….of the strength, time, and will to resist.
This is one of those games where you play because you want to, not because you should. The first half of the game was like Cinderella before midnight, and then the stagecoach turned into a pumpkin, etc.
Coming into the game, I had been up/awake since 11:45 pm the night before, and still fighting this light flu. Actually, I lost my voice for three days last week and took two days off of work because of it. Anyhow, there are always chess reasons for losing a game.
I has happy to get paired against William because my physical strength was ebbing away. Like I say, the first half of the game went fine, when one can take their time, but in time-pressure that’s when I realized that I didn’t have it. I didn’t get the shakes like I do when I win, or knock over any pieces, didn’t even get nervous, and that’s just as much because I had no nervous energy to get nervous with.
William only used 26 minutes for the game, but I can’t remember ever using his clock to find any improvements. He didn’t move when I went to the restroom multiple times to blow my nose and cough, but he moved instantly at the board, particularly in my time-pressure. After the game, I immediately found improvements on each move and my play was like one long blunderthon.
20…dxR After the game, I had wondered why I hadn’t traded off that last pair of rooks with 20…RxR, not that it matters much as I blew easy wins the whole way along.
23…Qd6. Right after I played this, I questioned why I hadn’t played …Qd7 as I need to keep my queen on light squares, and after …Rd8 to follow, this would soon be a game-over position. Just watch, the queen on dark-square follies is like never-ending until I misplace her on a light square.
25…Rec7. How many pieces can I misplace on dark squares at once? Rd7 or Qe6, putting pieces on light squares is an easy win.
27…Qc6 (forced). Finally on a light-square, hurray!
28…Qc3. Oh no, more dark-square badness! 28…Qe8, putting her on the light square is back into the easy-win column.
…..more pieces on dark-squares hell follows….
35….Qg6. Choosing the wrong light-square this time! Again, …Qf7, need I say more?
36…Rxd5?? I suspected something was up, but you can see that I needed the proverbial Snickers bar by this point (It’s an American commercial). I was out of every kind of chess gas that you can think of.
43….a6. I didn’t play 43…Qa1+, 44.Kg2 Qxa2, 45.Qe3+ because I was “afraid of a perpetual” even though under a minute on my clock, more like 45 seconds, if that. You practically need a second time-control or a 30 second increment to play from here.
I was going to offer a draw, but didn’t get a chance to until my h-pawn had dropped. At this point the play was so fast and furious that I’m not so sure that that’s how I even dropped the h-pawn. He rejected my draw offer after that quite naturally, and then I was down to one second on my clock, and he checked me about twenty times, to the point that I had been lulled into a false sense of security, but it was tough because I had to avoid the queen trade, even though it doesn’t look tough because I am not showing all of the messy positions we got into. Anyway, I showed the mate that I walked into in the game-score.
Well, I got a good chess lesson. Funny thing is that I found all of these improvements after the game and here now rather instantly; I guess is what happens when one plays a technical position badly against a lower-rated player who happened to play that same technical position very well himself (so kudos to him). Anyway, I went home, talked with Alex, and then went to bed as I wasn’t feeling my strength mentally or physically. Of course, I feel much better after waking up after some sleep and getting a cup of coffee in. It’s just one of those things. William is a very beatable player, but you can’t have a bad day against him, that’s for sure, as he comes with a lot of energy and determination; he’s a really nice elderly gentleman.
I do note how in this game, it shows how later on in the game you do need more time than you when you are just looking for tactical shots because instead winning becomes all about superior positional moves and plans, and not about finding shots as much – shots being a wil’o-the-wisp trail which can lead one onto the wrong path just as often as not. A tactics fixation can also lead one to looking for sharp, concrete lines at innapropriate times as well.