Wake-up Call

Maybe I should preface this game. I had a headache before the game (chessed out? Yeah), so I took 2 tylenol and 2 aspirin and was quite relieved that I was initially paired with Shirley because I really didn’t feel up for a game. Well, Anthea never called or anything to say she wasn’t coming, so the pairings changed and now I am playing Richard, who beat Imre 1900 last month.

I don’t know how thoughts swirl through my head without getting played, but it’s obviously due to lack of focus.

Round 3

I thought about playing 20…g5, knowing that he would have to mess up his kingside to dislodge my knight, and I could play ..ke7 as well – result? Didn’t play it. Partly, it must have been because I was playing against lower-rated, but I also realized that at G/90 I really have to be pumped to play a good game. In fact, it wasn’t until I had half an hour left on my clock that I finally decided that I needed something, sugar or coffee to get me going and purchased/drank two cups of coffee; of course, it takes longer than that for coffee to kick in.

Anyway, I was hope-chessing it big-time. I think a big part of the problem is that it is too easy to be self-congratulatory that you have saved “X” much time on the clock. For example, I had spent only 8 minutes playing my first 12 moves. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the chess board doesn’t give a damn about our clocks, yes that is truly unfortunate.

I felt like …c5 was a blunder, but I have such a hard time willing myself to sit tight and defend, particularly against 1500 player (believe me, if I had known how it would turn out against him, I would have paid a lot more attention to this game). My buddy tells me he is leaving for the East coast – well, he hasn’t left yet! (in Colorado, the rumor-patrol here likes to announce things months in advance).

I looked at the saving moves such as 26..Bh3, 27.Rd1, but wasn’t taking anything too deeply/seriously. After 27…RxR, 28.RxR Rd8, 29.e5 Nf8, 30.Rc7 Rd7 holds. Was I looking this deep? Not at all, I was too busy worrying about my clock and making moves which don’t lose right away quickly.

The whole hand-wringing over the clock thing has reached it’s apex. What really matters is that to play at G/90 you really have to be charged up before the game, like my buddy Alex was. If I don’t drink a couple cups of coffee or something, and I’m not focused, I can’t really play recognizable chess. Deep lines do need to be considered, and strong moves cannot be passed up, while pushing things off for later.

Clock-watching chess has no soul. G/90 is a sport. I didn’t want to have to drink all that coffee and now stay up all night, but it appears there is no other option unless I don’t care about winning chess games. 6pm is really a late, and unnatural start time. G/90 combined with 6pm start time is truly f*cked, but that’s just the way it is. My opponents rarely look tired, so I can’t be either.

Not only was my opponent focused, but I felt he played incredibly strong for his rating. I felt that I could have drawn with 27…Nc8? but he even knew that that was a blunder because of 28..Nb7, which would have only added to my already healthy blunder total in this game. He dropped a pawn in the opening, but after that the blunder-parade was all on me.

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2 thoughts on “Wake-up Call

  1. Except for the opening you don’t look yourself in this game.
    31… f6 was losing the game after f5, but he didn’t play it and then after 43… Nd4 he could win on the spot with Ng6, but played Nf7. This ending doesn’t look easy. What we can do, learn …

    I had the same story today, lost to an expert. I had +1 after 19 moves, even spent less time and then the energy charge finished and my accumulated tiredness showed up. I made a simple blunder and a few moves another one and lost the game.

  2. That’s exactly what happened in this game, the (nervous) energy charge wore off.

    I’m learning that at night, in G/90, I simply need coffee and even Vitamin B pill – I hadn’t been doing either of these on Wednesdays and is one reason I was losing to seemingly everybody. Most only show up at one tournament, so they come in ready to pack a punch that will last them the whole week.

    I lost to near-Expert tonight, can totally relate to what you just said, except this time it was simply, once again, a situation where I allowed myself to be outplayed positionally, (tactically) and lapsed on defense. You make playing defensively seem effortless, but I know at the board how gut-wrenching it is to buckle down and play a stout defense.

    Right, the f5 move (with e6 idea) is crushing, and I was hoping he would not play Ng6, but a bad position is a bad position, so there are usually numerous weaker alternate wins, and I realized that …Nf7 was one of those moves when I saw it.

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