Another crazy finish

Well, I wasn’t paired with Anthea after all. Instead, I was paired against Rhett.

Round 4

I played Bd2, then figured “Oh yeah, he’ll win the b2 pawn with ..Qb6…good!” Sure enough, it exceeded my wildest expectations. At one point he had made six queen moves in a row, and I had 8 pieces developed (counting 0-0) to his one piece Nb6.

Well, I offered up my Ng5 and was hoping he’d take it because I had calculated a mate in 8 with exf7+..Kxf7, Ne5+ Kg8, fxg Be6, g6 and now I have Nf7 and if BxN, gxN+ Kh7, then I can probably get in a Qg6 mate. I haven’t looked at this with Fruit, this is simply what I saw OTB, but yes of course it is winning. I am surprised that he was surprised, and yet he smartly bailed out with …Bxe6+.

Then, I dumbly immediately captured on e6 with Qxe6 because I was “tired of all this thinking already”, tired from my previous combo which he didn’t go for. Simply Ne5, Bg6+ and Nf7 forking, winning the rook and it would have been game over. After I captured with the queen, I was like “That was a dumb move, I should have checked with the bishop, or looked for the right way to finish.”

I didn’t even see his ..Qf6, trading queens (I should though, she is only worth 3 minor pieces!), and thought to myself “I will have to win this one all over again. I am down a pawn, but he is stuck for a move, more or less.” I figured that ..a5 looked like a good try for him, but instead he gave me his b7 pawn, and then tried to trap my rook. I played …Na5 protecting the Rb7, but he can’t play Nc4 removing the Na5 defender because I will mate him, so he had to play ..e6 first.

Eventually, we both got into a mad time-scramble and I put my bishop en-prise with 2 minutes and 36 seconds remaining. He had 3 1/2 minutes. From the time that I put my bishop en-prise, to the point at which I checkmated him, I did all of that in approximately 30 seconds (with 5 second delay), because I still had over 2 minutes left at the end of the game, and he had just a couple of seconds left. My friend Alex was impressed that I dropped a piece and still won, and Rhett thought he needs to start practicing at blitz now. I told him forget it, analyze your games instead, because we were both moving so fast that neither of us was thinking, we were both making moves.

I told him after the game that I should have played Kh1 instead of Kf1 there (true), and that had he played ..Rf8 in that time scramble, activating it, he should have won.

BTW, I did intend with 32.c3 Nf5 to either win a piece or mate after Bh6+ followed by Nb7+. c3 was to open up c6 for my knight, but the time-pressure was so great that I couldn’t remember it after he played ..g5 and I played c3, and I wasn’t trusting that he hadn’t somehow prevented it, even though it is all checks and cannot be stopped. I played Nb3 and then blundered my piece within a manner of seconds. The surprising thing for me is how I ended up with so little time, as if it didn’t seem that I was taking up nearly that much time, and as if he were spending unbelievable amounts of time, and yet it was the other way around, I had 10 minutes to his 55 at one point.

It’s funny how before the person makes there move you are going “Yeah, that’s right buddy, c3 then Nf5 and I win a piece.” Then after the move it’s like “Oh no, he played Nf5, I must have miscalculated something and need to play a safe move now to show that I am still better.” Completely irrational, but I find that this is sort of a normal reaction (because my plan didn’t factor in his next move ..g5, but this changed nothing). The only thing is that when you have time, you win the piece, and when you don’t then thinking sort of ends with that irrational thought. Not only that, but because of the fight-or-flight of time-pressure I suddenly couldn’t remember the line! (yet desperately tried to for a few seconds). That sort of survival pressure is so great that I completely forgot about it after the game and didn’t remember until now when Fruit pointed out. It’s as if I had a blackout during the game, induced by time-pressure.

Another tactic I miscalculated is 26.RxNb6 axR, 27.Ne5 Rc7, 28.Rxc8+ Rc8 and now I missed the tempo-gaining zwischenzug 29.Nf7+ Kc7, 30.RxR KxR, 31.NxR. I had only seen 29.RxR KxR, 30.Nf7 Rg8 (but White can still win that rook with 31.Bh7!).

19.Ne5! instead of Re1 would have been my blitz move, but I spent a lot of time and energy looking at a lot of lines, but not deeply enough.

