but I’m not rushing down there since this is the second time the cat has gone missing in the same week.

    I think you would have found the right move during the game as well. I say this because after I won the pawn he suddenly became very focused, as if playing for an endgame all along, and began to find his best chances.

    Next time I’ll put more emphasis on forced captures as it’s one of those positions where Black should be playing …cxd and White could be playing dxc sort of thing. Center captures, that should be a priority and actually is Black’s best way. This is the French after all, and Black should not be messing around as it is very easy for Black to get a passive, losing middlegame/endgame position.

  3. From the general point of view you played better, his mistakes finally costed him the game. I hope your cat will find your way home, they often do.

  4. Fritz says that 11. hxg5 cxd4 was leading to an equal play after you winning “e” pawn, exchanging queens and him winning h7 pawn after Bd3. 28. Bb5 was a crucial mistake with an estimate ~-2.7, instead of that 28. c4 with cxd5 exd5 after a few moves was somewhat holding the position with -0.86. 32. Ra4 was another one, making it ~-4.0.

  5. Rollingpawns, thanks for the analysis.

    I guess if he hadn’t traded queens, then Nc6xe5, but I would not trade knights on d4.

    The ending was really about who plays better in time-trouble, IMHO, even though we both have plenty of time (it’s more the perception). Objectively, I am winning that endgame against almost any class player once I had the extra pawn. I was mostly worried about whether he could exploit my odd king move, but it doesn’t look like it.

    The -.86 score is sort of irrelevant as I’ve seen scores 3x that high that were much harder for me to convert. This is exactly how a person should not play me, giving me the extra pawn and then thinking that they would have a realistic chance later on for a comeback. Anything is possible, but it’s quite improbable.

    This is why I subconsciously spent so much time in the opening of games, because that one mistake will last if it is this sort of mistake.

    A lot of people don’t analyze deeply, but play well motivated moves and sometimes win because of that. But this is why they can’t come back against me easily once down, because analysis will be determinative after that first mistake. Flashy, intuitive-looking moves may no longer trump the objective reality on the board after that point. They probably know when they are lost but are used to hard work turning the game back around for them.

    My rating is safely above theirs because I play an opening which I have a lot of familiarity with, the French Def.. One of these days I will spring …e5. There are a lot more ways for me to lose, a lot more, but on the other hand, I should probably have the guts to risk it against a player below 1500.

    Funny thing, I’ve been studying queen endings, previously a weak spot for me, and won a (horrible) game this morning with Q+2p vs. Q+1p. In the final position, he couldn’t stop mate (queen trade loses) so resigned. I even knew he had lots of draws but kept letting me get my stuff in. That is what endgame knowledge can do to a game.

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