G/90 – The Defects of It

….is very limiting.

After I went over the Game with Paul, I berated myself to my friends that I had not found the winning 26…Rf6 ++-. I spent time considering it and the more “postional” looking …Rf7. Incidentally, I though after the game what a crock that the word “positional” is, it’s really just a wise-@ss way of saying what move one should have been played with hindsight – apart from that, the word “positional” is really a fabrication and very harmful to the experienced player, I now feel.

With my 40th move …g5?? I knew that I had blundered the moment that I had instantly played it. I had 1 minute and 21 seconds left after trading queens, plenty of time to make a 40 move time-control, avoid that blunder and draw the game with a seconds time-control. [BTW 37…Qc3 holds onto the pawn]

They say that chess is a game, as in just a game, but it’s really just a game for weaker players. If I had won this game I would have won $40, that’s like half a day’s work after taxes for me, so it’s not really “just” a game anymore than my going to work each day is just a game. Paul was very happy to have made his Expert rating back, and it seems more than likely that he won’t be playing next month.

I looked up after playing 47…Bb4 to see that I had just flagged. It wasn’t a difficult move, and I was just double-checking, having a quick look around the board.

The thing of it is that in this day and age of digital clocks, there is really no excuse for not having an increment as part of the time control. Another thing is that we don’t have a second time-control, and yet everyone has enough time to stand around and shoot the sh*t for an hour after their games, including mine. So, we don’t have an increment, and we don’t have a second time-control

So what then is G/90, with 5 second delay? G/90 is horrible combination of both classical and blitz chess. One needs to be composed enough in the opening to find an advantage, and then in the middle-game maintain that advantage, while still having enough energy and crack-addicted like reflexes to shoot out saving moves in a time-scramble.

I was very composed today, didn’t even remove my sweater, but did not flip that switch of being like a person on speed in my time-pressure. Why should I have to, why should this be part of classical chess? My point is that I knew in my heart immediately after losing on time that even had I not dropped the b7 pawn that I would have lost on time in an even position just because I was being a little too “casual” making my moves – and why should this be such a chess sin? A major feature of chess is it’s subtlety, and should be more of a feature than the frailty of humans to hold onto their material in time-pressure.

Funny thing about this opening is that I just played the exact same line this morning in this Blitz Game that happened in our game last night. It’s weird how the opening in the blitz game was played so much more believably. I guess online, the faster the game, the more people know their openings. It’s uncanny how I flagged on move 40 taking his pawn – the postion should be a draw. See, even blitz needs a second time-control! Where was the ending? πŸ˜‰

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21 thoughts on “G/90 – The Defects of It

  1. You were definitely better after the opening.
    Not only 21… Rf6, but earlier 17… Qa5+ were giving you a big advantage.
    It’s too bad the game ended like this.
    You are right about G/90, 5 seconds increment is nothing. The minimum is 15 seconds.

    I played on Thursday. I got the boy I beat twice recently (first time it was Greco’s mate).
    Just 15 minutes before pairings came up I was talking to his mom and said that he is playing better every time, so I don’t know what will be the result if I play him next time. It was said jokingly, I didn’t know how right I was.
    I managed to get a good position after 39 moves, but then didn’t calculate long enough and avoided a sharp line after which I would be a pawn up. Then little by little I got into a trouble. Also he, having 1 minute against my 10, started to play fast (and good).
    Like Anand I was outplayed in a simple position. I lost a pawn and he was advancing his passed one. Then I flagged in a position which was already lost.
    I came home and found the boy’s rating is already 1967.
    It was a thousand lower 9 months ago, can you believe it?

  2. I can believe it because kids are like the remora of the chess ocean, looking for the loose mistakes of those top predators. Daniel from our club played in the Wyoming Open (he was rated 1549 and came back as 1668). He beat a rusty Master (no less)! as well as beat an 1892 and drew a 1941 player. Then he came home and beat 1918 and drew 1933 in the final round. This was all in the same month to bring his rating up to 1734! That’s virtually 200 rating points in one month. His performance rating was probably 2100. haha. But whenever I beat him it was looked upon as just a case of picking on a poor, defenseless 1549 kid. hehe. Unlike some others he played, though, I could sense his new strength OTB before he made that jump.

