A big problem for me with these never-ending weekly tournaments has become consistency. This Wednesday I was feeling well, good but not great. By Thursday I only got 5 hours of sleep (I say only because I used to catch up on sleep my first day of the week off, before my schedule change).
Anyway, I went on an afternoon movie date (first-date), which cut into my sleep, and by the time I got to the tournament I was feeling tired in my legs (when I get “bone-tired” even my thighs want to rest and not sit). Well, I forgot my vitamin B, which I usually only take when I do something this foolish anyway, and now I resorted to six cups of coffee with sugar during the game. Well, you can guess the rest. I felt the coffee/sugar high go away and I knew I needed to keep drinking to stay awake but decided not to.
When Alex played 22.Nh5, I said “aw, shoot!” under my breath, seeing the point of 23.QxRf1 immediately. Then I began to think how I could fashion a draw with 22…Rf5, but then realized that c6 would still be left week. Anyhow, I started to get really tired and don’t know why I didn’t ask for a draw because I wanted one at this point, and Alex had already offered one. So I played 22…Rh6??, took one look at Alex’s face eyeing 23.QxRf8 mate and resigned.
The funny thing is that I never remembered initially seeing that threat, and my reaction to his move, that’s how out of it I was. It was only yesterday that I thought to think about it again that I remembered that this had happened.
Anyways, after the game Alex was very gracious, but Daniel quoted Tartakover’s “I have never beaten a healthy opponent.” Incidentally, Tartakover made that statement as an old man at the end of his career.
I find it so ironic that even Spraggett on his blog delivers a smack-down to Ashley Tapp that she couldn’t perform in one of her games because her one eye was burning the whole game. The real lesson in all this has nothing to do with excuses (which has mysteriously eluded many intelligent people). The lesson in all of this is “Don’t expect to not lose a chess game if you are not healthy!!” Duh!
I took half a day off work one day this week because my health was rock-bottom. I went for two walks and then jogged back to back! Felt worlds better.
As for the game, I intentionally allowed him to play his knight to the kingside (seeing that I could have prevented it by reaching the …Ba6 move a move earlier), but I had completely underestimated his play of ..Nf5 followed by ..h5, which he had seen. Alex is very deserving, and so I am glad that my points went to him, but it was not lost on me that chess-skill is not the most important thing, your health is. G/90 is also a real crucible, litmus test of one’s health and fitness.
Perhaps a little know fact is that I beat a famous Master (who’s rating was down to may 2165 at the time) when I was a 1400 level player. It as at 30/90,SD/30 He had said it would be a house-game, and my recollection is that he said it would be unrated. Anyway, he had the flu and saw two sacs against me (I was playing C3 Sicilian as White). Computer had him up 4.65. He had one brilliant sac and one loser, saw both, but chose the loser and I won.
Another time, at that time, I won a game and a 1900 player said that “no way could I have seen the 6 move mate ahead of time” which I did see, of course, and play. I won the DeVry chess championship at my school two out of three years, never got a promised trophy because of “the school budget” – what a joke, haha.
We’ve been 1800, we’ve done it, don’t need to prove it. Need to prove we can stay healthy and fit! That would appear to be the new challenge.