The Fix Is In

Whoever thought that chess didn’t have it’s fair share of drama? I say this humorously, as I could theoretically go 3.5/4 this month without getting a shot at the tournament leader. I suspect that if he takes a bye, then it will be to “punish me” for my earlier draw. It’s comical how many are taking byes. Not sure who I might play as Black next week, possibly Rebecca who has been an “upset” queen of late, and is currently rated 1420. Daniel is my other likely opponent, he’s around 1700.

Well, I played Sarah. She is a sweet and talented kid, and once rated in the mid 1300’s after one tournament, but you know how kids ratings are all over the place.

Round 3

I blitzed out the part where I won the piece on c5, as little Fabio had stopped to watch at this point. I was going to play 13.Ba3, but was feeling rather complacent at this point, playing 13.Bd4 quite quickly and then noticing my blunder. At this point, some people found the game “interesting”, but I knew that it never was in the winning sense.

Stockfish likes the c4, d5 push when I had the chance, thinks it’s a big deal, but I would have to analyze since I don’t see it yet.

Both of us played inaccurately during non-critical moves, and I played less accurately than her aside from the blunder, but we both played well during critical positions. For example, 15…NxBe3 16.fxNe3 Nxe3 17.Rf4 and Black is not winning the exchange after all; this was another trap I had calculated during the game.

Well, Sara almost had me on my second scoresheet, and had my clock down to 2:28 remaining compared to her 51 minutes, so kudos to her.

On a chess politics note, as much as it gives me headache just to bring this up, I will say that I was scheduled to play Paul Anderson on board 1 on Wednesday, and Rhett on Board 1 on Thursday. Both players are taking a last-round bye to lock in their prize money. Okay, so once a couple years ago I took a last round bye at the last moment because I was sick and had been working that day, and I don’t know what happened there but I had split first place on the bye and was completely taken by surprise when Dean emailed me about where to send the prize money check to (it was maybe for $20, tops). What’s taking place these days is planned, and the first place winners frequently even show up to these last rounds after having taken their bye.

What happened to old-school toughness? I feel if players are going to put the pressure on to go 3-0 just to make the last round interesting, then it should be an eight-round two month tournament! Zero point last round byes, which Shirley and I favor, is another a great idea. I still catch heat from Alex sometimes that I took that last round bye at the last E. Coast Deli tournament. He wanted to win the last tournament there, whereas I probably felt the last tournament there made it more of a “lame duck” tournament.


2 thoughts on “The Fix Is In

  1. It is probably difficult to play very accurately having such a big ratings difference.
    You meant 13. Nd4? What else could you do?
    In both clubs we have a last round zero point policy and I think it’s fair.
    The same in the big tournaments.

  2. Well, for accuracy’s sake I should have played 12.Ba3, which not only stops castling, but after 12….e4, I would have 13.Bc4, when I am not dropping the exchange because then 13…NxBd4 would not be possible. To be honest, I noticed this right away after my move, but the contempt factor was already so high at this point, and I more glad than sad that the game took an interesting turn. Dean said before the game “I hope she playes well!” and I almost said “I hope she does, too!”.

    Yeah, I don’t think I’d take anything else back on second though, don’t even agree with Stockfish on playing Na3 instead of Nd2. It was all fine.

    Thanks for your comments about last-round byes at your club! Your clubs are better for chess-warriors as ratings move around a lot. My club is better for ratings-protectors who take last round byes; it’s horrible.

    I am already thinking about skipping Thursdays next month becuase I’m not so interested in playing a tournament full of kids and ratings dodgers. Half the tournament has pre-announced a last round bye there. It’s okay prize-money, but it’s hardly worth the effort if 1800+ players are going to dodge so many of the rounds.

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