    You are right about the time. “You spend 30 minutes, realize you are winning his queen, but then you are losing, and not because you aren’t winning his queen but because you just spent 30 minutes on it, which is decisive!!” That is what G/90 feels like to me. πŸ˜‰

    Back in Karpov’s day, you could play like a stamp-collector (pun intended), but nowadays the stamp-collector just loses on time. It’s no longer the era of the artist in chess, it’s now the era of the competitor.

    “Also he, having 1 minute against my 10, started to play fast (and good).” I have been on the 1 minute side many times myself and dread/fear the other 1 minute players because they are just storing up that final killer-blow. The fact that he had spent/wasted 9 more minutes than you just indicates that he was saving up for landing that killer-blow haymaker, he throws down that !!! move like no one even noticed while whipping out moves. Lays down that royal-flush, the trump cards, dizzying opponents.

    Being that “1 minute guy” is far too much nervous strain to keep up over the long-haul and leads to performance issues later on because you can then only win or lose based on performance indicators. I think that there should be more tranquility in chess, at least for our health’s sake. G/90 is built for a heart-attack, the end of the game is a physical, psychological, emotional, neurological crucible. I am a terrible blitz player not because I don’t have strong chess intution, but because it is just to difficult for me to implement a plan correctly, quickly. Whereas a lot of players have trouble coming up with plans or ideas, but they can implement them strongly, which is the opposite of who I am at blitz or chess.

  3. Big fan of yours, Linux Guy. πŸ™‚ Love your posts and game postings!

    I totally agree about G/90 with a 5 sec delay. I am around 1800 and luckily the club I frequent has G/90 with a 30-60 sec increment as standard for events. I cannot begin to overstate how many times that has prevented flags and allowed conversions of wins or draws to be held which otherwise would have been forfeits or TP induced blunders.

    Sure, it’s correct to argue that a person brings TP on themselves to an extent (and in some cases the fault is deserved) but sometimes positions are so complicated one can chew up time getting around them safely over several moves and building an advantage requires some exactness. Perfection does hinder results, but fact is TP can easily happen and can spoil results that should occur based on what has happened thus far in a game and lead to reversals without increments. They should be almost mandatory, and they do not make everyone stay until 3 AM contrary to popular belief. They just interject sanity into the situation.

    We went in chess from Morphy having Paulsen induce tears into his opponent over long thinks to superficial chess galore. Group think induced assumptions that it has to be ever shorter are not what we play the game for. We strive to create art on the chess board.

    Unless one is trying to argue for shortness so non-chess people who are watching a match on TV are not bored to death, which itself can be dealt with by time compressed simulcasts, we do not help with promoting the beauty of the game by teaching people all they should focus on is practical competitor skills, IMHO…

  4. John Doe, thanks for the kudos! πŸ™‚

    There is something to this time-control/time-management issue after all, isn’t there?! πŸ˜‰

    I was reading about Bronstein last night from a Dirk Van Guzendam interview. Bronstein drew the world championship with Botvinnik, and thus of coure “lost” and only needed a draw in the final game to win it, but Botvinnik successfully “bored” Bronstein with nuanced play.

    Bronstein, in so many words, complained that at a faster time-control Kramnik’s small advantages play wouldn’t work, that he liked faster time-controls because moves like a3 don’t become some super deal because there isn’t enough time to take advantage of small nuances like this when playing quickly. He also thought that Fischer beat Spassky because Fischer moved faster (may also explain some of Spassky’s nutty positional play then).

    Still sticking with this theme……Botvinnik once called Bronstein a “twister”, which Bronstein virtually described himself as, making moves to upset the apple-cart and opponent. Paul Anderson did this to me when he played Rad1 in our game. I had long since worked out the wins in every variation that I was looking at, and thought as did Fruit, that Paul should have castled.