Back to 1800! (live-rating is probably around 1804) 🙂

I should say that I got lot of tactics training out of this game. This is why I say I don’t need blitz. I get tactics study from game-analysis, which is what speeds up my blitz play. Blitz play in and of itself, is just the art of making safe moves quickly. The rest of it you get from studying tactics, combinations, and endgames.

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10 thoughts on “Another crazy finish

  1. Congratulations! He got completely lost position out of the opening, I can’t believe 1800 rated guy would play like that. Study Morphy! 🙂
    14. e6 is really nice, computer also finds 14.Nxf7 which wins on the spot.
    The rest of the game would look much better if it wouldn’t be G/90.

  2. RollingPawns, thank you! 🙂

    Yes, the rest of the game is pathetically horrible on my part, throwing away wins left and right all game long. Those six queen tempos he gave up let me have the win ‘seven ways to Sunday’. Yes, Morphy is ‘The Man’ to study! 😉

    I’ll look at 14.Nxf7. Thanks for mentioning it. I’m starting to think we are all playing terrible there. I saw a drawn game, it was bishop and pawn vs. rook and pawn that I could have won with < a minute, and they hadn't figured it out and were Class A players. I have to shake my head and it's hope that it's mostly due to the G/90 format. 😀

  3. One thing I have to say on behalf of my opponent is that he is extremely comfortable defending losing positions; which sounds like nothing except that you do feel the difference at the board. He would spend so long on a move, and you are waiting to pounce, that by the time he does move you suspect he saw something that you overlooked, and you’ve already half-forgotten what it was that you were going to play.

    14. Nxf7 wins decisively, and is a spectacular find.
    14. Nxf7 KxNf7, 15. e6+ Bxe6, 16.Bg6+(deflection) KxBg6, 17.QxBe6+ Kh7, 18.Rb3! followed by 19.Ng5 threatening 20.Rh3, but it’s a quick mate even after 18..Rg8 (making luft), 19.Qg6+ Kh8, 20.Ng5 hxNg5, 21.Qh5 mate.

    The way to find this combo is to see that if the Bd3 and Nf3 were to get out of the way, then Rb3-h3 is possible. I knew that my job was going to be clearance sacs. Possibly there is even a double-piece sac somewhere in their because the position is so “mate-y” already, based on superior development.

    This is the problem with him being a tactical player and “a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing” because it makes him subconsciously want to force me to beat him in tactical complications, which isn’t good for him when I have built up such a large positional advantage before the exchange of blows.

    I think that game where I lost by hanging my queen, trying for the win, got me to go for the win in these past games. I didn’t want to say, but after that game I felt that I was going to win a lot of games in a row. Plus, that NEED feeling, to get back to 1800 helped a lot. I don’t feel as if I should be rated < 1800, but one slipped up game required a few wins thereafter to compensate. You are right, it was just like your game in the Canadian Open, you wanted to win that one from an equal position. And really, the better player should win from an equal position often enough. A lot of players haven't figured this out yet.

  4. I wish you to continue that streak, I remember I won 4 in a row after losing streak. I didn’t play yesterday, the club was closed due to overlap in booking.

  5. lol. That club cracks me up. They are always closing for a special occasion or something. I hope that just because it’s closed doesn’t mean the blitz players can’t still show up! haha. I’ve never gone to a club just to play blitz. My last club it was like $2 or $3 to play for the day and hardly anyone ever did, or they quite often stopped playing and acted like they were there to read the books as soon as they were asked to pay.

    I have a good feeling about next Thursday. Next Wednesday I figure I will play either Paul, Mark, or Anthea, so I am going to want to do my best.

    The thing of G/90 is that opening systems are a big deal in many ways, because it’s not really enough time to figure out something that you don’t already know, against a strong player.

    Thanks for the well-wishes! Yes, 1800 is not enough, I should strive for a new high. I am a little incredulous that Ivan is nearing 2000, like that “What’s he got that I haven’t got?” sort of feeling. At least with you, you know your openings, and it’s commendable the study you’ve put in and that you have been going to the clubs regularly for the past 3 years, much as myself. Plus, the Canadian Open was a huge commitment on your part. You are truly a dedicated player. 🙂

    Ah, Ivan HAS played a lot! Yes, that would explain it then, he merely doesn’t blog about tournaments which aren’t the biggies.

  6. Tactics vs. combinations; I’ve got a new definition for this. Anything that could have been prevented by a blundercheck was a tactic; If it’s longer than that, then it is a combination.

