Still Coasting

Round 1

You’d think that after last night’s game that I would go for a sharper finish, but mediocrity has become my latest trend, sort of like ‘taking the day off’ and yet still playing.

Today I hung sheet-rock and mowed weeds. No coffee or tea before the game, and was playing my chess buddy. IOW, my motivation to finish strong wasn’t very high.

This game should have ended soon after his sac, and I did see the stronger continuations that I didn’t play. For example, I played Rxc8 in only a few seconds, but as soon as I played it I was shaking my head that I did not play Qa4+ first. That sort of thing. He liked his sac and was upset that he lost. I guess this is what I get for not putting the game away sooner. I was practically winning an even endgame, instead of refuting his sac.

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4 thoughts on “Still Coasting

  1. His 13… Rc8 was a blunder. He was worse before the sac.
    I don’t like it at all, it is completely not sound. His pieces are not developed and his king is in the middle of the board, what the hell is he thinking sacrificing?
    Yeah, Qa4 was winning on the spot.
    I can only tell you that some of my worst games (which I won nevertheless) were against lower rated opponents, where I just couldn’t motivate myself enough.

  2. He accidentally took both of our score-sheets with him, so I had to recreate this game from memory. I believe he played the Rc1 and then Qc7 right after I played Nc7, so as to not hang his b7 pawn. The position where he sacked his knight is accurate though.

    I don’t know why he thought that was an okay sacrifice. I told him that all of my pieces were developed, and I had castled, so it’s not going to have a great effect for Black. I told him that he should castle first, and that move would probably still be there later.

    I went to make a call to my mom about the earlier work in the day, and when I came back he said “I gotcha!” while we were both in the hall. I saw right away that after Nxd4 Qxe5, Nf3 that Black had nothing but a lost position.

    I’ve kidded many times with him and said “I would give you a pawn just to trade queens (and win an ending)”. I’ve told him many times that it’s the endgame where he lets up. After the game, we played a bishop vs. two pawns ending where he draws.

    In any case, my plan was to win an even ending or with some advantage, and he offered me a draw a couple of times because he thought it was drawable. I was confident that I could win the ending nonetheless. So this point of endings was somewhat lost on him, although he was impressed that I could play it so quickly.

    It’s strange how the lower-rated player can lose by making evaluation errors, but I think this is a common reason for losses once one gets past the hanging of pieces stage.

    I was surprised, still, that he thought this sac was okay, made me think he hasn’t learned anything from me, or I taught him the wrong thing and made him want to sac material more. If I had ended it quickly, he would have learned more. Oh, it also made me realize that all of those games you and I have played on FICS really have helped shape our understanding of what is possible and what is not. Even if we blunder, we know if we are still better, equal, or worse often. Some players have a lot of skill, and can potentially win many games against us, but their evaluation ability is still not as keen. I was able to evaluate, but did not execute well after the middlegame blunder-sac.

    “I can only tell you that some of my worst games (which I won nevertheless) were against lower rated opponents, where I just couldn’t motivate myself enough.

    hehe. Winning ugly against lower-rated is still a win, agreed, who cares how ya do it. 🙂 This week was liking taking a break because there wasn’t much to analyze from these games. I could show up more tired than usual, grab a win, and not spend too much time or energy worrying about it once it was over. 😉

  3. 32.Be5 should be a lot better. I played for safety, which usually leads to equality, and yet still won. Against a stronger player, my chess-laziness would be harder to get away with.

    I pretty much let him know well before that his goal should be the middlegame and that I would be trying to beat him from equal endings. I don’t know why it should be such a shock for my opponent that I would try and win an equal ending, even if I was under 5 minutes on the clock.

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