Bobby Fischer Memorial – the final day

This post is for all of you who wished to win money some day at a chess tournament. πŸ™‚

Round 3, I played my namesake Robert for the first time, no immediate relation but I am sure that we are distantly related.

Round 4, I played Rhett, a favored player to win the tournament.

My game scores are a mess, but I will post them as I get them up.

In the end, I split first place with one other player that I didn’t play against. Interestingly enough, the other first-place player played the guy I drew against and their game also appeared to be a draw the whole way, but the 1400 level player finally needlessly allowed his pawns to be doubled in a king and pawn endgame where they both had around 6 or 7 pawns, so that they co-champion won at the very end due to some slight error.

It was a fifty-five dollar entry fee, but splitting the first place prize netted me three hundred and fifty dollars. Couldn’t have come at a better time, and it’s always nice to be rewarded monetarily for playing chess. πŸ˜€

Oh yeah, my preparation, basically didn’t study much chess for the past week other than for analyzing my Wednesday game. Rest and Relaxation, that was my preparation. πŸ˜‰ The result of a tournament is in God’s hands, I feel, or as some say there is always an element of luck in winning a chess tournament.

The luck part of the tournament was that Rhett and Anthea played a six-hour draw in round 3 (they shared first place at the time), so that in effect it is quite likely that they both knocked themselves out of the tournament by the sheer exertion and short recovery time between rounds. They both lost their final round game.

Time-control-wise, I had 17 minutes left at the end of my round 1 game, but was blitzing my last three game toward time control. For example, in my round 4 game, I had 27 minutes left to reach time-control after making my 20th move, and that was quite typical. Because of that, the quality was a little low in spots, but I was still able to plan in a hope-chess sort of way, and see when I was winning a pawn. It was really the big decisive combinations which required a lot of time in rounds 3 and 4, those are things to save time for. As far as technical play, I was able to do this quickly when needed, and my opponents didn’t play so much to prevent me from playing a loose, easy technical game.

I want to make a comment about the Grishuk vs. Gelfand match. I sort of feel sorry for Gelfand because he is a counter-attacker, and the easy prediction would be that Grishuk will take all the quick draws that he can get so that the match will be decided by rapid games where Grishuk could have a seemingly overwhelming advantage, although one never knows an outcome in advance.

Anyway, the stress in my final round game was unbelievable once he sacked his rook. His biggest mistake, as he said after the game, was making that sac after the time-control rather than before. For a long while, I did not notice that my queen would have the escape square of b7. …Bb3 was an easy move for me to find, but it seemed as if I had waited 20 minutes to play it simply because I realized how much was at stake – no prize vs nice prize.


5 thoughts on “Bobby Fischer Memorial – the final day

  1. Congratulations on getting the first place!
    Kaissa decided to generously reward you for all your previous sufferings. :).
    Game 3 you won convincingly, I don’t like your opponents play in the opening like 10… c6, as well as in the middlegame, like 25… Bg7.
    I’ll look on G2 and G4 too.
    Again, I am really glad that you could play decent games and got a decent result.

  2. Thanks, RollingPawns!! πŸ˜€

    Game 3, at least toward the end of the first time-control I should have finished it more swiftly, but played it safer because of the clock.

    For example, on move 23 there is a g4 idea (rather than trading rooks on e7), but after 23…Bc2 (Crafty says …Bb1!), 24.Rc1, he naturally has Qxg4+ which is -+ for Black.

    With this g4 idea in mind, I saw that it would probably win in the position with 27.g4 (instead of Bxf7+) and I believe Crafty confirmed – because the queen is off the c8-g4 diagonal now – but in time-trouble I was looking for the surest continuation.

    Oh, here was another pitfall that I had to look away from, if 27.Rxf7 (instead of Bxf7) I had seen that 27..QxQ, 28.RxBf5 disc. check, followed by RxQg5 wins a piece, but then noticed that instead of 27…QxQ, Black plays …Qxd4! and now upon a discovered check, Black merely takes the bishop on c4, and then also threatens mate.

    I misplayed the early middlegame, and noticed it OTB as well after I played Bg5 because …Qd7, Nc5 and now he trades pawns ..Qxd6, Nxb7 and my d4 pawn is now twice attacked. I realized this OTB that Black would have a strong attack, and it could be -+, but naturally before making this Bg5 move, I felt that Black would respond with …Qc8 (maybe because I play too many weaker player! hehe).

    Yes, the instant I saw him play …Bg7, that is when I knew I had the game, or rather the win were there if I weren’t to mess up.

    That was perhaps my prettiest game, but I think it was solid play and a bit of luck that lead to my 3.5/4 result. Thanks for the compliment because I didn’t feel that any of my games were that special, or rather my opponents helped me out to make them into something special. πŸ˜‰

  3. RollingPawns, check out Anthea’s game:

    She was playing on the board next to mine, and I had to give up looking over at it to see whether they were going to draw or not (all four of us were tied for first with 2.5/3), but as Tim pointed out later if we had all drew then others in the tournament would have also caught up to us. I looked up Tim Brennan’s rating after the tournament and realized that he had first reached 1800 around 5 years ago!

    My new rating is tentatively 1749. It’s a fair rating considering I have to play a lot of lower and same rated in G/90 format. It would be nice to do well my final round on Wednesday and bump that rating even higher, if I can.

  4. Game 4 – his play in the opening looks strange, even very strange to me. I would try to delay his king in the center instead of 15… Kb8, though maybe it’s not easy.
    He didn’t have to lose his “c” pawn.
    That rook sac, though yeah, can looks a bit scary, but he didn’t calculate it well and even before the time control I think you would be able to find if not Bb3, then Qe7.
    Bb3 is the best and it doesn’t look too easy to see to me.
    Well deserved win.

