Round 3 – Thursdays December 2010

I played Gene in this game for the first time as White. The opening was a variation that you’d think I would know as White, but instead had to figure it out over the board. Luckily, I was only up against a Class C player, as White, so I was afforded that luxury even if he did have around 70 some minutes left at the end of the game.

Well, it was an interesting game, but he played inexact when it came time to possibly transition to the endgame. I think he sort of went based on looks, and this is where analysis trumps, and of course since the line of play is so narrow I can do this very quickly.

Before the game they said that Gene was on a roll. He does seem to be improving his results, but what I see is that there is enough of a bottom for him to find someone to beat. To get the opponents that I should be playing, I have to virtually not lose a game. One loss doesn’t guarantee that I get to play someone close to my level, in fact it’s more the opposite. I will have Black in the last two rounds should I play all of them. I am not complaining so much as stating a fact. In essence, even though it is a “five-round tournament”, I maybe get two or three real rounds out of it, from the big-picture perspective.

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2 thoughts on “Round 3 – Thursdays December 2010

  1. Well played opening, I only didn’t quite understand 14. h3.
    Yeah, he didn’t calculate consequences of 19… c6 and I wouldn’t want to be Black after move 24 . Then he missed back-rank mate.

  2. Thanks, Rollingpawns! 🙂

    My first reaction was to play 14.Bg3, but I realized there are eventualities where he could play ..Nh5 forking Qf4 and Bg3 (after Bf8 and Re7) – if I simply try and load up on f7. He thought when he moved ..Nd7 that I would sac two pieces for a rook and two pawns, via f7, but that doesn’t seem to do much for White, and Crafty hasn’t mentioned it, it would fix his pawn structure and I never considered it.

    14. h3 was played to stop ..Qd7 and then either ..Qg4 or ..Ng4.

    He made a mistake to try and transition to an endgame where he did, we were still really in a middlegame, but he was bad off with the piece trades in the center. Plus, as lethargic as my play may appear, he still has the Black pieces and can’t afford to make strategic mistakes after a decently played opening, yet can’t really say he has equalized in that position, needs to make a few more moves before he can say that.

    The thing I love about no matter who I play is that I get time to really look at an opening, unlike with online play where one simply goes with inspiration or as much sensibility as one can muster, knowing that a bad opening at quick play doesn’t usually determine. Actually, I only realize when playing slow OTB how many online games I won from repeatedly playing a bad opening.

    This game was a great starting position for further analysis, it made me realize how I need to try and win opposite-colored bishop middle-games with queens still on, something I have only begun recently to consider.

    My game has entered something like a “consolidation phase”. I don’t sense the need to play “thousands of games” anymore as much to shore up my understanding of weak areas in my game. Online, I play a new opening, don’t have time to figure out the traps, and ingloriously fall into one, so it’s excellent for realizing that there is a potential trap in every sharp position or opening move, given that I end up playing the same positions OTB, but that is not as realistic as I thought it was. Capablanca probably never said “Dang, I haven’t blitzed a lot in this line before” (although maybe he had and did). OTB, it’s enough time to defuse a lot of problems, although it could hurt on the clock.

    To be honest, I have a “slow eye”, so my board-vision is not sufficient to playing blitz or as fast as some people do. I play blitz and hang something and my opponent sees it four moves later before I do. OTB, of course I would check for things hanging before or after the first time I hung it, as would most Class C players!

    In this game, his weak pawn structure (which he may have sensed better than I, since he said that he didn’t like it so much) allows for a lot of middlegame-endgame wins. The key to this ending is that if Black plays …Ne5 (he played ..Be5 in the game and didn’t fare so well), White plays BxNe5 and the resulting endgame is very favorable for White regardless of future piece-trades (but keep queens on as one is attacking and the other is defending), given Black’s horrible pawn structure and plenty of holes to penetrate it, which can be done much more rapidly than anything Black can hope to muster against White’s king. Crafty has helped me a lot in understanding this position.

    One big difference from when I started playing here and now is that I used to be mentally fried after my games, didn’t even want to talk to anyone. Last night I analyzed four different games, post-mortem, and was basically giving lessons and “coaching-up” my future opponents. hehe.

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