Poor Positional Play

Here is my Round 4 loss on Wednesday.

I played like a “fish out of water” during the critical middlegame moments. It’s not like Paul came out at me with a truck. No, he let me do whatever I wanted to do, which was mixed to bad. It’s easy to go wrong when you are the kid in the candy-shop and don’t have enough familiarity with an opening – just ask Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Gingerbread Man. Well, you are getting the idea. My sense of responsibility just flew out the window, along with my energy-level, clock-time, and good sense.

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One For The Crew

Play this final Round 5 game with Orion playing in the background first, if you like, as it’s a long song.

After a bunch of clumsy losses this month, and Alex had some as well where he probably should have won, I still felt that everything that we had conditioned ourselves and trained for would come off in a positive way soon. So even after only four hours of sleep after a night of heavy drinking, I still felt better than on Wednesday after having one more day off from work.

Not too surprisingly, I finished the game with four seconds on my clock. It’s as if my Weltanschauung of chess leads to my reticence to play moves in a more timely manner. Before I played …Rg6, William offered me a draw, and I declined because I have already conditioned myself to play games out – Alex and I joke that we are following Silman’s rule of not accepting any draws until we reach 2500 rating, but that conditioning has been built in already, so this is more the reward of that.

There was a Row in one of the games between David and the other William where that William was winning when he quit. If Shirley is reading this and looking for advice, then I would seek to nullify that game and count it as a half-point bye for prize purposes, although that is just what I would do as TD. Someone should have to win a game to get the win, that goes for both players.

Beat The Clock

I am playing Jordan here in Round 3, 1564 rating.

I should be commentating on moves, but the story at the time was the clock. 17..Nxb4??, 18.axNb5 should be obvious in hindsight of the requisite calculation required.

19.Rd4?? Trading blunders, mine based more on greed as I saw that 19.Rc1xBc6 is winning (two pieces for rook). I thought that 19.Rd4 was risky by comparison, but did not bother to calculate it in my time-pressure.

21…axBb5. This is the only non-losing move on the board, a forced recapture, and Jordan initially made the move, then looked at my clock and put the pawn back. He did this because my clock was just under five minutes. Eventually, I looked over at his clock to see his time remaining and noticed that it was my clock that had run down to 47 seconds and still ticking. I pressed my clock, whereupon Jordan immediately captured my piece. So I had just lost 4 minutes based on this happenstance.

At the end of the game, with one second on my clock, I had grabbed the queen I had set aside to promote with. Unfortunately, I had once again picked up the wrong color queen after pushing my pawn onto the queening square. I said “Queen!” and punched my clock. At this point, Jordan says I have lost on time, and I objected, even telling him that he could promote it to any piece. Jordan should have taken my advice as a promotion to a bishop would have drawn the game. Instead, when Shirley (the TD) asked him what his claim was, he claimed that he had won on time (he can’t actually win on time, since he has no mating material, so really his _claim_ was 100% invalid). Shirley said that he could claim that the move was illegal and add two minutes onto his clock if he wanted, but thereupon Jordan resigned.

I played on Thursday and blitzed with this new guy, once again forgetting to press my clock, whereupon he wanted his buddy to “check this out” that I am so lame that I forgot to press my clock. I sensed what was up, disgustedly once again, and pressed my clock. I had him pinned down and captured his king when he made an illegal move. Anyway, it’s like a new generation of jokers are born everyday, and I kinda don’t want to go through all this again with the next batch of low-rated players on Thursday that I have never played against (there are quite a few of them), so I may cut back my G/90 weekdays and just play on Wednesday instead, and use the time for study or job-search or etc, etc.

I believe what should have happened in Wednesday’s game, after I pushed my clock on the last move, was that Jordan should have either pushed his clock, which would have given me another 5 seconds to find the right queen (which was on the other side of the board), or he should have tried to replace my pawn on the eighth rank with a bishop before I could have, just as quick-wittedly, replaced that pawn with a queen. The point being that the pawn had to promote to something, as it couldn’t remain a pawn on the eighth rank while it was still his turn to move (unless he had accepted my verbal claim that it was a queen by making a move and punching his clock).

Alternatively, I could have paused the clock to get a TD to find my queen for me, but I should preferably be doing this before I punch my clock or at least before my opponent has replaced my pawn with a piece.

Easy On The Eyes

Round 4, Thursday

I have a whole slew of games to catch up on for my blog, but I’ll post last night’s game first. Unlike a string of convoluted efforts that I have had recently, where I am winning and then destroy the value of my game in time-pressure, this one is relatively straight-forward.

Like I told Dean after the game, he should have attacked me on the kingside in this variation, not the queenside. I am glad that Dean seems to have a bit of a passive, yet logical nature at the chessboard because it forces me to play very logically against him, and my king has not gotten hammered yet by him. Plus, he plays the same variation, hence I played my first 10 moves in only 5 minutes.

Kubuntu

I’ve finally got a desktop pc up and running. I had to unplug my video card and go with the on-board one as I couldn’t get any of many distros to work otherwise. Even Ubuntu had major issues with my video card, despite that my previous and much older version had had no troubles with it.

Perhaps the base install just can’t deal w/a video card. I have Linux on my laptop, but am not a fan of tablets nor laptops when it comes to productivity. In any case, I am back up and running now at long last, and have access to my OTB games going back a couple of years at least, and will try to get them into scid (chess DB) at some point.

The ChessX database looks very nice, and professional on Kubuntu.