Spotting 700 Rating Points To Draw A Kid

This is another reason you don’t want to play G/90 d/5 against kids – they will eat you for breakfast, and spit you out.  lol.

Round 1

I drew this game with 1 second left on my clock.  Mark McGough, who is a little higher rated than me these days, drew his brother with 3 seconds on his clock.  That is “boss”, having 3 seconds instead of only 1, haha.  Both of these kids don’t look a day over 13, and probably aren’t.  lol.  I just looked up Jesse’s rating.  his rating has gone up over 300 points in only a month and half – MDLM, eat your heart out.  ;-p

Of course, during the game I figured I was playing some 1100 kid,  and could probably afford to do just about anything, and at least hold, but that’s about as good as that prediction got.

Against a “stronger” player (whatever that means, right!?), I would have played 3…e5 instead of 3…d5, but I felt free-spirited enough, plus wanted to try this variation that I had mentioned before in a post, but now had suddenly distrusted OTB, but then decided “What the heck, I can afford to lose a pawn against this guy, worst case scenario!”  Well, at the time I didn’t really want to get into some weird variation(?) such as 3…e5, 4.Nf3 Qc7, 5.d4 exd4, 6.Qd4! Bb4 (which could lead to …Bb4-a5-b6 at some point).  This line is a little out there, but at least avoids the predictable nature of play which I got in this game.

Well, at move five e5, I had already seen the writing on the wall and decided to sac the pawn rather than to play 5…Ng4 or 5…Ng8, but both of those moves are probably quite a bit better than the pawn sac.

After 7…Nc6, I thought he would simply nab the pawn with 8.Qxd4, and then would follow 8…g6 with 9…Bf5, where White is simply better, but there are dynamics in play.  As was shown, he gave me a choice of whether I wanted to accept this variation or not, but my “plan” was to outplay him from an equal position, which is the real reason I played this hyper-active line (which is more well suited to two Masters playing for a draw than for someone trying to beat a lower-rated, which suits a more quiet style, were you let the other player go wrong).  If I had known my opponent, I would have avoided the queen trade and simply let him take the pawn and be better, but with lots of active play possibilities.

17…e6?  I hated playing this move, knew it meant giving up the bishop pair, but I saw a dreadful alternative in my planned variation.  I showed Paul A. this line (he’s Expert rated, around 2050) after the game 17…Rd5, 18.Nxe4 (in fairness to Paul he found this move, then I found the rest of the moves for White) …Bxe5, 19.Bxe5 RxB, 20.f3 Rfd8, 21.Nc3! RxR, 21.RxR Rxd2? (…e6), 22.Rxe7 Bc6, 22.Rxa and I went on to win that post-mortem against him a pawn up rather effortlessly against his multiple takebacks, which only shows that a lost technical position is still a lost technical position against someone of Class A strength.  Anyhow, I should have navigated that line as Black nevertheless instead of taking a downright losing position the way I did.

Actually, it was at this point that I was going into the second phase of the game, surviving the clock and making practical moves.  I had gotten overheated from my analysis, took off my jacket only after playing  the dreaded …e6? move, but felt worlds better once I had taken it off, and instantly cooled down.

It’s ironic how right when I started playing passive and asked him essentially to “prove it” is where he started to go wrong and sort of just let me have the draw, at which point I wasn’t looking too hard for more than a draw anyway so was well focused on it.

33.Rxd7?  Here is where I felt that I was hopelessly lost against a 1900 player, and felt White should win.  For example, just looking at this now, after  33.Kd3, 34.Ra6, and 35.Ree6, this is not going to end well for Black, as the White queenside pawns and king will simply march up the board at some point, and Black has no counterplay.  This should be almost a yawner win, given a modest amount of clock time, for a stronger player.

After showing that game, I am tempted to make the joke that this is how a “real” 1100 player plays.  hehe.  Actually, Shirley spent about half her time doing her TD duties, and half her time at the board.  Compared to Jesse’s level of concentration against me, she was barely paying attention to her game, in all fairness.

