I played Paul tonight, with the Black pieces as expected. Paul grabbed the initiative and should have won, but I never got nervous the entire game. In the complications, I was able to see things quickly and he appeared to be getting nervous. I guess he didn’t go for one of the winning shots that he saw, instead of playing Rxb7, and I returned the favor at the end.
The game score is not accurate. Everything is the same in that final position except that my pawn is on g3, not g4, so I am winning, BUT I had 5 seconds left on my clock. I saw the winning ..g5, hxg g2, gxh g1(Q), and then he can play h7 or even check so that rook is covering the pawn on h7, I see now. I was concerned that if I don’t mate, and I really may have 4.1 seconds since you can never trust a digital clock when it says 5, and if I spend 4 seconds not on delay that I could lose. Really, the whole thing has to be played on delay, you cannot use that 4 seconds really. So, He says “3-fold repetition”, and I can tell he’s not keeping score, but instantly agree and shake his hand, a fitting conclusion. I’ve been burned too many times with a drawn game where I barely lost on time, so I know that 5 seconds is not 5 seconds. If you pause when looking to find the mate at all, you are toast. I suppose I should have played on though, but mostly wanted to avoid the loss.
Afterward he mumbles how I am getting all of his rating points. I remind him that it’s only about 7 points. I felt like a gentleman about it, never got nervous, and knew I had been very lucky, so it’s a sensible result. I was inwardly surprised how everyone, even those with a life, care so much about rating points. I seemed to take the game in stride more, didn’t feel like I deserved to win it, but he blitzed in my time-pressure with bad moves. Even in post-mortem he seemed to have the “everything wins” mindset, but I was able to draw him, pointing out he should have blocked my pawns rather than traded.
I feel like a pro because I play so much, even if my effort was weak by objective standards. It’s still not as much an exertion as trying to solve combos at home. So when I get to the board, I may see or not see, but it’s not an undue exertion. I should be spending more time and energy on complications though, so I have gotten a bit lazy and soft I guess. For me, it was an enjoyable game. I actually enjoyed the game and it didn’t phase me at all. Once I asked for a draw and he refused “too many tricks still left in the position”. Respectable answer, but it tells that he was trying too hard to “win” since he was blitzing in my time pressure whilst he still had 27 minutes remaining.
I feel like people aren’t respecting the game, chess, when they are trying to ‘play the man’ (i.e., my clock). I almost want to say “Slow down, play it right, stop sweating and just win the game.”
In these weekday tournaments, I am more satisfied with a draw. If this were a big money game I would have blitzed it out for a win or loss on time. For some reason, I sort of think we are all friends here, but people care deeply about their results. Mark doesn’t want to play (he showed up this month) because the tournament is not strong enough. He had to play a kid, but him, I, and Paul are the strongest rated.
My rating at this very moment is maybe 1807, but I feel that that is an accurate rating for me at G/90 or slower. I wanted to play the K.I.D. against him, but decided to play something which I knew better, because of his higher rating. A fun game, a lot of missed tactics.
Really, I played badly yet confidently in those middlegame complications. It’s funny, I think that he is a better player than me, but for some reason I can outblitz a lot of people in the endgame, and it comes as a great shock to them because I take so much time earlier in the game, and perhaps make some moronic moves, I guess, but it’s the best I know how at the time. I deserved to lose this game, Paul played some amazing chess, but I tried my best. This is why I am happy for the draw. It wouldn’t have seemed right had I won this game. Me and Mark both saw that he had Rb2, not giving up the g-pawn, but he actually moved the rook to b5, I take, then he takes my a-pawn, and he played this nervously, hurriedly, in my time-pressure. I guess the pressure he feels to win is so great that he must try and blitz a loss out of me, can’t think of another explanation for such an obvious oversight, and horrific blunder to go after the a-pawn on his part. This is why the game score is inaccurate, he actually wasted a tempo somehow moving his rook to b5, when he saw he was going to lose his g-pawn.
This opening is close to the draw, which was also my intention. I defended better than I realized. You can’t pay attention to the score. Such as when I played that ..Bd6 defensive move, that does seem best, ignore the initial scores. When White played Rxb7 RxR, QxRb7, I should have replied with ..Bxh2+, KxB Qxd6+ followed by QxBd3.
I missed a tactic of NxNe4, BxNe4 Qh4, f4(forced) Nxe3 winning a pawn. Naturally, I was only thinking strategy, not tactics. He played NxNf6 and I immediately recaptured with knight as soon as he finished his move, but I thought I had ..gxNf6, but that would have lost quickly.
Maybe this happens to everyone, but when he was playing quickly at the start, he seemed very composed. As he started using time, he got more nervous and composure seemed to slowly ebb away as the game went. I guess everyone’s brain gets boggled as they start to think a lot, and then nervousness. G/90 is too short for me to get tired and nervous lately. It’s just a short game to me, I could play another one back to back. Perhaps this is from weekend tournament stamina.