Move First, Lose Sooner!

…a play on the title “Move First, Think Later!” if that is indeed what the title was implying.  If you watch this Round 3 game, then you will wonder how I lost so easily, but it requires a bit of explanation.

When I got there, I was four minutes late off of the clock, and was semi-disappointed that I was going to “waste” a White game against a Master, since I would rather dump a game as Black, where I will still learn something, but not lose out on playing White in the next round, but I suppose building experience as Black is more important than rating.  Anyway, “small potatoes”, as the American expression goes.

So, I got into the C3 Sicilian, where I know he had hammered me on the clock last time we played this, and naturally history would repeat itself.  I spent 30 minutes on 14.Bc4, so I must have been freaking out that I had spent too much time on that move when I told myself to just play a candidate move, being 15.Nd6 even though I hadn’t finished analyzing it, and hadn’t finished “going through my progressions” of looking at the different lines to play.  No sooner had I played it than I kicked myself for not playing 15.a4, which I would have surely played at a slower time-control.  But actually, he can reply not play 15…a6??, but by 15…Rc8, and then 16.Nc3 is probably best, so why not play it at move 15?  This is the conclusion that Master Bloomer had come to as well.  However, even the move 15.BxNd5 QxNb5, 16.Bb3, my first and modest inclination, would have been quite an acceptable choice.

At this point, the game takes a bit of a surreal turn, as my “out” against 15…Na5 was to play 16.Ne4, assuming there was nothing better, or nothing else worked.  Well, I looked at 16.Ne5 QxNd6, 17.Ng6 e5, 18.Bxe5 QxNg6 for an example of that line.   I also looked at 16.Qd2 BxNd6, 17.BxBd6 NxBc4, 18.Bc5 NxQ, 19.BxQ NxRf1 winning a rook for Black.  16.Qd2 Bxd6, 17.Bxd5 Bxg3 is still immediately losing a piece for White, and 16.BxNd5 exd5 and now my Nd6 is trapped and lost.

The only move, as Josh pointed out afterward was 16.b4, which I had considered, but curiously enough had never analyzed my “out” or my “go to move of 16.Ne4, and I it must have been because I was so disgusted with myself that I still had not finished solving the position when I played 16.Ne4 (a clock management move, really, since I am not the type to make moves that I don’t want to make), I pressed the clock and noticed his recapture and skewer as soon as I looked back at the board.  This is mainly because I realized that I never even taken a look at this line, hadn’t analyzed it yet, it was just part of the guesswork of the position at that point.  Well, he took at least 5 minutes before recapturing and skewering my rooks, and I spent at least 5 minutes before deciding not resign on the spot, although both of these events felt more like 10 minutes.  So this is what had happened in this game.

As I told Alex after the game, I would have rather flagged in an advatageous or equal position than to have played blunders for the sake of the clock.  Lesson learned.  Also, I need to become more efficient in analyzing quickly.  I need to build up that sense, possibly, of what not to look at, and also to make sure that I do look at the stuff that I am actually going to play.


7 thoughts on “Move First, Lose Sooner!

  1. My first impression is that you were nervous and played too aggressively.
    I do not think you should play Nb5 and Bc4 against the master, show some respect. 🙂
    I will look more into details later.
    I played yesterday against former expert, now ~1900, young man with whom I have a positive score. He managed to put pressure on me with Black in Caro-Kann, I felt uncomfortable, but computer doesn’t see a win there, all shootouts end in a draw.
    He usually gets into time trouble ( like you 🙂 ), it happened this time too.
    He spent a lot of time trying to find a winning combo, I defended carefully. He ended up making a mistake that allowed me to exchange both rooks and strike him back. I got an advanced passed pawn and then another mistake when he played on increment costed him a knight and eventually a game.

  2. It was actually a bishop, so I had a knight and pawns, he had pawns. For some reason he continued to play and even got to 3 minutes from 20 seconds on his clock, eventually I mated him with this knight after 70+ moves. 🙂

  3. I felt the same way, I should have shown him more respect, and even after Bc4, his Nc3 suggestion definitely seems strongest. I think the key was to transition from weak-point to weakpoint, which both Bc4 and Nc3 would both accomplish in succession. It got to a point where I wasn’t sure what do, and then just lashed out as a result of not being able to figure out how to proceed. Maneuvering from an equal position has always been a weak-point for me, so it’s good experience, and top players force me to do this.

    It takes a cool-hand to back-off and find the right plan in a position, sure. He was repositioning his queen as part of a plan, and I needed to maneuver there according to a plan as well. I don’t belive yet that my position would have collapsed had I found b4, as he seemed to believe, but mucking around against a Master isn’t the truest way to play for a win (or draw), either. 😉

    I am glad you won your game, and played. It’s as if you were on the other side of the equation that I was on in my game and thus won your game in the same “style” as the Master did over me. 🙂

  4. Colloquially, I understand what we are saying about respecting a Master, but honestly I think in a chess game, it should be about _self_ respect, not respecting an opponent. G/90 d/5 is very much about three results, win/lose, draw, and flag. Flagging should be a respectable result, as it’s earned by the opponent who flags you, and you don’t have to make crappy moves just for the sake of making a move – may as well not even show up if poor moves are part of the game-plan.

  5. huh, it doesn’t show in trash or spam. Perhaps you made your comment in a previous post, but it shows that your last comment before this one was on 9/19 in this post, those two comments above. Hmm, maybe WordPress just sucks. hehe. Sorry about your lost post, don’t know what happened to it friend.

  6. It’s OK, it was just that Nc3 was good as well as Qd2.
    I answered on your comment on my blog.
    I won yesterday, will post later. For some reason I do not want to post my losses, kind of painful.
    On Thursday I will not play, have an important meeting.

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