    But, Paul played this Rd1, and suddenly I had to spend nearly half an hour figuring out where I wanted to take the game after that. I didn’t think I wasn’t still very strong, but it was hard for me to decide which lines I wanted to pursue most. This “stumping” me with the Rd1 move was really the “game-winner”. It wasn’t a super great move, but the fact that I had never considered it, combined with the time-control, lead me to the point-of-no-return on the clock (I do take responsibility for the over-think, of course)!

    Paul made the insightful comment after the game that it is easier to be the defender because you only have to think about one thing, versus the attacker who has to find the best attack, plus worry (hopefully) about defense.

  5. I didn’t play today (Wednesday). We have nearly 4 inches of snow. Luckily it is only powder, but it has snowed non-stop all day. I have rear-wheel drive, which makes it difficult, and even nearly impossible to get up some hills without sliding all over the place across two lanes, so I played it safe and stayed home, shoveled snow for an hour, and jogged in it.

  6. I’m not arguing that skeptics of time pressure specialists have no point regarding not allowing (where possible reasonably) TP in the first place. When one complains of having no time, it does sometimes surface that they dally over opening moves in non-tactical positions they even essentially know, because they fear errors, etc.

    But the reality is SOME positions require real thinks, and enough of those in a game featuring a single time control, which ALSO lacks an increment (30 secs minimum) is just bad for chess game quality and results matching what happened OTB up until that point where a time scramble rears its ugly head.

    Too often the superior side collapses in G90 or G60 when only a 5 sec delay is used, because they cannot convert the position without either a 2nd control or at least the aforementioned increment.

    Aiming to have the contest decided as much as possible OTB should be the goal of everyone.

  7. I would never risk a drive under such conditions, opting out makes more sense!

    Actually, seeing some chess clubs and organizers in different states playing serious rated events in Wendy’s, and in your case a Panera Bread(?) is quite a curiosity to me.

    I do not know about the noise level in a restaurant but evidently it can be done without too many complaints from either the businesses or players. I would imagine many of them have ambient music or such, but maybe not. In any case, concentrating under such conditions as a food service location, even a nice one, might be challenging. I imagine lighting is an issue, too.

  8. John, thanks for your comments! πŸ™‚

    You are right on about the time-controls, and the lack of having real chess clubs (we even admit to spectators that it is not a club, there are no dues, it is “only a tournament”).

    The comments by Bronstein were interesting (even aimed it at Kramnik) because he was saying, in so many words, that he wanted to degrade the level of technical play in order to get a more dynamic result (okay, he did not say this, but this is how I find the deep implication of it). So even he was admitting, indirectly, that time is required to add quality to the game itself, which has been my argument all along, ” to respect the game of chess”, rather than turning it into more of a sporting-contest than it should be.

    I am reading Sherevsky’s “Endgame Strategy”, very good book BTW (I’m closer to being done), and it does now dawn on me that the G/90 (a sudden-death control) will feature the endgame expert over the openings or middlegame. Longer time-controls will favor the player with a more tactical style, particularly in the middlegame (and will allow time for the endgame). Whereas blitz will favor openings and endgings more, and also pure tactics which are not necessarily connected to a correct strategic evaluation of the position – or in a word, “feel” for the position.

    Well, the point there is that since no real time to get all genius-like in an OTB G/90 ending, the player with more prior know-how and clock-time will surely prevail in the broad-sense there.

    The club thing/argument is very interesting. Plus, why do I want to drive an hour both ways (given bad conditions) for a mere two hour game, when surely the stress of the traffic conditions alone will abate any maniacal reserve of energy needed to conduct blitzing at the end of a sudden-death game. Not only does it sadden the result, but kids who don’t drive will/do gain some advantage from it.

    On Thursdays we often have a quiet room (occasionally the piped in music is annoying when it sounds like base boom-box music – or it is coming in from next door) – which we don’t pay for, and hang around longer than we should, past closing time! We are sorta leeching off them. Surely if a bridge-club, etc thought of this as well, it would just be impossible for the both of us.

