Round 1, I won my first round in nice fashion as White.
This is what all of that chess study and preparedness buys you (or me, anyway), a nice bright-eyed and bushy-tail win as White in Round 1. Incidentally, this guy went on to get 3 or 3 1/2, as did the unrated player that I lost to in Round 3. Even my Round 2 loss opponent, I saw him winning his final game and I think that he also resulted well.
At the end of this game, I pointed out to Dalton that I was planning on continuing 30..Rf8, 31.Qg5 Ng7, 32.Qh4 but now that I look at it fresh, 32.Qh5 is obviously even better, after 32..h6, 33.Qh6 should mate on h7.
This game should have been a draw, but then my lack of sleep kicked in late in the game, and I lost a king and pawn ending with even material. (note: It’s hard to look at my pawn dropping blunder now – This was my first brain-cramp brought on by fatigue, as I noticed that I had played the wrong variation’s move after I had moved. I had been looking at a few different variations that he might play). He went from playing fast to taking like 7 times as much time as he was earlier in the game, and this broke my concentration as I’ve never played him before and thought he might be contemplating a draw offer. I shouldn’t have played ..h5. Should have played my active plan earlier in this rook ending, but I woke up too late in this game. ..h5 was like needlessly feeding him two tempos. I played it tongue-in-cheek, but it is chess laziness.
I offered a draw in a boringly even position. He spent 15 thinking about it, so that I figured he would agree. Then he made a move, attacking a pawn, which I had previously seen. I thought he had better moves so that once he played such a simple that I had easily planned on parrying, I ignored that it was attacking a pawn. This is why never offer a draw or think that a game is “a draw” because it will cause you to lose concentration if the position is insipidly dull and played just the same.
Round 3, I literally did not take a break between rounds 2 and 3. The people at that board shooed me away as soon as I had finished my game, and I elected not to take a 15 minute break since what is 15 minutes? Need more than that. All I had to eat between my three rounds was a cup of coffee and a scone.
Here is the Round 3 game, how it should have gone.
I was going to play 18.Qh3, but didn’t like the pawn-roller that he was getting after 18..e6xd5. So I played 18.BxNd4?? Which I told myself that I wasn’t going to do, and as soon as I put my hand on the piece, before I even moved it, I realized that I was dropping a piece. But that also goes to show how I need to add a couple more ingredients, and Qh3 works just fine. I played Qf3 with the intention of Qh3 on the next move.
If you look at that continuation, you will see that Black can’t play 21…RxB because of 22.Qe6+, picking up the exchange. So 21..Kh8, 22.Be4 h6 and White is up a pawn.
Even if I had played the measly 19.Bd3, it would have been equal after 19..Nc6.
Also, the first variation that I had looked at after 18.Qh3 was 18..Nxc2, which I had decided to allow before I first decided on playing 17.Qf3. This variation continues 19.Qxe6+ Kh8, 20.Rac1 NxBe3, 21.QxB. I was not noticing that the Qe6 defends the bishop e3.
So these were two separate lines that I had not analyzed deeply enough, yet were rather simple.
I also had had the feeling that 16.Nxd5 was probably winning for some reason, but didn’t want to analyze it because “Oh, it hurt’s my head too much right now!”, that was my excuse.
This combination is not above my level, but I didn’t find it for two reasons. 1) “My head hurts because it is tired and I don’t want to look that far” during a huge combo, and 2) I am not conditioned to playing in non-optimal state. IOW, I nap before a game, and am all fresh usually, but playing chess all day when you have a sort of “jet-lag” from staying up too late and waking up too early, that is a discipline. It’s a non “chess” skill and yet it is very much a chess skill at the same time. A tournament is a performance, and you have to be able to perform with no break, etc.
The Stoyko exercise did help me during the first round, and during a move in the second round which I once again decided not to play, but I simply dropped a pawn en-prise due to fatigue, and then let him get a passer, figuring I’d stop it, instead of bothering to think of my own plan, but then it was too late. That is another indication of fatigue.
The Stoyko stuff works, but you either have to not be fatigued, or learn how force yourself to think that deep when you are tired from too much chess in a row, which is easier said than done, at least until you’ve conditioned yourself to it. When I was tired, everything, variation/ideas began to run together in my head at the same time. I wasn’t looking at distinct lines anymore. So much so that I can’t believe I thought I was lost when I wasn’t. I actually thought Qh3 was losing, I was so tired, but White easily sidesteps all of Black’s threats.
Oh, at one point I forgot how to keep notation, didn’t know whether to say “Ng5” or “KNg5”, I had to think about it before I remembered it’s just an “N”. I had all the time in the world on my clock, but my opponent kept giving me this look “See, I’ve tricked you!”, and said “I guess I have to play ..d5” before that. He’s son of a chess master, and it was his second rated game, but that is even more annoying, concentration-breaking, when tired. He kept having to look at my scoresheet because he wasn’t writing down all of our plies as we played them and I had to tell him he should do it because it’s Fide rules and so he wouldn’t have to keep asking. He asked what the last move was it seemed like 10 times.
Day 2 brought on some mistakes caused by fatigue in probably most players games, including yours truly. I dropped 12 rating points in total. It was one Open section, I was seeded #11, but never played anyone above my rating. Some people played mostly in the high part of the tournament; Anthea, for example got 3.5 tournament points, but went from 1781 to 1821. So day one was the “set-up” day for day 2, as is typically the case. I went from 1798 to 1786
I probably could have gotten the TD to grant me a half-point bye instead of playing in Round 3, but I wanted to play and thought that I would be okay as White against an unrated player. It wasn’t until we got into the complications that I realized that I wasn’t up to it, particularly as the complications to win that pawn were around 7 moves long. A lot of people, particularly older players take one or more strategic byes throughout the tournament. Back in CA, round-robin tournaments, it wasn’t a big deal if I lost a game from fatigue, because I was already playing in an upper section, getting experience and not really losing many rating points for it.