Round 1,  Thursdays

14…b6??  I had wanted her to play 14…Qd8 to make the game very interesting and unusual, but it was such a game in any event.  Actually, Daniel sort of admonished me for not refuting her move 7…f6?! with 8.f5!  Of course, I was happy to try out my more positional idea to see where it lead, since I didn’t feel the pressure of needing to play the most forcing continuation with a 30 second increment to back me up.

I was going to castle queenside, and wanted to play a more positional game, but decided that I couldn’t let the perfect opportunity to play 15.Bg5! slide, since it had the potential to be decisive, and indeed it still would have been had she responded with best play.  Before I played 15.Bg5, I had already calculated out ..RxB, 16.RxR Qxh2, 17.Qf4! h6 (..g6 is mate in a few), 18.Qf7+ (actually I found this intermezzo later, but it’s not strictly necessary) Kh8, 19.Qf3! (trapping the queen) hxBg5, 20.Rh1 QxQ, 21.NxQ, when White should be able to mate without too many difficulties.  I saw this line, minus the 18.Qf7+ finesse part, before I got up to go to the restroom.  How cool is that?  But yes, no one but the dear reader and those I showed after the game (Shirley, Daniel, Pete, Paul A) will know that the game would have taken that path in the other event that it had occured.  Sometimes, the Wednesday game just primes you up for Thursday’s game.  😉

Incidentally, I also calculated OTB and showed them the line 15…RxBf1+, 16.KxR not 16…Ba6+?? Shirley played and I showed 17.Kf2 Qg4, 18.h3 winning the queen, but rather instead Black can play 16…Qg4, 17.Kf2 h6, 18.h3 QxBg5, which is why I “decided” not to play this variation, realizing that her queen was not getting trapped in this line.

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10 thoughts on “Spotting 700 Rating Points To Draw A Kid

  1. Game 1. Frankly, I do not like this Ne4 move at all, probaly all this line.
    I wouldn’t play inferior moves even against lower rated opponent.
    Then right, it was better to keep queens, in the game it went exactly the way how I draw against the high rated opponents, except the endgame of course.
    He screwed up and I think you could win that endgame, but you didn’t have enough time.

    Game 2.
    8. f5 can be rebutted with 8… cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nxe5 10. Nxe6 Bxe6 11. fxe6 O-O.
    That line with Qf4 and Qf3 is really good, great that you saw it.

    I played yesterday. I got Black against an old 2000+ rated gentleman I drew recently.
    I did not play very well in the opening, but he made a mistake in the middlegame and I got a pawn and a strong attack, Fritz evaluated it as +2 at least.
    Then I missed the decisive knight move winning the game, which I considered, but decided that he can defend and played the move, that kept me at ~ +2.
    The worst thing was that after that I got a feeling that I lost an initiative, my time was closing to 10 minutes, he had more. Then I made a move with the queen and as soon as I released it I realized that I left my knight en prise. Awful feeling, then I blundered a pin and that’s it.
    I was really, really upset and the guy was nice, he apologized a few times and said that he did not deserve to win. I felt tired after busy Sunday and my car smells gasoline since New Year because I spilled it in the trunk twice, especially bad smell since Saturday.
    Anyway now I think that I did not deserve to win, I had to calculate more and play that move, it was just bad to have a strong attack and play a defensive inferior move, so maybe that was a punishment for that.

  2. Exactly. I was trying to show that I didn’t necessarily like his f5 idea (didn’t think I be trying to “refute” …f6 so much in that particular position, but will definitely keep it in mind the next time I see …f6 played against White in the French, and was trying ..cxd4 against it – I’ll look at your line. Yes, the pawn sac is screwy because even …Ng8 should be a better move for example; I shouldn’t worry about initiative from the opening so much against lower-rated – at the time, I felt confused about what type of game I should be trying to play against lower-rated, and was probably trying to challenge myself too much as well.