    What slays me even more is that Life Master Brian Wall started this G/60 Del Taco tournament setup and is just bleeding “gift-wins” to all kinds of lower-rated players lately, like an amazing amount in the past two months, of kids of course, which he never ever used to lose to. I’ve seen some games, he is crushing said kid (even if the kid is an Expert, we all know who actually play that kids as “Experts” is a bit of horse-puckey, they are more of good calculators in sharp positions, and opportunists).

    Anyway, I would definitely like to have or start a club, not just this tournaments BS with fast time-controls – there are a lot of these here now, I could go to tournaments like 6 days a week here sometimes, if I wanted faster-time controls (and didn’t have to work). When you drive to a club, at least you could stay/play long enough to make it worth your while of making the commute in the first place. So that win or lose you are sure to get a lot of valuable experience out of it, and not just this feeling of “I should just go with my guesses and blitz my opponent more, and by not doing this I therefore deserve to lose” thinking. hehe.

    Regarding the world championship, for the quick pace of play, it was still a bit boring to watch because the sharp or quality moves would be the ones to add chances, but would take time and therefore relatively rarely played in favor of blitzing out boring moves. Once the position was interesting, it did seem like they too forever, as I could never seem to look at the game long enough to actually watch them make their moves! Did you find that, too? It’s was look “Oh Gawd this is boring and taking up my whole day (mostly listening to commentators talke about the state of chess in India or whatever – the women’s world championship commentary by Khalifman was all chess/game related and was miles better and more fascinating by comparison), then I would look away, finally, and then they would make a move soon thereafter.

    Kramnik, in an interview, made a great case for keeping the world championships because of it’s tradition (and prestige it adds. It’s important he says this because there are some, local master Ginat for instance who thinks there should be no world-championship because they all play all time anyway and therefore we should have grand-slam events like in tennis. Kramnik alluded to that the weaker players would prefer this because of course it gives them more of a chance (knockout tournaments and such).

    The main problem with world championship tournaments, IMHO, is that you have a lot more of the “playing not to lose” and being a great player in boring positions is the hugest asset. The amazing thing here is that if you look at Karpov’s games in the world championship, as well as Kasparov’s play, they were both far more “romantic-style” players than any other world championship match match of the 20th century (may Tal-Botvinnik first match was, but this was mostly Tal and just as much of Botvinnik’s poor play).

    Lighting at Panera is quite good, relatively speaking. At the East Coast Deli it was rather dark. We had a back-room all to ourselves, no windows, and dim lighting, but there few enough of us that we could take up the best tables or move them closer under a light, but yeah that was pretty dark, although once the game started it was fine because as chess-players we become so engrossed an tune things out once the game is going, but it was more distracting there at the end of the game when people came up to watch your game because there was less room and light.

    Two or so hours is such a small expenditure of tournament playing time on a game that more improvement can be had through self-study and books. Without a post-mortem it probably wouldn’t be worth it, and the only good post-mortems come from the players that are at least Class A players or were Class A players, which means not that many.

  9. Nice comments! πŸ™‚ Let me respond in possibly a few posts here…

    First off, of course (IMHO) far too many players are “gamesmanshippers” to begin with.

    To a degree this is fine, as per Webb’s Chess for Tigers book and its advice on everything from how to exploit your foes TP to taking them into lines not compatible with their style. But what’s happened is you now have folks trying everything they can to stress the competitor aspect of the game. Meaning, exploiting these typical time controls such as G/60 or even 90 with a 5 sec delay as I noted above, simply because most chess organizers lazily follow the herd and copy what they see others doing.

    It does not make good chess nor does it tend to lead to fairer OTB resolutions of positions that have dominated the landscape between the players up until a hypothetical time scramble.

