Goodbye, 2012, I will miss you!

2012 will end on a positive note for me. 🙂

My last round of Thursdays for 2012: Round 4

This game will strike a familiar refrain, where I bail out of my own attack with 18…Qe7 instead of 18…Qf5! (which I had looked at the whole time but rejected at last thought). I didn’t realize that …Qh7 with ..g5 could be so -+.

I get so emotional during my games, by thinking that both sides are winning the same position simultaneously. haha.

I finished with four minutes on my clock. This is a positive thing, because for one I have all of my moves written down, and for two it means that I should be able to handle a time-control such as 40/90, G/30 with no blaming of the clock.

Last Round of Wednesdays 2012

Well, unlike Alex’s game, where he offered a draw and finished in a 3-way tie for first, my Round 4 game had no remunerative consequences, it was just a game.

Neither side found any spectacular continuation, but there is one noteworthy footnote to this game, I had five minutes exactly left on my clock at the end of this game (as compared to my [fill-in-the-blank] opponent’s one hour remaining).

I thought I was a fool for taking the pawn, as I had calculated his line played and then changed my mind once I noticed he had …Be7 instead of …Bb4. I also predicted that Fruit would have probably ended up playing Kf1 in reply to ..Bh4+. Truly a position that only a computer could love for White. Computers eat pawn-grabbing up, but I can’t imagine Petrosian ever taking such a pawn. Tigran would rather offer you a winning double rook-sac than to greedily take such a pawn out of the opening (Victor Kortchnoi would probably take it with glee, however).

Interesting game, but this time I decided to leave the OTB post-game analysis in-game routine at home. Can always analyze a G/90 game, post-mortem style, at home.

I feel bad for Fred because after the game I forgot to show him my one tactic which I was prepared to blitz out, if he had played 31…hxg5 (which is where he thought he went wrong). I had found and would have played the picturesque 32.Bc1 Nxf4?? (the g5 pawn is going, anyhow), 33.Bf4 Kd6, 34.Rd1+ wins the knight. I missed some other decisive tactics, and some nice defenses that Fruit found however – such as 8.Qd4 instead of 8.Qe2.

Another strange aside is that I didn’t remember the move-order of the game afterward as well as I normally do in the games where I get into time-pressure during a game. Previously, I was doing more of a “post-mortem” during the game, figuratively speaking, and this time I went for finding the “workable move” strategy as is given under the title of my blog.

I’ve read all of the comments to my blog and just now responded to them. Thanks for all of the support, guys, and for making this an interesting place to talk and blog!

Paradise Lost and Restored

On Wednesday both my nerves and nervous energy weren’t present. Perhaps a combination of refraining from coffee on my days off, then my fence blowing down, and then sliding into the median (no damage done) on a snowy street with my car, and Alex in it. My nerves were shot before the game, and then I simply ran out of energy during the game, could not calculate any longer. I saw that I could win a pawn, but could not calculate it clearly and so did not play it. I could not calculate the defense either, thought that …Qc7 was dropping an exchange but it isn’t. This short game is very tactical under the covers.

Paradise Lost

On Thursday, I was determined to play a solid game. For once, my play is more reminscent of a well-played game on FICS except better. Patient, and positionally sort of brilliant for a change.

Paradise Restored

After 18.Be2! Black has no defense to the f4-f5 threat. For example, …Ng6 simply drops the d6 pawn, and then the Nc5 is loose too. Even 18…Bc8 fails to 19.f4, 20.e5 I saw this trap when I played it. IOW, it came as no surprise to me when, facing such difficulties, Alemayehu dropped a piece.

Pop in your own pgns here

http://www.chessvideos.tv/chess-game-uploader.php

The above link can replace ChessFlash, as that site no longer allows new posting/editing of games as one’s own blog as it had in the past.

Legacy

One thing I and RollingPawns share is that we have both played far more chess games online than we have OTB. Most of my best games have been online games. Online chess is less “correct”, less defensive, but one’s real chess-self comes out more easily.

