This quad was dual-rated, which is why I went, wanted to have a chance to play some of the people who have been, for one reason or another dodging me lately (there is one G/30 rated quad the second week of every month, apparently), and perhaps gain back some rating points.
The tournament both was and wasn’t a disappointment. It was definitely a disappointment in that a 5 second delay does not an endgame make; I would like to see a 10 second delay, instead.
I’ll add the games as I get a chance to.
Round 1, as Black Drew Mark.
Mark is sitting on his 1700 floor after his last tournament, also a quad. He should have won this endgame, and yet it was I who had winning chances near the end! The game went on another 20 moves or so after the end of the given score. I forced a draw, was really just looking to get a draw out of this game anyway, and was inspired by RollingPawns when I played ..Be7, or in the immortal words of Al Davis “Just draw, baby!” hehe. Kidding.
I should have lost this game by not playing 26..g5, or what I like to refer to as “What Jeremy Silman would do.” I thought about injecting some risk into the game with 14..g5 or 14..Bb6, but at the last second realized that my goal was a draw and this risk stuff has had the nasty habit of blowing up in my face recently. I think that the opening-duel stuff is only good if you are booked up on a line, otherwise play the ..Be7 variation in the first place, for example.
Round 2, as White won against Isaac.
Yes, this game did get played til the mate, but that wasn’t the startling part of course. Isaac was doing his homework during the game when he lost the piece. I played h3, and wondered as I was playing it “What about ..Bxh3”. Isaac literally played ..Bxh3 as soon as I pressed my clock, which I began grinning about just as quickly. I could have played this ending even more strongly I thought, as could he, but the job got done in the end.
Round 3, as White lost on time to Gunnar, it was either just before or as I was pressing the clock.
Notes: When I played a3, I was hoping he wouldn’t play ..Be7, he gave me an advantage by not doing this. I was going to play Bd3xNf5 but decided to castle first, losing the exchange. When he castled queenside, I figured my chances were still probably just as good if not better, just because of my more extensive chess experience.
The engine liked a6, jamming his bishop to a8. I thought about this, that an engine would like it, but didn’t see it as being concrete after a …Ne7 move, but Black is still in a terrible bind with a6.
Like I told him after the game, I didn’t even really want to win back the exchange, but was better at that point. I refrained from NxBb5 because I was more worried about the pawn recapture, but he was going to correctly take back with the queen, which would have given me winning chances, although objectively it is a draw. My final move is a time-pressure blunder because just as in the simul, I miss that I have that defense with Qe1, if …Qc1. He saw that ..Qc2 was winning, after my blunder, and I was out of time anyway.
The way the game went, he was blundering in my time-pressure, but he was blundering so quickly that I was blundering in his faux “time-pressure”.
I still need to look at positions after the pawn recapture because the engine is showing that I obviously don’t know how to attack with my queen correctly from this position. It sucks that I am so freaked-out by when an opponent’s queen remains on the board late in the game.
It was definitely disappointing to contemplate the ending of the last game on the 5 second delay, and yet I played endings in all 3 games on the 5 second delay. So, I feel the 5 second delay is a big deal at G/30 and I would sincerely desire it to be lengthened. In the last game, he punched his clock and it always started counting from 4, but it just seemed like a second was missing and I was losing that second or more on every single move.
I really don’t see why this tournament couldn’t have started half an hour earlier, at 7:30 pm, then there would have been time to add that 10 second delay to the games. I find it disconcerting that people are there playing blitz for half an hour before the tournament started (I didn’t, wanted to save my energy instead). It just seems like there is no excuse. During the rounds I could hear clocks beeping with the inevitable “Drats!” to follow, by one of the players.
On a side note, I sort of flipped-out when I read on Spraggett’s blog that Svetozar Gligoric had died and immediately ordered a copy of his book “I Play Against Pieces” (before the price of it gets driven out of existence). I don’t play his openings or imitate his style at all, but I appreciate a great book written by a famous player who can really shed insight into what well-played chess is about.
I also purchased “Tigran Petrosian His Life and Games – Vasiliev”
because Petrosian just died, too. hehe.