    Using an increment not only interjects sanity, but also limits such gamesmanship tries by a desperate foe whose only chance is to flag the prospective winner. Kids are the worst offenders here since they are usually well ahead on the clock but losing on the board. But any kid decent at pure blitz tactics has hope. The only downside is the use of a minimum 30 sec increment may increase draws, but that is also a positive if the position merits that, and many times the position is an easy draw provided the time short side has this ace in the hole.

    As I said in my original post, we went from Morphy being tortured by Paulsen to many people falsely arguing against increments due to some fantasy of people being forced to stay all night, when it fact it just replaces a move to reach control such as 30 moves in 90 + G/30, etc. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not the solution.

    What concerns me as a player is the situation where I live is an anomaly, if I were to suddenly move to CO or anywhere else, the odds are overwhelmingly in the direction of locals using a shorter single control with a primitive 5 second delay instead of an increment.

    As I said, I think it’s just a lack of originality thing, if suddenly tons of clubs started using increments, many other clubs in others states would follow suit.

    I would lobby for it where you live by asking the organizers to implement it by appealing to their better side. You might be able to get some of the peanut gallery to go along with it.

  10. Regarding the Del Taco approach, it’s not original and all too common. It only allows kids (who excel at pure blitz cheeze whiz tactics to turn games at the last second without increments against higher rated adults who run short of time and cannot convert wins or blunder outright.

    It’s true elsewhere, not just CO, thanks to this obsession with empty calorie chess via ever faster time controls.

    As you noted, Expert kiddies are seldom adult type CMs. They are all tactics, all the time-often lacking any positional wisdom but they are your worst nightmare when short on time. You do not lose earlier because you have enough time to stop the cheese, but once you get really short without a 2nd control period and no increment, you find a winning positionally game is rendered useless against the need to move too fast, spoiling the build up to that point in a matter of mere seconds.

    Kids are here to stay since they love shorter controls and are not usually banned from clubs in this day and age. They get rides from parents as support systems, taking away stress and allow them to pay for their coaches and other stuff, helping them gain a huge edge on adults with jobs. Worse, look at how many rated games YOU have played against the numbers over the same period as some of the meanest juniors, they actually have MORE experience in pressure situations that many if not most seasoned adults who play well overall in theory.

    Ahh, the good old days when we old folks could rely on kids being bad, when a 1500 was *really* a 1500 all across the board, and we had segregated events de facto! πŸ™‚ Time was once kids, seeing a pairing with an adult, whined in fear, and NOW they see that pairing and look forward to it and the adults who once saw it as an easy point are 180’ing themselves!

  11. Bronstein himself was known to sometimes, IIRC, think for long periods on his 1st move or so, then would find himself in needless TP. But he was a gamer.

    As far as playing not lose, that’s the idea of MATCHES with Black at least, as opposed to tournaments where you gotta play the Sicilian every round to win short term. You play the CK or the Berlin in 2 man contests to escape with Black and to win with your Whites.

    I’ve heard good things about the endings book you referred to. We should be grateful for advances where Fine’s Basic Chess Endings is not the only error ridden tome in town.

    Tons of chess clubs and organizers are going the Panera route now due to fee issues, where they need only charge ratings fees and such unlike having a paid venue, which requires multiple days to meet to draw enough dues to pay for the facility. Even then you have to share with Bridge clubs and such to make ends meet. In the old days, churches and libraries were the rage, but lots of them today have restrictive policies and hours which hinder them as low cost venues. I guess as long as the place lacks loud music, it can work and it’s cheap.

    I think PM’s are valuable even with lower rated players, to help them out since that is good for their development and mannerly. In some cases, even the better player picks up a few things about their own weakness by going over it, even despite the other player being inferior. I do not think it’s true that one higher rated gains nothing by it in such cases. Further, no matter the result it’s a good idea to recall your thought process when it’s *fresh* and you make errors unless at a pretty high level even as a better player against a lesser in a game you even WON in many cases. Often these errors are repetitive if you go back and look at other contests. I always go over it, win or lose, regardless of their rating. It helps also to have a higher rated 2000+ on hand willing to donate time to interject. Some of them play offhand games and hang around events, not playing serious games and are able to comment on finishing games. That is something to seek out at all times if possible.

