How Can I Keep This Up?

Thursday Round 3, featured another game against Joe, who seemingly single-handledly has taken my rating down 18 points. On Wednesdays I played only two games, won against Spencer and lost to Joe, and _still_ lost 18 points, how can this be? it’s as if I had gotten flattened 23 rating points or so for the one loss.

Before this game, well I usually have ominous feelings before games. Yesterday I thought I would win, and tonight I felt I would lose to some tactic, feeling rusty tactically again, or perhaps it’s that I need to grow tactically more.

In our game on Thursday, I played a bad sac in a great position for me – as soon as he quickly took my Nb4 “sham sace”, I realized that I had in fact dropped the piece. At least you can give me credit for only having analyzed that variation once, as per Kotov, in order to be efficient. haha. I had spent a lot more time looking at Black playing Nb5 (threatening Nxc7) instead of QxNb4, and didn’t play my move until I was satisfied that I was doing well in that variation (which, of course, never happened).

I feel I need to spend more time studying and less time playing. Of course, the playing is helping out my instincts and ability to play more quickly, but seriously this G/90 after nearly four years of it is a little beyond ridiculous already. At the end of this game I had 1 second remaining to Joe’s 48 minutes – which is why, for instance, I missed 64.Qf2+ winning his bishop. I saw this immediately after the game and felt I needed to win it then, but his blitzing made me not want to overstep and flag.

How can a human being be expected to, let alone the history of chess behind it, play a great game at G/90? They never did it for hundreds of years, and it was always a “gentleman’s game”, but now we suddenly think we know better because we know “the openings” and shouldn’t need that much time for the rest of the game. What poppycock. I can play the first ten moves in ten minutes, that is not the issue – not that I should even have to!. hehe.

G/90, what a sell-out to traditional chess, it’s almost a sham. I offered a draw after 58…Kf4 (it’s 0.0 score). I know how he felt because I lost this way once to Rhett myself, where I made a losing move, knowing it was losing, because I felt that I had deserved to win the game. It’s all time-pressure emotions. These type of end-results were almost non-existent in classical times.

Going over this ending is almost overbearing for me, knowing that he had 50 wins that he missed, but that I had to play quickly and the best move was a meaningless concept next to the quickest move. I suppose I deserved to lose for my bad tactic, and perhaps for letting that b-pawn hang too long. Okay, I deserved to lose this game, it’s just that I know 90 minutes is not long enough for me, particularly against an opponent who can leave 48 minutes on his clock after all this, and if he had spent another minute on countless moves would have won easily where I could resign on the spot.

My only comments during this game were near the end of it where I said “It would be nice to have a second time-control” and I said “Sorry.” once when I was in check and didn’t move my king. Actually, I touched my queen and should have had to interpose it and lose it, but he never called me on it. I caught my own mistake and then moved my king, it all happened very fast but still.

Being as it is the end of the year, perhaps it is an appropriate time for these sorts of comments. I sorta feel like G/90, with only one section, 1700-izes chess, as if there were this gravitational pull taking us all toward the same ratings place. The clock, and having only one section, is the great equalizer. Like I’ve said, if a 2500 player drops a piece to another 2500 player, oh well it is only a few rating points, and statistically this should never happen, but as humans we know that it does, bad day at the office kind of thing.

Nowadays, it’s getting close to where rating=speed. You don’t need a coach to get 1700 if you have access to all of the “Open” section tournaments like we have here, because playing itself is like getting free chess lessons from 1700+ players.

I wish I only played at these big events for money (the new prestige, right?).

The Boxer:

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5 thoughts on “How Can I Keep This Up?

  1. It looks like you were lucky again. We all make mistakes, what you can do.
    If he had 48 minutes left, he deserved to lose since he wanted to win on time.
    I made a comment on my blog.

  2. RollingPawn, thanks!

    I thought during my game after I dropped a piece that I deserve to be rated less then, but when he played indifferently I felt bad that I didn’t simply hang around, pump up my position, and wait for his mistakes and missed opportunities more. I felt bad that I am winning in some “out of my hands” seemingly fashion against someone that can spear me in the ratings-point bag and who wants to basically blitz obvious moves and take advantage of the fact that I haven’t doing the same – I should have blitzed more moves at this time-control.

    It’s almost as if you have to say on moves – is this an obvious enough move where I can see the end of forced sequences, and I know I am going to play it anyway (after looking at alternatives). If yes, then play move asap.

    One of the Supervisors put me on the spot last night, asked me if I wanted to change my shift. I didn’t expect it and had to make instant decision, irreversible until next shift bid. I decided to change my schedule to Saturday’s and Sundays off, working 7am to 3:30, my old shift. I had become frustrated with playing at G/90 at that moment. I don’t know what I am going to. I would like to hold a weekend tournament of my own, but this local chess teacher is holding all of these G/75 weekend tournaments that would probably drain all of the participants. Too many organizers in this town.

    I would like to play in a big tournament like you are doing. 🙂

  3. Ah, thanks, Merry Christmas to you as well, RollingPawns! 🙂

    I just switched back to mornings, 7-3:30 am M-F (they popped it on me, and didn’t offer Wed or Thursday off). For this week, I won’t play, need to get over my cold and will job-search next year. I would like to play in bigger tournaments next year. 😉

    Viktor’s story is great. In a way, he’s more of a headliner than Magnus, and so are Kasparov and Karpov for that matter. Chess has to reinvent itself from the bottom-up, nowdays.

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