Wednesday Round 2 – February 2011

This was my third encounter with Dragan, one win and one draw previously. This time I had Black again against his Scotch, and went for a variation that can produce wins.

Unfortunately, I went in to this game already “chessed out”, and so it took me a while to get my head in the game. I seem to suffer badly during some games, or perhaps all games, where I can’t adjust to looking at a 3-D board for about half an hour. It would be better if I close my eyes and visualize everything in my head, and would be handy if there was a wall-board. The 3-D part of chess messes me up big-time. I can see how past masters didn’t have computers in their day, so wouldn’t have this problem. I think I am one of those few who suffer from this affliction. Or I could study with a board, and stop playing online, which is probably best.

In the opening, I made a visual blunder with 9…Qb6?!, and then spent a bunch of time waiting and hoping that he wouldn’t play 10.b4 BxN, 11.BxB Qe6, which I thought was probably losing for Black at the time, but it isn’t.

I completely didn’t see his solid 10.Qb3 response, but when he traded queens, I was very pleased at the direction that the game was going.

According to Crafty, he shouldn’t have traded on f5 as it handed me the initiative, which of course I was grateful for.

17. Kf2? was an obvious blunder since 17.Rfe1 was forced. I played 17…Nd3?!, but 17…Bd3! was winning right away. What I missed was 17…Bd3, 18. b3, Ng4+!! 19.fxN RxBe2+ followed by 20..RxNd2, sacking the knight but then winning two pieces after that. Naturally I had seen the Re2+ in other variations.

He played 18. Rfd1??, but in the post-mortem even 19. Rfe1 was lost (we both saw that), and that is why he did not play it.

With 21. Re1?, he was making a last desperate bid for a draw, sacrificing a piece instead of giving up the exchange. He felt that that the position was not complex enough to hold, down the exchange.

After the game, I suggested he may have drawn the rook ending by playing Ne4..BxN, fxB Rxe – so, just a pawn down on the queenside, but we played that out quickly, and I effortlessly won that ending too.

It took me a while to get my head into the game, but the fact that my opponent used a lot of time on his clock covered up for that lapse. Even with 17…Nd3+, I played it because I had become tired of analyzing the position. Yes, one of those games where I was simply happy that I won.

Next week I play Alex, who has been on a tear, beating Mark (1800ish) and Paul (1900ish). I even advised him not to play the French against me, but rather to play the Scandinavian. So now I am going to have it doubly tough next week as White, both on the board and clock.

Right now, my feeling toward chess is the same as the scene where Forrest Gump decided it was time to stop running across America. I can see that chess is full of a bunch of up-and-comers with no jobs that can study chess all day. Even the Russian pros, if you really think about it, if they had not been state-sponsored, they were basically a bunch of talented guys, with no jobs, who played chess all day. 😉 This particular opponent had a job, so he he was doomed (sarcasm).

RollingPawns, how did you do yesterday evening? Did you play?

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4 thoughts on “Wednesday Round 2 – February 2011

  1. I liked how you confidently played in the opening. His two bishops and king – all on “e” vertical don’t look good my experience tells me. f5 was good. Kf2 looks weird to me, like looking for the trouble. In general you played better and deserved to win. How was your time management?
    I don’t play on Wednesday, hopefully today. I decided not to be angry, justly stay calm and try to play a good game.

  2. Thanks, Rollingpawns, and thanks for asking. 🙂

    Oh I forgot about that, yes it is only Thursday today.

    I had between 16-19 minutes left at the end, and he resigned when he realized I could blitz the rest of the game out in about a minute. Time-management wasn’t good at all, as I should be looking to play a minimum of 50 moves of tenseness. I get lucky because the game is decided early, but I need to stop acting as if move 7 were the world.

    “I decided not to be angry, justly stay calm and try to play a good game.”
    Good for you, nice to hear. Were you referring to a “revenge” game? I can’t get revenge on anyone because my nemesii these days are the “strong blitzers” and there is nothing I can do to change that other than keeping pace as best I can.

    As you say, he was also worried about the pinned Be3, luckily. Perhaps I could have worked on that weakness with a …Nc6 move, but after Nb3 I saw no way to pry that Nd4 loose.

    Instead of …Qb6, I would try …d5 in a do-over. Thanks for being complimentary as I was quite down on my position/self after ..Qb6, but like I told him after the game, I was going to keep up the facade that everything was alright, and the fact that I had already spent so long on that move made him buy into it as an okay move.

  3. Did you extra prepare for this game, i mean went over the scotch opening for a couple of hours? By going over the game i wondered if 9. f3 is still theory? Looks an odd move to me.

    I wouldn’t give up online chess alltogheter. Its practise, which we need to have to see that we can implement what we have learned / studied. Maybe make a rule that two days before you play an otb game you dont play online chess anymore can be helpfull?

  4. Yes, f3 can be useful because it cuts out the ..Qg6, ..Bh3 tactic. it didn’t look necessary here, so I would think that it can’t be right.

    Exactly, sometimes I feel the purpose of OTB chess is merely to show off my goodness/badness that I have learned from online.

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