Another Strong Player is Born

I’ve played in a very weakened, flu-like stupor before, but this is the sickest I’ve ever been while playing a game. It seems like half the country has a cold, but for some reason I am getting this super-cold.

I had Wednesday and Thursday off, but only studied chess for a grand total of about two minutes, because I could not focus at all because of this cold.

During the game, I kept my hands clean but sneezed like a thunderstorm whenever I made it to the bathroom.

Anyway, when he played 13.b5 he had only used ten minutes off his clock. At least Paul Anderson pointed out the error I made during this game. When you don’t have to calculate move quickly, but when you have to calculate a position that requires it then you must do this.

When he played 14.bxc6, it didn’t strike me as a big threat, but when I went to calculate 14…Bxc6, I noticed that I did not like 15.d5 Bd7, 16.dxe dxe, 17.d6 followed by the Nc3 coming in, so I played 14.bxc6?? realizing after the game that this was the losing move, and wondering why I had summarily dismissed 14…Nxc6 which gives Black a nice position.

The main reason for the blunder is that I found it hard to concentrate, feeling the way I was, and used it as a crutch for not bothering to calculate and moving quickly here.

William took virtually no time playing his moves, doing his calculation during my brief think! When he played 15.dxe, I instantly saw his threat to play RxRb8 followed by QxBd7, so I replied 15.RxRb1 after no more than a minute’s thought, whereas he shows no hesitation playing 16.exNf6, whereupon I quickly reply loudly “Oh, I missed that check” as a crowd has formed.

Unfortunately, giving up the piece, keeping the bishop pair on the board, and my center, was the best move by quite a bit (you can plug it into an engine (we call it “the kibitzer”) to see why …Rb8-Rb4 and ..Rb8-b1 fail here. He was even going to reply correctly with Qxd6 immediately.

I foolishly sacked my d-pawn hoping for a quick attack/tactic, like double-attack Nb1 and the kings position, but the forced exchange of queens put an immediate end to this hope.

I played on until I flagged in a position where I would have to sac my bishop for his passed a-pawn, whereupon he would be two knights and pawn up. Naturally, he had over an hour remaining, possibly only spending 20 minutes on the game himself.

Once again, just before my blunder and just like last week, I got really hot before dropping the piece and felt fine after I took my shirt off. It’s always freezing cold or overly warm in that room, but I should figure this out at the proper moment.

The only thing that makes me think my cold affected my play is that once I did try to analyze, I saw what was what right away. It’s more that I didn’t bother to analyze that caused me to blunder. The only other time I played William he blundered repeatedly against me, losing quicly by obvious blunders. Now it seems he is a completely different player, and I had taken him for granted.

One reason I yearn for playing in a day tournament, two or three rounds per day, is because at least if I am sick I won’t show up for the tournament. The _only_ reason I played last night was for a chance at the first place prize ($50), which would be won by me or William if either of us won this game.

When I got him last night I had the shakes, and woke up sweaty, and was still sick like a dog at work today. So glad when the day was over, even though I closely missed out on bonusing at work this month.

I’ve been of half a mind to skip chess for the next month as it is March and will snow quite a bit, and I need to job-search. Shirley, if you are reading this you are my bff for bringing me that glass of lemon-water and smiling at me, although I had already blundered the game at that point. Only reason I didn’t drink the water at that time is because I thought it was yours and didn’t want to touch anything.

One thing I learned from this game is that I was too desirous to maintain attacking chances as Black. I had considered playing interesting moves like Nh4 and d5, as I showed William after the game, but kept that tension in the pawn center (which I had a feeling might bite me, due to my lowered desire to concentrate).

Now I can see that, unlike all the chessbooks we read where the great GM gets this winning attack all the way as Black, the reality is that if there is an attack on the board, it’s more than likely going to be White’s attack and Black has to focus on really defending well. A good chessplayer should be able to defend well and create chances late with Black, which I have not been doing. I have been playing Black as if I were White.

After the game, he said something like “If you do this, then I can draw you.” I can only chuckle because the draw was somewhat worthless to both of us (I suppose he was right, though), and I can be at my best playing from equal positions. That is so bass ackwards, he content possibly with a draw (he draws a lot) as White, and me wanting a win as Black. Now I am at 1814 and he is at 1850, and Joe is at 1848. Me and Alex beat up on Joe, but it’s the same story on the crosstable, the people who ran into time-pressure the least ended up at the top. At G/90, your rating and playing speed go hand in hand.

This is the game that should have happened. hehe.


2 thoughts on “Another Strong Player is Born

  1. I think your main mistake was to allow him to attack simultaneously in the center and on the queenside. I have to say that it is not that clear that 14.bxc6 is a blunder.
    Then, no matter what you do it is over.
    I learned that if you are in a bad shape it is better not to play at all.

  2. Yeah, it was a lot to hold together and not be spot on, and I knew that that’s what I was getting into, but I would have been better off playing slowly with …e4 closing the center, since I was not feeling sharp like the position.

    14.bxc6 is not a blunder, but 14….bxc6 is, which loses at least two pawn.

    I shouldn’t have played just becuase I had to drink a lot of caffeine just to be able to play and make it out of the house, whereas I should have gotten more rest so as to be not even more wiped out and sick at work the next morning. I came in 2 hours late to work one day last week, and also again this morning, just fatigue at this point.

    Last week I was more at the “healthy enough to play chess, but not to do much else” point.

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