    I think the WC is now plagued by the same superficial “let’s make it popular and less boring” faster controls and shorter durations of games played (i.e. 12 vs 24 matches) which increases the odds that among near equals, the best man may NOT win short term because stat-wise, such a small pool of games could produces more random results.

    See these articles:

    http://en.chessbase.com/post/are-the-che-world-champions-just-lucky-050913

    http://en.chessbase.com/post/are-twelve-games-enough

    I tend to concur and feel at least 24 games are needed. It’s not boring to ensure proper results, and we should be careful not to cheapen this event which I sadly feel has already happened. I’m not sure about the draw odds aspect for the current holder, that may be one thing from the old days that needs to be chucked, but the idea of more games should not.

  12. I’ll read those links, but right now I’m of the opinion that the WC match could be 24 games, but if a player at any time after 12 games is two points ahead, then the match should end, and that player declared World Champion. By this measure, Karpov would have won the first K-K World Championship match well before he took a 5-0 lead against Kasparov. I think Karpov probably wanted the 6 wins terms because it is what Fischer had proposed to Karpov, and Karpov probably felt that his legacy, and worthiness, would have been in jeopardy (at least in his own mind), if he couldn’t win under the Fischer terms.

    Fine’s Basic Chess Endings – I’ve only skimmed this book, but it looked great. Surely I would study it cover to cover, if it weren’t for the deluge of other books available nowadays.

    I am willing to do post-mortems with all of my opponent’s, it’s just that Class A and above have a lot more to offer on them, even if it’s just general comments, there is more food for thought. Players under Class A are more often the ones that feel too hurt by having their blunders pointed out. Whereas, when you are Class A or above, you don’t lose as much and really want to learn everything that you possibly can from your losses.

    Of course, I agree with what you are saying about kids in chess. πŸ™‚

    I think a club done right could do things more properly, but the reason for the current G/90 controls is that the restaurant has to close and we need to be good boys and girls and leave when that happens. But then it never does, and gobs of people are still chit-chatting away there an hour after closing, when the employees are mopping up, putting away product, etc.

    Wow, that is totally freaky, I just came up with that up by two points after 12 rounds system on my own and that author in the second link came up with it, too! I guess great minds think alike. hehehe.

    So Chigorin would have been World Champion at some point, perhaps, but then again Steinitz may have been out of form and figured he could probably spot him two games, knowing in advance that the match would not be determined by such a rule from hindsight. Whereas Karpov was really trouncing Kasparov in 1984, should have won game 16 and the match 6-0 no less.

  13. Well, the KvK marathon match had *no count* draws, so that’s not a good example. πŸ™‚

    As for the lead, I still say 24 games. I’m for a full experience and ensured non-chancy results. Sure, the odds might be a 2+ point lead might be the same (at that level where wins can be hard to come by with their technique, etc.) by game 23, but I say let’s err on the side of length within reason.

    I know plenty of higher rateds who hate having their errors pointed out! Their egos are a lot bigger at times, etc. I’ve seen IM’s cheat to avoid losses due to this, during live rated events. Maturity does not always equal rating point level.

    Regarding post mortems, the point is sportsmanship, and again, if you peruse your games against even lower rateds and win or at least draw, you WILL find plenty of errors on both sides to discuss that are fresh in the mind when doing it live. The best of all worlds again is to seek out a third voice who is even better than either of you to opine interactively.

    The trouble with BCE by Fine is it ONCE was a great classic, until better and more options came along where now we have chess base Fritz trainers as well, so it’s dated and has errors in the original edition. Still, it’s a classic.

    Keep up the excellent work on your blog, I wish we had more decent class players posting games and anecdotes on the net. It’s getting better in that regard, but few have a page like this with the blood and guts of the experience being recounted…

  14. Thanks, John!

    Great comments. πŸ™‚

    I am glad that you are one of those that still support world championship matches as there has to be some type of prestige to our sport to the outside world. Besides, otherwise there would be no video-feed like they had, etc, and you wouldn’t have nations like Norway and India glued to their T.V. screens.