This LinuxguyonFICS game took me back to when I first reached 1872 on FICS, four years ago. My best rating on FICS, 1876, was nearly two years ago. Before FICS, there was the 1,000 or so games on YahooChess, and likewise the same thing before that on KasparovChess.com; I was even on ICS at one point. The funny thing is that you remember relationships along the way, your real life, more than chess, even for a guy who isn’t married, and doesn’t have kids.

Two years ago I had my last cat, a girlfriend, was trying to work for myself, and had just done the Michael De La Maza go crazy on tactics thing. I was much newer to Colorado, still. I see my mom a lot more now than I had before, but haven’t seen my dear old dad or sister in the past three years.

What will the future bring? Who knows, but probably something quite different on the non-chess side, still.

    Update:

I played a Standard game tonight on FICS, dropped a piece in an easily winning postion against a 1734 rated player – I was tight, looking for a cheap win.

But after the next few games, my rating on FICS had reached an all-time high of 1894.

White: LinuxGuy (1871)
Black: yasargil (2041)
Result: 1-0
The Game
The finish might be Qb3+ followed by Rc6+.

Postscript:
I lost the points all the way back to 1872. I had a mate in 2 that would have taken me to 1900, but it was 15/0 and I made a faulty pre-move with my queen with 3 seconds left that dropped her. In another game my opponent hung his bishop, but I moved so fast that after I had made my planned move in time-pressure I was like “wait, din’t he just hang his bishop before I moved?”

I got to play 3 Experts in one night on FICS. The way best for me to play on FICS is to have at least a 5 second increment, and then play 1800+. This way, it’s good instructive chess, and still challenging – you really get a true sense of where your chess is at this way. Blitz is great for losing a lot of games trying out new openings.

At last…..I reach 1900 on FICS with this win:

LinuxGuy (1884) vs Cakeovic (2003)

Say Goodbye to Endgames

Well, the theme in both of my games this week was the same. Much like a comically recurring Southpark skit “Hey, you killed Kenny!”, G/90 for me has become “Hey, you killed the endgame!”

In Wednesday’s game, I had a winning attack against Alex, but then came the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, the clock.

Wednesday Round 2

I was going to play 19.Rc2, having seen his Bg5 coming in advance, and it looked very convincing, but then in time-pressure made the ill-fated decision to “streamline” the game, by getting rid of his “good” bishop and simplfying the attack in time-pressure. Actually, in time-pressure there is no time for a real endgame, only checkmates.

I was planning on playing 23.Qxb6 (+.6), but then blurted out 23.Re7?? instead, getting way ahead of myself, and the position. I played this continuation with Qxb6 against Fruit, and it was mate after 96 moves. Mate in 96 moves at G/90 is virtually synonymous with losing on time for all but the wunderkinder, and the clock managers.

I can’t even recreate the rest of the game, but needless to say I made many glaring blunders.

In Thursday’s game, after 4.5 hours of sleep, which was disciplined for me, I was very tired during the first half of the game, probably because the day before I had signed papers for re-financing my house, and even left my phone there. So yeah, my mental stress for the week, along with not being able to fix the wires for my car’s breaks after an hour, and so driving around town with no break lights, yet again.

Thursday Round 2

Dwayne played a “fishing pole” move, Ng5 with h4, which is a cult-theme for Colorado for those not in the know, everyone in CO is supposed to know the “fishing pole” like the back of their hand. I played ..h6 fully expecting h4 way in advance.

As soon as I had played 12…Ne8, I knew I had blundered the exchange. Funny how this move isn’t easy to see until after making the blunder. Nevertheless I still had to throw cold-water on my face to wake up, a few moves after this.

After 36…Bc1 it was really hard to create the rest of the game, because it was so planless – it’s like trying to remember a lack of reasoning. But, the game generally went like this nevertheless, although I probably had a Bd5 instead of a Be4. With Nd5 and Be4, Black has a dead won endgame.

