Last Round Finish

This game was really busted up, but it was also exciting.

Round 4

I missed wins, and Alex missed wins. I think I was trying to have too much fun out of this game, and passed up the positional wins, and for that was losing outright many times as well. Alas, the Slav is a new defense for me, so I am playing it at least a hundred points more weakly than my general play.

The game itself lasted 70 moves or so before agreeing on a draw in a rook endgame with equal pawns on same side of the board. I lost my scoresheet and Alex has an accurate on. The last few moves are not accurate move order at all. In fact. he had a winning attack against my king as compensation for giving up his a-pawn. He had a Ng5 move which was simply winning. The blunders in this game are too obvious to bother pointing them out, or at least with an engine they are. The Slav is very live and die by tactics opening. It is the Sicilian Defense of 1.d4.

I sensed the winning moves in this game right away, but I got cute at those critical times, and really wanted an interesting game. At a tournament where there are 3 rounds in a day, I want to end a game right away if I can to save energy and usually have the extra clock time to ensure I can find those wins and not lose on time.


2 thoughts on “Last Round Finish

  1. Thanks, RollingPawns! 🙂

    I think that if me and Alex weren’t best buddies, that we would have crushed each other during various points of this game. Inwardly, I think neither one us want to beat one another unless it’s in some intricate way late in the game. For example, as soon as he had played BxNf6, my hair stood on ends, for I felt he had made a game-losing blunder, but then decided to blow it off and play for later stuff, see how the game develops more naturally, germaine, wanted to build up more experience with this opening.

    I thought there would be a tactic after his ..Qb2 move, that’s why I played anti-positional by not playing pxp. PxP was already too ho-hum, yeah I’m probably winning (I guess I was already looking for a tactical finish!). He spent a long time on his move right before it, so I was already looking to punish him in some tactical way, but of course there is nothing better than to play the best move. There were no tactics for me, only for him.

    I’ll try to fix the game score some time later, maybe next week, since he did get another winning chance against my king.

    The thing that surprised me the most in this game is that every time I flippantly passed up on the win, suddenly his position became the winning one. It wasn’t the case where a second-rate move still gets the advantage against a bad move. The position required accuracy or the eval could immediately do a flip-flop, which is very difficult to deal with psychologically. For example, I mentally crumpled with …Qd3, should have played …Qc5 I thought, after making the move.

    I’m still trying to reconcile how to play at G/90. My losing streak has shown a very common thread in all the games. I don’t know when to go for a tactic, when to play positionally – game after game after game I am doing the one where I should be doing the other. I don’t feel this sense of discombobulation at slower tournament time-controls, but G/90 has me bouncing around like a yo-yo on this point. I have not solved this conundrum yet. It feels like “chess-suicide”, more and more frequently.

    Also, I have been afraid to play positional moves which at first appear anti-positional, but are really quite strong or acceptable moves – I haven’t been trusting positional calculation unless it’s something I just know from somewhere before and don’t have to calculate it, can just feel it instead.

    It’s funny that I say this because I’ve just started on Petrosian’s book, and I think that Petrosian’s games are the best example of positional play of any of these 1960’s superstar GMs. This is the first sort of hide the move and guess it type of games I am really finding. Most games seem to be about two players trying to go buck-wild on one another. Petrosian actually answers the question of how to play a position positionally, which other game collections don’t seem, they only seem to say “maximize everything”, so that every move has be tactical/positional. Petrosian actually answers how to play knights vs. bishops, when to trade for initiative, when to regroup, etc. This is the most perplexing part of chess, and the part that stagnates many a chessplayers’ game, I believe. RP doesn’t seem to have this problem, but I have it in spades – it kills me on the clock, BTW, every freaking time.

    Oh, yeah, this positional part of the middlegame is also the part where most player’s don’t give a darn because “Fritz says it’s equal”, and then they scratch their heads as to why they lost the initiative or thread of the position (they don’t even do that, in reality, they just think they make a tactical blunder a few moves later). The part of the game where it’s equal is where most of us need to improve! BTW, I am always thinking to myself “Yeah, Fritz says it’s equal, because we KNOW that you will find all of those computer-moves that only an engine will find to save a position (ignoring the fact, of course, that computer’s frequently change their minds and say “Whoops! It’s really losing after all!).

    This game of Petrosian’s is amazing, particularly from a practical point of view, but alas I believe would be incredibly difficult to play at G/90, if not impossible. Still, I found it to be a great learning game for me. 😉

    1715 rating on ChessTempo. I can’t believe they are calling a mate in 6 to be a 1575 rated problem; the one right before that was a mate in 4 – I got both of them right. It’s a weighty rating, but it requires time. You may have to be prepared to spend 9 minutes OTB on such a mate. So, even for being “on”, it still requires a great commitment of time.

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