    You could up a blog page like this one or at least an “About” avatar, to get started. My last opponent Expert Paul Anderson (holder of the real Coloroado Springs Chess Club, which meets on Tuesdays – but doesn’t have many slow rated games) just encouraged me to post a pic on my Facebook page and has provided me with countless pics, mostly taken by him. Thanks Paul!

    Here is my Facebook page: linuxguyonfics

    You can click on the photos to make them bigger and read my captions.

  15. Sorry to say that once again, the best move was not to show up.

    After shoveling snow again today (we got about 4 1/2 inches, I’d say, but I’m hearing 5 inches from others) I got into my car, and if all goes well I figured I’d play tonight. My car sounded like it barely started, and then started running really rough like it was going to cut out (no thanks to the snow on the ground and the 7 degree temperature) when I got to the stop sign, and then there was traffic to boot. So, I finally decided to put my rear-wheel drive Lincoln Town Car into reverse and then pulled up back into my driveway and let the car warm up for 10 minutes (my battery is top of the line and < 1 year old), and chose not to go after all. I'm glad that I tried to go just so that I ended up warming up the battery and car some.

    I give someone more credit for showing up and losing, but all the same I’m glad I didn’t test it. I’ve been through some of the worse driving conditions here, and it’s none too pretty when things start going south.

  16. Will look at the FB page. I saw lotsa pix from the CSCC of the various local players on a site, not the state chess association but another page. Carlsen’s win reminds of Fischer in terms of the situation. Smart move on the no-show. There’s always next week! πŸ™‚

  17. Hi, John! Yes, Carslen can always blitz, however……I don’t think that even Carlsen would want to see what they just did to our Winter Springs Open tournament.

    Instead of sleeping during this time, I was secretly going to drag myself to the Winter Springs Open 40/2, SD/1, 4 sections, where I would play in U1900. All of previous tournaments had changed their time-controls like six months in advance, and this was going to be the last classic time-control with class sections I was looking forward to in CO Springs, maybe ever!? All year, I’ve looked forward to it.

    Now I can truly say that real chess is dead in CO Springs, but the fake stuff is everywhere. There is this 12 round G/30 “Insanity” tournament, G/75 tournaments galore, blitz tournaments, G/90 of course, G/20 on Tues, it’s an endless assortment of empty-calorie tournaments in CO Springs now. So, they did it, or Buck did it. With one week to go before the tournament he changed the Winter Springs tournament to G/90 with 30 second increment. That’s right, not even the 40/2, G/30 with 30 second delay like they had two years ago at the Manitou Springs Open. Nope, they really did kill Kenny this time (Southpark reference)!

    WOW! Wow! They even f’d up the 30 second delay time-control. I’ve never approved of how Buck sets up his tournament, but this just went from last great local tournament to no great local tournament. Oh, and he changed the sections, removed one, so I’d be playing in the Open section, which is 1800+. So I’d have to play a Master tired, and at this time control, not going to happen. Many won positions will be lost due to this time control, many.

    In January, we will have killer 5 round tournaments at G/90 on Wednesday and Thursdays nights, so looking forward to that, but I may just take December off. There are only 8 people playing on Wed and Thurs nights this month, I would miss the last round of Wed, possibly of Thurs as well (we don’t know our schedule yet for that week at work), so there is unfortunately no real point of playing chess this month OTB, should be a study month instead. Well, I didn’t particularly plan it that way, but that is the only thing that makes much sense. My rating will end at 1855 this year, I had plans to end it higher than that, but circumstances conspired against it. I lost my day shift, lost my last round last month, etc, etc. It’ll have to be next year.

    Next year is definitely overdue for a change. It’s really time to change jobs, maybe hold my own tournament or go out of state to play in some tournaments. There is a Las Vegas tournament at the end of December I am dying to go to. If I lost my job I would be there, take me out tournament-style I would be there.

