Final Round – March 2011

I played Mark in the final round for the U1800 prize.

You know, I came in feeling a bit tired, and I’ve come to expect nothing these days. Anyway, I was playing Mark who has done very well against me, but I guess because he lost our last game when I trotted out my C3 Sicilian (trust me, the psychological value was greater than the opening), so this time he ventured up the courage to play 1..e5 against me for the first time.

It was an interesting game, I sacked a pawn, there was something to learn from it. Both of us had some interesting ideas, probably him more so.

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5 thoughts on “Final Round – March 2011

  1. I’ll give you the “down-low” on this game.

    I’ve noticed that Mark has been making a blunder in time-trouble lately, and against lower-rated opponents he still wins most of those, so yes, I have to admit that I was hoping for one of those since I know what to do from there.

    Mark is a great opponent. I don’t think I am better than him, but I figured my tactical skill might be a bit sharper, although I can’t really take credit for this one, other than to say I’m just glad it’s a win. 🙂

  2. I think you are too modest. I really liked how you played. Your pawn sacrifice was interesting and sound. I didn’t see any ideas from his side, his estimation of the position was wrong all the time. He gave you “e” line and then that blunder.
    Good game, that Championship inspired you :).

  3. RollingPawns, thanks!

    I was going to offer a draw had he played …Re8 instead of …Rd8, but he gave me the e-line, like you say.

    I shouldn’t have been thinking about a draw either, but we were both low on time then, my 15 minutes to his 5. The game ended with 5:16 on my clock and :28 on his. I spent more time in the opening than I should have because I knew he was doing the same.

    It got “FICS-y” in there for me, even though neither you nor I play on FICS anymore. 🙂 It still helped.

    Perhaps he tried too hard to hold the extra pawn. Crafty liked his ..e4 idea, but not after ..f6. He said he didn’t like playing 1..e5, after the game, that he “didn’t like to defend for 3 hours”. Playing Black is a challenge.

    Instead of his …Qc6 move, I think he spent far too much time there and should have played …Ne7, threating …Nd5, and then I was looking at playing Qa3 after Nd2 (instead of Bc4), so he could have made it a tougher fight as early as then. …f6 was more optimistic, but he was still okay, even if I had replied with the sharp Qg3, which I didn’t even see. I think that is the keyword, somehow a lot of his moves were optimistic for being Black, and his plan with the extra-pawn came close to, but didn’t quite pan out. My pawn-sac encouraged this behavior. hehe.

    The 1186 player that I drew, actually beat Isaac and is now 1350 provisional rating. My rating improved to 1721 after this tournament, and the Class B tournament still has yet to be rated. Pleasant surprise.

    It definitely makes me wonder how I can do against higher-rated players, if I watch my time early on.

  4. Here is a hypothetical ending that could have played out in that game. I took away his ..Nc7 blunder and gave him a smaller blunder of playing …Rh1+ before …Bf3 (defending g4).

    Now, we both should have been able to play this game in G/90 (click on the word ‘game’ there).

    For some reason, Crafty thinks that exchange sac was even (+.08), but I forgot to add that even that rook ending would take another up to 10 moves, and I wouldn’t want to have to use the 5-second delay for that, even though I know the ending. This isn’t even a theoretical/technical endgame, it’s just a “normal” one.

  5. I just played a 1942 player on FICS, same opening line as in Wednesday’s game. Here is how it could have possibly turned out instead.

    He plays 9…Ne7 instead of 9…f6, as I suggested to do after the game.

    http://ficsgames.com/cgi-bin/show.cgi?ID=275387188;action=show

    He could have won the game with the piece sac 47…Nxg4, 48.NxN gxh, but he was in time-trouble. The way to play for an advantage in my line would have been to castle 0-0, then I could try and win a pawn and go into a single rook ending a pawn up, I just couldn’t remember the analysis, but Na3 was correct. hehe. That is the problem with analysis, remembering it incorrectly and not fully understanding it.

    Okay, back into retirement mode now, from FICS. 😉

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