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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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.


8 thoughts on “The Mental Sadism of G/90

  1. 9 moves! At least it wasn’t a fool’s mate. πŸ™‚
    Congratulations on Wednesday’s game!
    I’ll look at the details. I don’t think you should take the knight on d4, gives him centralized queen.
    Tactics decided the game.
    It was so in my 3 games out of last 4, I won in them.
    I won on Monday against ~1625 rated guy and today against 1730, mated him with 32 seconds left (no increment) against his 6.

  2. Wow! No increment is tough. Mark had a mate in three once on no increment but had under half a minute against an unrated, so traded off all material and claimed a draw by insufficient mating material for the other guy.

    Congrats on your successful week! πŸ™‚ It feels good to be on a streak, or at least a positive trend. Maybe we are both back up to 1800 soon enough. πŸ˜‰

    I had only 1 hour of sleep the night before this Round 1 game (which is something I am planning to stop doing, although oddly it doesn’t affect my game except in tight positions which are sharp and require the will/ability to calculate a lot). So it’s actually 11 moves (seems like I should have known, since I put in the moves from memory, don’t know where I put the scoresheet) 6 min. 40 seconds, that is my new record for winning a rated game. πŸ˜‰ I was interested in playing Jason, who looks maybe 7-9 years old, because he had beaten Will Wolf, rated 1155, last weekend. Will had given me troubles in our last game (he had a forced draw), and I didn’t see him show up last Wednesday like he normally has.

    I was hoping at the end of this game he would play 11..Bb4, so I could have shown my prowess with 12.Bd2 (up a full queen). Yes, in my Wednesday game, taking the Nd4 is an interesting decision. I do it mainly because after e3, taking on d4 would give him the perfect pawn center. Taking on d4 as I did is really only a draw, since Fruit liked his Qh4, and then also the …Ng4 I saw immediately, which is then close to equal, but not so good in that White has the only winning chances in that endgame (except for mistakes). I was thinking if I don’t take, then he puts his Bb2, and I have to be prepared for even more dynamic attacks on my king at G/90, which I have learned to shy away from (once bitten by 1300, twice shy).

  3. Did you play yesterday/today?
    I didn’t play on Monday.
    I had an accident that day, my phone rang on the way to work, I was stressed and tired from the day before, lost concentration for the moment and hit the car ahead. Very little damage to that car, some to mine, the girl decided to go official way and I will have it on my record, the rate will go up.
    I was in some shock afterwards, but today I finally got to my senses.
    Left the car for repair, got a rental and went to the club.
    Played with the 72-year old guy, I have 5 draws with him.
    He played King’s Gambit (can you imagine in his age – he still has 1800 rating). I played Falkbeer, Nimzovich variation – c6 instead of e4.
    He won a pawn at some point and I fought for a draw, which I eventually got.

  4. Yeah, I would have let it slide, like Back when I got my Camry rear-ended. It seemed terrible at the moment I was getting rear-ended, but I never did anything about it, the car was fine and I didn’t try and collect anything for it. Sorry that happened to you like that.

    I played both days, posted the results.

    You are doing really well at G/90. Your clock-management skill picked up from blitz is helping you nicely to fight back into your games. πŸ˜‰

    I know what you mean about getting stressed over something. Like with my home refi. I get sorta “Alzheimer-y” when I get mental stress like that, just can’t concentrate on life in spots, like my brain is physically freaked-out. hehe. Luckily, this isn’t normal for me.

    It’s good to hear from you; this blog kinda dies without you. It’s just more games of me getting lost at sea at some point in a game of chess, not seeming to be worthy of publishing. I wish we played long games worthy of publishing, like players did in times past.

    BTW, don’t feel too bad about that accident on Monday, I know two people here who blew out their wheels on Monday because it was icy and they crashed into the side of the road and had to call a tow-truck. I would be screwed, no phone now, and no one to call for that matter, yikes.

  5. Yeah, that can happen in stuff like the Scotch too, I remember we played another game in that same variation except I won but I played like Bf5 I think instead of whatever I played in stead which made me drop the e pawn.

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