After DuWayne blundered(?) his c4 pawn, I offered a draw, but he had 2 1/2 minutes to my 1/2 minute. A loss is a win, and a win is a loss at that time advantage, apparently. I played completely aimlessly, other than for a short attempt to win his d4 pawn.

I called my own flag when all that was left on the board was his king, rook pawn on h4, and queen, vs my king and knight. He had 9 seconds remaining, but curiously he has an Excalibur clock which ran all the way to 0 after I had flagged and resigned.

If only this were 30/90 G/30, or 40/90, G/30. Either way, there would be time for a nice endgame, and draw offers would still hold some relevance or better yet not be needed until it was an obvious thing. If only….

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

The Mental Sadism of G/90

Perhaps this term best describes what has happened with club chess, because of its ever quickening time-controls; you’ll rarely hear it mentioned though.

Here’s what I am getting at: It’s Round 1 tonight, and I am playing against Josh, who beat me last time we played in a swindly way, so perhaps it was my turn to return the favor.

I didn’t know what his repertoire would be as White, let alone that who would show up tonight period. 1.c4, my least prepared opening as Black, and that is saying something. I continue on and fall into my usual time-trouble, as if I had never seen a chess opening before. 😉

Okay, so I am getting outplayed, in an opening I don’t have a great feel for, as White naturally should here. I see …Ng4 right away, but don’t like how in one line he can end up playing a Bh3, skewering a Ng4 and future ..Rc8 (after Nd5-e7+-c8), but Fruit shows that I could then play ..f5 and the endgame is even (it would take time OTB to gain a feel for such an evaluation).

I play …Rad8 and am back to my very old habit of seeing my blunders as I am moving the piece. He spends around 20 minutes easy before finally taking my pawn. Truthfully, I was overjoyed after he had taken 5 minutes, and Fruit says I am right, that my position only worsened from like -1 to -1.1. So, obviously he should have snapped that pawn off instantly.

Once again, I am hanging around, just trying to survive, and it takes me a long time to decide on play 21…c5.

Later, I was going to correctly play 23..Rd7-d8, freeing up a retreat square for my bishop, and after a Nb6 move, I’d have to play this retreat anyway. But last second, like a finger-fehler, I decide to play my queen back instead and no sooner had I moved it than that chill goes up my spine that I forgot about my bishop, it is toast.

Here’s the interesting part, so once again I am waiting for the hangman to play f5, but instead e5 appears on the board. I am happy that this is suddenly giving me a whole lot more outs. The kicker is that he spent a long time on this move – before this move he was up on the clock 25 minutes to 8.

I am watching his clock, and he is following me into time-pressure with this 2 1/2 minutes to my 1 1/2 minutes. Then, possibly the inevitable happens, a blunder is made in time-pressure. His king being the more open one, you can only guess who this is going to affect more. I am blitzing my moves right up to the end, and didn’t really seem to use anymore time off my clock.

A lot of tactics were missed in this “tactical blitz session”. I should have played 28…Qd4+ instead of 28…Qb6, it would have been about 2 points better. Also, I play Rxa2 before spotting RxBg2, which by this moment had become an egregious error. This is what I had been hoping for all along, the thinking goes like this “Okay, he knows his opening better than I do, but I’ve probably been studying more tactics lately than he has, so perhaps we can simply blitz tactics at the end” and so this was the prognostication which did come true in this particular case.

This describes the sadism of G/90, but at least I’ve apparently become conditioned to it enough that my G/2 should be much improved now. 😉

BTW, I don’t think I’ll play on Thursdays this month. The two nights together at such a demanding time-control are asking too much. I am planning on trying this out for this month. I’d like to play both nights, but my brain doesn’t get enough sleep between the two days, and then work and the late 6pm start are asking a lot. Then I drink a lot of coffee to compensate and that wears me out even more at work, which is an extremely stressful, fast-paced, go-go-go job.