I played a Master

Round 3

I lost on time, never blitzing or even trying to, but leave it for the strangest part to come after the game. I actually flagged myself and said that he was winning after 37.Nxd5 whereupon he said “No, I got nothing.” So, we skittled it out, and even Paul A, an Expert didn’t think White is winning, and I was incredulous that they could think such a thing.

Anyway, it is just skittles, but here is how our skittles continuation went:

I pleaded my case that simply 44.Rb5+ and 45.Rxa is winning, and he was like no I would play this, and it ends up a draw. Then he agrees and says I am right. This is like one of those moments where you think you are dreaming in one of those dreams where you know it is only a dream. Then he says that I would be a Grandmaster if I didn’t keep losing on time. I am completely flattered since he didn’t even laugh when he said it. BTW, completely winning is 44.Rf7, it’s like +2.5, and 45.Rxa is also winning easily like I had thought.

Obviously, he outplayed me and outclassed me during this game. I should have gotten a b5 sac attack in there instead of 10..Qa5? (which I didn’t realize that the combo was bad for me until after the game). I had looked at 10..b5, 11.exd b4, and me and my buddy agreed that I should have played it in the game. Even later, Brian W. suggested that I should have played …b5 instead of ..Nb6. I played that too tamely and simply let him squeeze me with his super-slow pawn push against my kingside strategy. So I just now looked at it with Fruit, and yes Black does get a tiny edge plus initiative. Too bad that I wasn’t so bold until after the game, since there is really no drawback to it, and it avoids the squeeze that White later put on my with pawns. I should have garnered more initiative. So not only was his sac a good one, but it was mainly so because it won him initiative, and not because of material considerations. I simply wasn’t valuing the initiative as much as I should have been.

The endgame is pretty easy for White to win, I even lost a couple moves to show that it is not sharp play required. White can even let Black queen because White will have queen, rook and pawn against rook and knight which wins very quickly for White, after the pawns promote (Black will have to blockade a pawn by sacking bishop in order to stall White). Sacking bishop for pawn also loses.

Another weird thing about this game, yes I called my own flag, and that is because my clock went to 59 minutes and blah and blah seconds instead of running out and I questioned him about this. He said “Oh yeah, that was the last time control that Dean had set with this clock.” During the game, towards the end naturally, I felt certain that the 5 second delay had not been set and so this is probably why. I could have used my own clock and set, but since his clock had been set properly the week before (assuming it was the same clock), I didn’t suspect anything. So really, I was going to lose on time no matter what, but no one watching said anything about it after the game. It’s one of those things you can feel during the game, that the 5 second delay was not set, but I should have checked it at the beginning, although I have always been trusting of others.


2 thoughts on “I played a Master

  1. I am not sure about 10… b5 11. exd5 b4 since after 12. Nce2 Qa5 13. Be1 White wins b4 pawn and after 12… b3 White also keeps an advantage.
    Computer wants to play 9… Be6 with an equal play.
    It was a tough game, your opponent played very well.
    In the endgame his rook is very strong and gives him a win.
    I think it was a good learning experience.

  2. After the game, Alex pointed out “why do you want to defend those pawns, they are in your way!” About this time I was looking at ..11.b4, 12.Nce2 cxd, and 13.Qxb4?! is already falling into -+ territory after 13..Nc6. Black has open files against the White king, including the c-file.

    The super-GMs know when not to take a pawn. Computers don’t understand this until you show them the position two moves later, then they change their minds and say “Yeah, eating that pawn is very bad!” People will start with this thought in mind, whereas computers will only end up at this point once you point it out to them.

    The key is that you can only beat the Master by sacking against him, as he is going to see everything else. The Master has eventualities stacked in their favor, that is what you cannot wait for those eventualities to take place. The sacrifice can change the evaluation of the position.

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