    Here is a good example of combination drills.

    http://www.chess.com/article/view/the-legendary-15-minute-drill

    I went over all of those problems, but didn’t bother with the 15 minute drill. I can tell that the problems are tailor made for this 15 minute time-control exercise though. It is more about the time, but I still feel that I need the pattern recognition more than the time-control improvement. If I were better at tactics, it would be the other way around. Still, I am improving tactically.

  7. I am sure you play attacking games like that just as well as I, RollingPawns. If anything, I think the point may be to show that my OTB experience does transfer over to 15 minute games, so the opponent is up against all of that.

    In blitz, my OTB skill doesn’t transfer over enough, it’s garbage chess, best used for openings which I don’t know. Even then, afterward, I see such superficial mistakes which I make that I don’t even think there is much credible carry-over to my OTB play just because I could know nothing about an opening, zero, and my play OTB would still be miles above my blitz performance.

    Yes, study combinations like these. Build up your pattern-recognition from combinations and you will be tops at chess! 🙂

    Our calculations skills are already good enough that if you threw in the pattern-recognition, it would be game-over for most of our opponents, even without opening knowledge. Today I studied an opening line from the C3 Sicilian, a main-line, but mainly for the book-win aspect of it. I could play Open Sicilian against my peers, as White, and most likely win, and the result would have little to do with opening knowledge, other than I know enough to get out of the opening quickly with the plus advantage(!) We can lay down the tactics in the early middlegame, and that would probably be even more devastating to them than any sort of theoretical finesse that we try to hit them with in the opening. Don’t try to win a pawn right off the bat, the win will usually find itself soon enough with skill and patience. Active development, that is more important than material. Have strong plans.

    I still struggle with tactics, but found one from the main-line game in this book where neither the player saw it, nor the author saw it, and it is definitively better than what was played in the game because it leaves White a whole piece up rather than just the exchange. It starts with an exchange sac, and then pins the king to the queen. I saw it with no hesitation, it was obvious from a pattern-recognition perspective because the king was trapped.

    Here is the principle game (if you ever want to play this line). 30.Bg7?, author of monograph (John Emms) only states that White is setting up a mating net, but Black could have played 30..QxB, and only been down the exchange – which can really matter a whole lot if White only had a couple minutes left!

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1484807

    Instead, I found without even trying 30.Rc8+! NxRc8, 31.RxN Kf7, 32. Rf8+ Kg6, 33.RxQ KxR, 34.Bf8. White is up a piece and can easily win this ending with 2 minutes on the clock. Very important maybe not to them, but to us it is!

    Anyway, what I realized once I saw this is that these guys get tired, too! White had played all of these nice tactical possibilities previously, and now was possibly dog-tired and missed this.

    Here’s another good example of this, though. Nigel Davies points out that he missed 29.Qxf7+ “would have won on the spot”, from this game:
    http://chessimprover.com/?p=1646

  8. I solved all of Dan Heisman’s set of 12 tactics problems correctly in perhaps as little as 10 minutes.

    http://www.chesscafe.com/heisman/heisman.htm

    Then I read what he says there, and it says a 2400 player should solve the entire set in 90 seconds because it is a pattern-recognition test, and one 2300 player did so.

    If it took me 10 minutes to get them all right, that would give me a 1380 rating, and 1800 is around 7 minutes. This hardly seems right. An extra minute would cost 120 rating points, but getting an extra one right adds 150 rating points. In real chess, getting it right is whole lot better than one minute on the clock. Getting it right may mean you can win the rest of the game in 1 minute with 5 second delay. Getting it wrong it may take 5+ minutes just to be able to draw the game, if that.

    The speed thing is relative, anyway. In a G/90 situation it is more relative than in a 6 hour game, for example, so speed = rating would not be constant because in chess there is not necessarily a tactical comeback on every move once, say you are down the exchange, and the queens are off the board, or a couple pieces are off.

    Of course, these tactics scores always seem to assume that you would know that you had a winning shot in the position. It does help quite a bit for someone to tell you that there is a winning shot in the position, although these ones were mostly easy enough.

    The one thing I don’t like about the presumption behind such a test it that it tacitly complies with the quicker and quicker time-controls that chess has been relegated to. Having a couple of G/90 tournaments a week these days is the sign of living in a “chess Mecca” city. Denver, for example, barely seems to have a chess-pulse next to Colorado Springs, the chess capital of Colorado by far.

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