    It’s minus-ten degrees outside. Time to go jogging. πŸ˜€

  18. Okay, so even though the time-controls were changed a few days before the tournament, and they kept the rounds six hours apart (it’s only 2 rounds a day, some will have to wait probably 5 hours between rounds). STILL, I was going to go, got all slept up for it, but this cold is incredible for so early in December. I wiped the snow off my car three times today. My defroster barely got the job done and the car was stuck on cold the whole way home. My fingers are still clenched from the cold.

    It’s in Manitou so you want to park, not move so as to keep your space. Normally, it’s awsome in 40 degree weather, you walk up and down the tourist-trap streets, but the highest it got today was 7 degrees. They threw salt at my work, lots of snow in the lots, and it turned to water and my shoes have holes and let the water in, so I’d need to try an old pair of shoes. All in all, it just seems like circumstances are conspiring to have me sit this one out. They’ve taken sado-masichism to a whole new level with this tournament.

    The good/great news is that by not playing I’ve got some great study in and new books. Hurray! Maybe I’ll review some of them if you’d like. πŸ™‚

    Torture. I wake up at 8am, naturally. I could go, but it is 1 degree, snowed yet again, and is supposed to snow (looks like it) today and tomorrow). My house is already cold again, had to turn back on heaters after it was warm only a few hours ago (took hours to warm it). Looks too cold to go, to me.

  19. I’m just stunned on that time control switch. It’s unprofessional to the point of being absurd and unethical if I understand you correctly and you are correct about what happened.

    You do NOT switch something like that which is a deal breaker to many-at the last second.

    Period. Exclamation point period.

    Changing it NEXT time is legal, but horses in mid stream is off table.

    What about all those players, believing terms and conditions were one thing, paid and made plans and reservations or worse, did not look at any fine print, went, booked a hotel past the point of refund (they have policies like that where a cancel is permitted up to a certain point the night before for full refunds) and then they arrive to find that?

    Any organizer that did that to me is the last time I ever played in his event.

  20. Oh, it’s all local-yokel here. I’m sure virtually nobody from out of state wanted to come to our early December (cold) tournament where prize-money is very small.

    I had been checking it periodically because I was always toying with the idea of whether or not to go to this tournament, so I know that I have been checking it the last couple weeks a few times. The majority won’t care and will take whatever the organizer dishes out. You can get a motel for cheap this time of year, like $35, but many from the north will stay with people they know here. Two of the local Denver Masters “bummed a ride” from other people to get to this tournament.

    That whole meme of “chess is just a game where kids blitz old men and win prizes” lol. That is alive and well, and a lot of the strongest players love to feed off of time-pressure as well. I don’t feel that there will be many endgames worth studying from this tournament, except for short ones.

    Oh well, at least the sky is clear, sun is finally shinning bright after nearly a week and it’s looking pleasant outside now at 13 degrees. I’ll make another post late tonight probably, about my new books, and latest chess studies. πŸ™‚

    Incidentally, the location of that tournament was also changed about a month prior, from the downtown city hall to the art-gallery across the street, whose location I could only imagine is a fraction of the playing size. They must have been cooped up there yesterday because it was rather cold to really go anywhere, and I picture a lot of them analyzing together for hours, waiting for that next round 6 hours after the first one starts.

    Oh, and no question in my mind that Buck probably had some big pronouncement about how were going to be trying out this new tournament, my apologies for any inconvenience, blah blah. I checked and it appears he is switching the next big Colorado Springs tournament in March to this time-control as well.

  21. It is -2 degrees this morning, it is 8 am and the sun is out. It’s 50 degrees in Glasgow Scotland, and 27 degrees in Oslo Norway – those sound like a tropical paradise around now. It’s not even Winter, nor was the Winter Springs in Winter. Chess tournament here must have way to frickin cold because I don’t see anything on the chatty newsgroups or Facebook at all about the turnament = I’ve never seen as tournament with no chats after say the end of the first day.

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