I played as White in this game against.
I could tell when I got there that I wasn’t mentally into it, had played a bunch of chess for four days and then was zonked today. That is the worst combo, being chessed out, and then not playing a warm-up game all day.
My strategy for this game was to work the clock, get deeper into the game. that strategy is even worse when one is tired as I had about 51 minutes still on my clock when I failed to win the hanging piece. I went for something cute, so that I wouldn’t have to calculate the ..Nf4 reply carefully, then immediately noticed that after ..Rxc6 recapture, that the BxQ+ is a meaningless check, we are simply trading queens, so all I did was trade a piece. Should have played Qc2 as I originally wanted to, but was avoiding …Ng6-f4-d3+ sort of thing. White was fine though.
I was going to playe Qc2 and 0-0, as I should have, but wasn’t sure if …Nd3+ was going to fork Bb2 and Rc1, but I missed that Black is forced to recapture on c6 because the Qd7 is en-prise otherwise, and that pulls my rook out of harms way on c1, but I also wasn’t getting the material counts right, because even if that had been possible it still would have only given up an exchange for the captured piece.
It’s interesting to note that I could have even formed an Alekine’s Gun on the c-file, four attackers vs. four defenders, and I still would have tactics that win a piece, starting with a Ba6, b5 idea – bxNc6 attacking his queen is a zwischenzug. In other words, his terrible tactical pickle was not going away anytime soon.
I think online, you know you are winning the piece, so you just play. But OTB there is the temptation to want to know “how” you are going to win it. Then, if your analysis isn’t clean and efficient, and you are just too lazy to bother, then you are like “I don’t know how I really should win it”, then doubt sets in. I had 3 people walk up to the board during that move and then walk away, as if it were something simple. So then there is some social pressure, too. Later, they had all assumed I won the game at first, and even Mark commented on why not simply play RxNc6, which is what I had mistakenly done. Of course then he quickly finds the win. That is the thing, there is no quickly, unless you get takebacks.
Something simple that I missed. I did not realize 18.Qc2 Nf4, 19.BxNc6 RxNc6, 20.QxR Nd3+, 21.Ke2 QxQ, 22.RxQ NxBb2 and White has gotten rid of Black’s good rook and White’s bad bishop. White has a winning advantage. I wasn’t weighing that material count up at all. I showed him that line after the game, but somehow didn’t realize I was up the exchange. I was pretty loopy, though, because I have been cutting back on my caffeine and my brain chemistry was not normal today (the caffeine was making me space out, tired).
Now stamina starts to take it’s toll, as I didn’t bring much mental energy to the match – no, let me rephrase that, I had mental energy, but I was at the stage of exhaustion where chess-blindedness sets in (obviously not from just this one particular game). I completely miss his 28…Qe1, then spend a bunch of time calculating Bc1, and when I finally saw that it loses after a bunch of moves, played Rc1 (what else?) having only cursorily looked at the Qe2+, thinking I could play Rc2 or Qc2, but once he played it I realized the king had to move and he wins my bishop, but he thumped down the mate anyway.
It’s sort of one of those dangerous situations where you are gassed, but still think you have enough to beat a lower-rated opponent. But I find out, that is how they can win! Little Isaac won his game against John the 1990 player I lost to last Thursday. So it was a day for upsets.
I believe there are two phases to a chess game. Phase 1: See if either player gets a cheapo out of the opening. Phase 2: If no cheapo (rare), or player flubs the cheapo, then chess gets complex/hard. Now there are lots of positions to look at and the most alert, creative player has a big edge and it can drag out for quite a number of moves.
Playing nightly games requires a lot more discipline. Back when I played on Saturdays it was great, 3 games in one day, at an actual chess club. When one plays at night, you have to be even more disciplined to not play during the week, saving strength for a night game after a long day. It helps to not be a chess-addict under this situation.
I prepared (but still couldn’t find anything good to play) against the Scandinavian, but he played French. I knew I had it too good when I saw that, but chess is about more than an opening advantage, particularly OTB. Online, one doesn’t get nervous and use excess time and caution, but OTB one does, so going the distance and stamina are much more important than in online chess. Also, there is a type of fatigue that only chess players understand. I would rather only get 2 hours sleep and not be “chessed out” than get 8 hours of sleep and be mentally burned out.