  5. Thanks again, RollingPawns!

    I don’t feel that these strategic system openings are conducive to a tactical player such as himself, but a lot of tactical players will do this so that I guess they don’t have to study openings and can study tactics instead.

    I may not be so great at tactics but in 40/2, I can generally solve a blocked strategic system such as this one.

    Once he played Nb3 instead of b4, I figured that “Okay, now he has to castle queenside, although it may take a while for me to get to him if he castles kingside.”

    I was counting who had the most, best developed pieces, and I liked my odds. Originally, I thought, before he had played Nb3 or Be3, that he might try c4, sort of forcing me into playing e5, and then trying to create a mutual wing attack scenario, if not pushing his pawn to f4 as well.

    I guess I could say that my thinking was right(!?) because he chose to react to my queenside castling by playing his knight from b3 back to d2, handing me the initiative.

    His Qe2 move didn’t take long for me to understand, and I was playing at nearly a minute a move from this point on. Not only does he strategically want to trade pawns in the center, giving his bishops scope and me a backward e-pawn, but he must be looking at the tactic Bxa7…b6, Qa6+ (after my pawn trade in the center allows his queen to get out), which is more or less winning for White. But I have seen this sort of tactic so much online in the past that it is quite transparent for me to spot, so I play …Kb8, just cutting down his options. Not sure what the best move is, naturally.

    He would have been better off blitzing 23.c5, as he took so long on this move that I was able to calculate/see that 23.c5 drops a pawn after 23…QxN, 24.QxQ RxQ, 25.cxN axb, and I have an extra pawn, which is doubled. By the time he had played 23.Rfd1, I had guessed that he would try this, but now he is giving me a clean pawn, not a doubled one. Surely he does this based on wanting to keep more pieces on the board to generate a counter-attack with.

    Yes, you are right, I did find Bb3 before the time control. Bb3 after 41….bxR, 42.RxR Bb3, I noticed quickly would allow a Rc6xQb6+ zwishenzug, and that’s when I began to panic a bit (not noticing I had 42..Qb7, which he seemed to spot right away soon after playing the move and letting out a sigh).

    Instead, I would have blitzed with 41…Bb3, but after 42.RxQ BxQ, 43.Re6 Rxe4, 44.Re7 it wasn’t clear that I have anything more than equality, although looking at it right now, I guess I could follow this up with 44…g5 with the idea of …Rf5 and …Bc6 when my rooks and bishop have gotten active. I may need to play ..a6 to cut out any checkmates, but Black is probably going to have a really active position against White’s king, which should at least draw if not be a significant advantage for Black.

    I went over this game with Alex, and he predicted all of White’s moves up to Qa4 because he already knows Rhett’s opening system. He then plays ..0-0 and says it’s equal.

    I already knew from playing Rhett previously as White, that he likes this double-queen-move tactic in his openings. For example, if I play 4…Bd7, which appears reasonable at first glance, that he can then play 5…Qb3 attacking the d5 and b7 pawns, possibly forcing the bishop back to c8. I am sure that sort of thing works great at G/30 against a new opponent. heh.

    When I played 36..Qd4, I thought I may have blundered and even Crafty suggests I not throw away my advantage with 37.b5 bxc. I still need to look at this position as it’s not clear to me why taking the pawn is bad, although White gains the 7th rank now that I think of it, could take the g-pawn. But I also wasn’t sure what to do otherwise, and still don’t know.

    Drum-roll, please. And the answer to 37.b5 is …Rc8, 38.Rd1 bxc, 39.RxQ RxQ, 40.Re6 Rc6 when the position is nearly -3. Definitely would have challenged me more in time-trouble than his 37.Qa5, a sort of pseudo-active move, which I was relieved to see. That position is tricky enough that Black can even pose a trap for White with 40…Kc7 instead of …Rc6, and if 41.RxBe6, then …Kd7 traps the rook.

    I was also able to see that his 39.Rc5 was more or less a forced sort of move to prevent a mate on f2, but it’s obvious now that even that was a sort of pseudo-active move, as a less committal way of defending f2 should have been better. This is why I am a different player at 40/2, G/1. A lot of this cheesy stuff probably works at G/90. hehe.

    Oddly enough, my “pass” with 40..Be6-c7 was an intelligent or lucky move, as he should have pulled the trigger on move 40 with 40.Rxc6, then I would have had something real to think about which doesn’t lose the game immediately for White, although after 40…bxR, 41.Rxc Qb7, 42.RxBe6 Qd7 (attacking rook and queen), 43.QxQ RxQ he has a pawn for the exchange and is not completely gone as he is in the game continuation (-1.84 according to Crafty). No, I just took a good look at it. Seriously, I feel I could win the resultant ending with Black against just about anybody.

    This is the problem with these tactics, you don’t want to resolve it into that ending against me, you want to keep the tension, giving me lots of chances to mess up. Luckily, I already knew this about his game, that he would probably play this way looking for immediate tactics, although I didn’t expect 1.d3 and so spent a long time mulling over in the opening, just to get a feel of familiarity with the position. After my move 40, I strangely predicted that he would sac a piece somewhere, so that I was only partially surprised that he had done so. Like someone somewhere said, people make bad sacs in bad positions, but that is what happens you get a good position (roughly translated).

    After a long think in the opening, I decided to respond to 1.d3 with 1…e5 because I did not want to possibly end up with …d5 against a Bird’s Opening, which can be passive for Black. White could have played 2.e4 and then tried to maneuver a knight from b1 to f5, but that is usually done against a French where Black has spent two moves to get in e7-e6-e5.

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