    By the end, his king or rook was blocking his pawn and I probably had time to nab a queenside pawn, but it is only a 5 second delay on Wednesday, so accepted his draw offer. Thanks for the kudo! I can figure out sharp lines that lead to a definite result a lot of easier than murkier positional lines where I really have to strap my brain-bucket on tight, and decide what should be done, unless I just have a feeling what should be done.

    I was thinking about what kind of car you drive recently. Was thinking to myself. “I am so glad that RP must have a nice 2010 SUV that can navigate the snow, and ice, and that he can focus on chess, and not worry about having to stop going to chess because of his car” That’s what I think when I don’t hear about it for a while. When I do hear about your car I imagine one of those old black and yellow Datsun B210’s from the 70’s that would have had it’s engine rebuilt four times by now, and I am worried again how you can survive on the roads out there. I drive a 2000 Lincoln Town Car, BTW.

    Your game sounds like every game I’ve ever played against an Expert. :-p I am kidding, of course. One odd thing I believe it was even DuWayne (he’s made Expert before) told me last time after he beat me last month (ironically, it was at d/5) is that at 30 second increment, you should use all of your time and not compromise due to the clock.

    When you are playing an Expert, well what I have found is that that they make lots of blunders early on, but when endgame is anywhere near turning the corner, they play like Fritz and are close to unstoppable without exact play on your part. You have to tell yourself that you are playing against a computer that purposely gives you some freebies before inexplicably switching on it’s lock-down, lights-out mode. The good news is that we can play like that in some positions ourselves, but we have to reach those positions first. My feeling is that at 30 sec increment I will be willing to go under 5 seconds against them and then to play on the increment. Part of their knowledge is how to use the clock, but 30 second increment, playing on the nubs, will negate that frequently, particularly when deep enough into the game with an advantage. The secret of playing well in time-scrambles I’ve figured out is to have an advantage going into them, or at worst a pleasant, easy to play position with lots of straight-forward chances whether winning or losing.

    When not feeling well, what happens to me is maybe what happened to you, take more time to compensate for it, so still play well on the board and get that +2 vs. Expert, but then the result of the game is determined by what happens in time-pressure vs Expert and that is when the lack of energy will completely show itself. In that situation, I recommend try taking off any jacket or shirt, get your body temperature on the cold side (so you don’t overheat), then prepare to blitz with that proverbial 1 second on your clock with all of the last nervous energy that you’ve got. I don’t like to play chess when I am shivering exactly (played shivering many a time in time-pressure and virtually always have won or drawn in that state), but I can probably blitz at my best when I am close to shivering – that’s mimics when your body has spent all of it’s energy but is still in “survival mode”. After the game, I usually fall apart, can’t keep it together too well in the post-mortem, and am trembling, but that’s how it goes.

    That’s not what has happened to me for quite some time because it’s been the opposite where I lose OTB, and am then the post-mortem master, etc. lol. I think this is because I am trying to enjoy chess more and not freak-out OTB as much as I used too, but it hasn’t been working. 😉 The whole idea of playing with a 5 second delay has been a traumatic ordeal for my chess, on the whole, although in my last few games with seconds on my clock, I’ve been much calmer, but it’s still kind of sad to have to be in that spot.

    Chess-wise, I’d say you probably want to make sure that you are seeing more than they are in those positions, because that is what will determine who is the better player on that night. Just keep seeing more than they are, OTB. The clock will have to take care of itself somehow. Maybe they are the Expert because they can beat you on the clock, in the proverbial sense, but it’s probably better to give them that respect and lose on the clock than on the board, when playing up anyway.

  3. I have Honda Civic 2007, got more than 225,000 km on it, just so you know. 🙂
    I think I decided too early that it’s a won game and also forgot to ask myself your question: “Is it a blunder?”
    Yes, he gave me a lot of chances in the middlegame.
    For example I had an option of safely winning the central pawn and keeping the initiative or playing h5 against his h3, g4 structure to accelerate the attack on the kingside. The former was the best. You have to play safely and involve some amount of risk at the same time, otherwise you will never win against an expert.
    I couldn’t fully calculate the first move that gave me a big advantage, but I didn’t like the alternative, so I played it and almost won. I decided not to risk later considering the move that would give me +5, so I lost. I saw more than him, but I did not execute it.

