So, after losing the last two games at the G/30 Cabin Fever Reliever tournament, and after having a winning position in both games, not to mention my poor showing on Thursdays, I felt that I needed to turn this show around.
Cabin Fever Round 3
I was up a pawn, but played risky d4 instead of castling (Sacking the exchange was also a bad idea, but I correctly used psychology to guess that he would let me build a big center.
I missed a draw with 39.Qf7, mostly due to lack of experience here. I also missed a winning position with 21.Qc3, I believe it was. Threatening a whole lot of things, the g-pawn, c-pawn, opening up files against king and bishop is hanging, etc.
Cabin Fever Round 4
This game was ridiculously winning and hardly requires a comment. I really did figure out the best continuation after the game, but of course by “Fritzing” the position during the game just to test myself meant that I was too low on time and too weak tactically to find the sacrificial killshots at the end (there were many). I knew I wasn’t going to win the tournament and so unfortunately didn’t care about losing, but Tim beat an Expert and won the tournament!
I was going to play the winning 21.Qg4+ instead of 22.Qf5, but with seconds left on my clock began to doubt myself, as I had trouble judging compensation (yes, every move does win. lol) and am not used to strange material imbalances so afforded myself the luxury of needlessly looking at all kinds of lines deeply, and optimizing them for Black.
I missed a trick, though, which Tim saw, to his credit. Nxc7, and then instead of NxRa8, to play Nd5 forking his Qe7 or Qf6 and Bb4, but I was looking at all kinds of stuff which was valid but not necessary to look so deeply into.
Thursdays Round 3
I played a little shaky or overly steady, depending on how you want to look at it, against this 1,000 rated kid. Missed my chances, but I thought I had played it rather well, not sitting back, enticing him into some traps, etc.
Thursdays are difficult for me because I only give myself a few hours sleep, and then work a non-stop roller-coaster ride at work for 8 hours that day.
Wednesdays Round 3
Poor Isaac became the victim of my fury over the Tuesday debacle. He played the incorrect 8.Bb3 instead of 8.Be2, and then topped it off with f4 and h3, which practically handed me the game.
Wednesdays Round 4
I don’t know why on earth I play on Thursdays, though (not to mention Tuesday action-chess) if I care at all about my rating. It’s too bad that I can’t get off from work to play on weekend tournaments, where I could focus more, and get some more clock-time during my games. Oh well.
As for the game, I couldn’t believe my eyes when Paul played 14…Nxd4??, figured he might play 14…Bd6 or some other move. But, he is the most speculative 1900 player that I have come across, and I was half-banking on some sort of weird reaction like this during the game.
I felt like a dope going into that queen and knight endgame position, and played it rather poorly, but I saw the light when he didn’t play something like 36.e4 (say ..Qd4), Qf3+, but actually I could defend in that position. In the real game position (missed this in the recreation because I was blitzing) I thought my king was on h2 and he had ..e4, Qd4 e3!. All this is to say that I was more than happy to give up the h-pawn (was quite relieved). Originally, I should have moved my king to protect my knight but didn’t think of it and had the bad reaction of playing Kh2.