I wasn’t going to post this game because it is so incomplete (I’ve been messaging Anthea back and forth to get the rest of the game score, and her husband took her laptop with him – she was consoling afterward).

Anyway, the result to this game will bear no real relation to the actual moves you see. I was just winning this game it had seemed, the whole way through like a straight shot, even though an engine will say it’s += and no big deal (isn’t that all engines are good for?)

so here is the actual game: Round 2

I’m not sure about her last move because it ended up picking off my b-pawn instead. What eventually happened is that we traded rooks on a5 (she won a pawn on a5), then I played ..Qd5 trapping and winning her knight with around 15 seconds left. My knight was on c7, so that my QxNa5 was then protecting my Nc7. The pawn on e4 was boxing out her queen on h5 (now I remember that it was on h5).

With 5 seconds to play, I have queen and knight to her queen. She has h5, Kh6, g3, f3 and I have Kh7, h6, g7 and f5, totally winning. Really I should picked off her h-pawn, and then traded off queens and knight for the f-pawn. Instead I traded off queens and knight for f-pawn right away, but her advanced h-pawn made it a draw.

So, with 5 seconds on my clock, she made her pawn move and I knew it was a draw if she had played that move. I have two pawns, she has one, and I can simply take her final pawn and it is a draw, or not take it and it is still a draw. Anyway, I have one one of those “Bronstein moments” (his excuse for losing World Championship to Botvinnik in that one endgame) where I reflect on “How could I have let this happen? Every move leads to a draw!” Whereupon my clock started beeping, Anthea got the TD, and TD says she wins because she has mating material, even though I could take her last pawn or not take it and it is still completely obvious draw – she can stop my h-pawn.

I’ve kept my scoresheets, with clock times, and it made me think of time-goals that I am going to use for the future. There was no need for me to spend so much clock-time on moves I had seen right away, and then take ten minutes to play anyway. So, I’ve come up with a series of time-controls I am going to use on my score-sheet to prevent this sort of thing in the future. And yes, I should have simply forced the draw! 😉


3 thoughts on “Time-Pressure

  1. You overplayed her in the middlegame, she got kind of sloppy after first 20 moves.
    I think it is a good idea about the series of time controls.
    We can’t give away so many wins and rating points by you blowing it in the time trouble and me doing a similar thing, like last time – spent a lot of time to get advantage, didn’t use it, then got less time, my opponent created complications and I almost lost the game.

  2. Right, she was trying to create complications by blitzing in my time-pressure and it’s amazing how that backfires against my opponents. When I am really blitzing, I’ve proven that they are more horrible than I in blitzing, which means that they are mostly good at using _my_ clock-time, or simply playing a lot online and then knowing “their” own book responses ahead of time.

    She was typing a novel during the first half of the game, and then she got “mean” once I got into time-trouble, and she started blitzing me. What I really learned is that no matter whether people are just out to have fun playing chess, they are really super-duper out for blood as soon as a result is anywhere in sight. Lenderman says “there are no friends in chess.” I would say that that doesn’t go far enough, once the game begins, there are only “mortal adversaries” in chess.

    You are like me, very friendly, give people draws in their time-pressure, just like you gave me one when we played. You are very nice, but these people just use our niceness against us as if it were our chess weakness, as they would any type of advantage. There was no way she was winning this game, but she still jumped out of her chair to seek an arbitrator. I left immediately afterward, steaming mad that she didn’t offer a draw and that I had allowed that to happen (particularly because we are friends – I let her use my coffee mug to get coffee for herself during the game, if that is any idea). It feels like more of a sucker-punch if they are your friends.

    Still, it was a great lesson learned, if not about time-controls then about what people will go to in time-control situations, and it seems they nearly always do, you can just about count on it that they want to use your clock against you if it makes you stumble in any way and there are many ways to stumble when moving (and pressing clock) quickly.

    In Anthea’s defense, as with many class A players at these clubs, they are really blitz players who just happen to be patient enough to wait 90 minutes for me to make my moves. If I played my G/90 as a G/30, then many of them would as well.

    Before this game, I played Rhett (roughly 1900) a 10 minute game, and was trouncing him even a minute and a half into the game, kicking him backwards forwards and sideways, but then I didn’t have enough time to find the win and he won on time as I finally started making bad moves, going for mate instead of material.

  3. OT: Hey Linuxguy – played a 4-rounder yesterday (G/55, 5 sec delay). Well, “played” might be overstating it a bit, got a whole half-point out of the four games.

    Would you mind taking a look and commenting on them? Thanks!


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