    Also I do not intend always limit myself to only draws with experts, it was necessary for my confidence, but I will not even become an expert myself without winning.

  4. I’ve played those games where I felt I needed to try a speculative sac. It may have added to my ability to play and judge sharp positions, but it didn’t add to my confidence against stodgy play, which is how a lot of Experts and lower-rated play and win games. It also made me believe less in the flashy style, although the flashy technique for winning a position is still a great skill to have.

    That was DuWayne’s question to himself. I am more looking for my opponent’s best move, or at least trying to sense it – I am usually looking for blunders (double-attacks, hanging material) in the second move of a line I am looking at, rather than on the first move. I like Aronian’s question these days, where the first thing he considers in a position is “Is there are any free (loose/hanging) material?” Of course, all of this breaks down and goes to pot in time-pressure at some point, generally.

    Stronger players know how to make even your win look more topsy-turvy than the straight-forward way you had anticipated. Also, they can sense your comfort level and will try to somehow “raise the ante” of your winning position, so that it goes from +2 to +5, but is now more difficult to fully assess, and they know that your human and clock limitations will go against you, even though they know that you know, you both know, that you are winning. So you have to be super-good tactically to take the win from them, even though their wins against you will be these technical, endgame affairs.

    Wow, you average a lot of miles, drive a lot. In the big city, the commute is ironically far, but in the small city it is relatively short from any location.

    When you posed that question I thought to myself “I’ll wimp out and take the pawn in the center.” hehe. Yeah, wait for that attack to become a matter of tactical-technical technique, rather than get all Rudolf Spielmannesque about it and start spouting “But it’s not a ‘real sacrifice’!” hehe.

  5. No. At this point all I was looking for on each move was to fork his rook and king, and since I had 1 second on my clock I was not keeping score. Actually, I’m fairly certain I played 46…Qd7+, and then 47….Qd3+. I thought my final check was …Qg1+, but I have no idea how I got on that dark diagonal, but it tells you that yes I was obsessed with the fork at the time and couldn’t think strategically about whether or not trying to win one of his queenside pawns was a good or bad idea.

  6. The thing is taking the central pawn was not giving him any chances and another move gave.
    Usually you sacrifice nicely playing with the lower rated players.
    When these experts will become lower rated, than you can sacrifice to them. 🙂
    Yeah, I drive a lot, the minimum per day is 30 miles to work and back.

  7. I played yesterday. Had a light gum inflammation, but took Tylenol, felt OK and went.
    Got White, against a boy rated 2061. It was a positional play and then I missed a tactical shot. Again, saw it, but didn’t calculate good enough and threw it out. Draw.
    Can’t blame my physical shape because I took another tablet right before the game and felt OK, no pain. Also I had more time than him.
    It’s just that I did not evaluate well the position that would arise after a few moves and made a wrong conclusion. Also again I didn’t feel that this was a crucial moment.

  8. Wow, two tylenol’s that day and one was before the game. I like tylenol, have to admit, but I always lost or played really shaky when taking one before a game. for me, it takes away my sense of decisiveness and I meander quite a bit more than I otherwise would.

    Once again, a draw against an Expert is still an excellent result. 🙂

    Thanks for the kudo on comment on my game! I wasn’t confident that I could give up that center pawn, but realistically should put myself into the fire there, you are right.

    You should show the game, and I’ll see if I can find it and calculate it. Yeah, against higher-rated you get that one shot, and often they are positionally winning shots rather than based on material. I could have gone for other shots in my Thursday game, but was so winning that I decided to go with the wins I had calculated in the “lesser” lines instead. Against higher-rateds that is part of the trick, knowing when and when not to take those shots, and then taking that chance when you think it is the best move. This is a difficult part of chess that doesn’t show up in the game score. Just like a good QB in football is an excellent “game manager” who knows when to throw the ball away, spike it, take a time out, and when to take a shot down field on fourth down – Phillip Rivers is a good example of this quality as is Tony Romo.

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