Reality Check

Round 3

I played DuWayne for the second time, once again as Black.

The innocent looking 16..fxNe6 is a strategically losing move, even though Fruit gives it your ho-hum +.4 or so at first. The reason is due to 19.e5, which I saw as soon as he had played 18.Qc3 (I would have played this also, if I were him). I thought that I could hold the isolated e6 pawn position, but he showed in the post-mortem that it is not really possible. I asked him what about if I had played 26..Qe7, and he showed that he would have played Be2-d3-e4..BxB, QxB, and then pushed the c-pawn to c6, winning due to the weakness of the 7th rank combined with isolated pawn.

26…Re5?? was an obvious blunder which I saw as soon as I had let go of the piece, but was affected by time-trouble. I saw that he could have won almost immediately, but interestingly enough he knew right away that he had a won-ending (once again!).

At one point, we both had 30 minutes left, but then he pulled ahead on the clock for good. I did offer a draw, but it was out of naivety, as he knew what he was hoping to accomplish with the ending better than I.

I wish that I had more opportunities to play higher-rated players, as the pressure is off and it is somewhat okay to lose to them. There is no justification for playing or losing to a 1400 level player (other than to get a higher-rated in the next round), but losing every time to higher-rated over not playing at all, would be justified. 1400 should not even have the opportunity to play me, realistically, and even that is better than getting 900 rated opponent.

14…Ne5 would have been equal, but if White presses with 15.f4 Nc6 (I found this move, Fruit liked it better than it’s own ..Nd7 suggestion) and it is -.6 score.

This ending I played out with Fruit, the queen and pawn (which I am horrible at), and the queen, rook and pawn (which I am also horrible at), I spent some time studying with Fruit, and I could continue to spend more time with. Unless I am playing someone experienced, it is rare that I get an endgame lesson at G/90, not because I don’t suck but because most players suck even more than I do at endings and go for tactical middlegame battles instead.


2 thoughts on “Reality Check

  1. Tough game. I think you gave him too much space and control in the center.
    I would probably play 14… Nf6 instead of Nf8. Interesting that I thought about 14… Ne5, but didn’t like f4. After reading your comment I looked at Ne5 again – after f4 Nd7 White simply loses e4 pawn.
    I would avoid bishops exchange, you see, all this e5 stuff happened because of the weakened diagonal a1-h8.
    I think at least it’s a good learning experience.

    I played yesterday, it was 2000+ guy with whom I have +1, =2. He made a not sound sacrifice. I didn’t find the best moves, but still held on, then got better, then in time trouble he made a few decisive mistakes. My rating just dropped to 1781 after a terrible tourney, so it was a consolation.

  2. 1781, you are not far out of it, and probably back to 1800 with that win. 🙂

    When I blundered, I should have used more time because there is always a chance he will continue to use lots of time as well, he was down to about 6 minutes himself. I saw that it was a blunder, but then looked at a few other moves, and came back to it and played it, forgetting why it was a blunder. I call it “fibrillating” analysis when trying to speed up analysis artificially, and then can’t remember conclusions – I only still do that in time-trouble these days.

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