My Thursday game from last week featured a tactical meltdown against a Master.
I was low on time, and couldn’t afford to slug it out with 15.Ba4, which I knew was the correct move, but would take about another hour to play it out from.
However, my tactics were atrocious, missing the calculation that my Bb3 being sacked meant I couldn’t cover the Nb3 fork in time. Then I miss that I can win my rook back with 23.BxN RxN, 24.Ne4 (which I looked at, but because I was moving quickly only noticed that he can still stop mate). Black would still win, though, because the knight is beautifully trapped for an easy win in two different variations after 25..Bd5, 26.NxR Qxf6 (it would have been a flashy loss, at least).
Last night, I played in the Cabin Fever Reliever tournament, part 1, games 1 and 2 – games 3 and 4 will be held next Tuesday night.
I never even looked at 16.Ng5!! hitting f7 three times, and if for example ..Qd7 and ..h6, I have Ne4, Nc5 – this should be a winning position against an under 1800 player, but because of the time-control I felt I had to be more defensive minded, mostly fearing a …Na5 sort of move, or eventual ..Rad8.
The other thing, the trade of rooks on b8, I was planning on a move such as the correct 29.Re1, but when he played it, I suddenly wanted to give my king luft right away, and so play 29.RxR, 30.g3 almost to the rythm of the clock, throwing my last chance away.
I’ll post my round 2 game in a later this afternoon.
I have to say that the Open Defence is one of the more “iffy” lines at Black’s disposal – which is strangely why I picked it up, because I used to always lose online with it, and felt that I could learn most from it. Marc gets an unstoppable mating attack with the White piecs, but then plays the mating attack somehow positional instead. In an even ending Mark finds a risky way to play for chances. Okay, so I maybe weak tactically, but not so weak to fall for tricks easily, although I have against _him_ on a few occasions over the years.
I should take one of these tournaments off and study tactics instead. Lack of tactical study is holding back both my play and my rating from progressing as much as they should.