Round 5 Loss

Round 5

This game felt like a needless, disappointing loss.

10.Bg5?  I knew this was a bad move as soon as I saw it, but I let my guard down.  Incidentally, before this point, he had been doing “long thinks” such as 30+ minute move, and I was ten minutes ahead on the clock.  Finally, since we were sitting under this air-conditioning vent, I put on my jacket and tried to convince myself I could play that way (I play much better when it’s cold) because I was sort of “froze out” already at the board.  When he resumed moving, we played this moves quickly, I saw Bg5, then immediately thought …g6?, and I believe I did note the correct move, 10…gxf6, but didn’t play it because I missed the forthcoming tactic at this point.  I had this unusual conversation with myself trying to convince myself to think and not just move, but I guess I lost the argument and should have taken off my jacket on my move to focus better!  …g6 would have been correct (winning the f-pawn with my queen) had there not been this tactic.  When he played 11.Re1+ using not much time and making this move in this really fast, confident manner, which is how he makes his moves, I spent about 15 seconds before playing 11…Be6??, and then thought to myself as I was removing my hand from the piece “Why hadn’t I looked at 12.RxB?”, and then noticed his winning tactic as I finished pulling my hand away.  About five seconds later that rook on e6 disappeared and I instantly uttered “Sh*t! I was hoping you wouldn’t play that.”, rather disgusted with myself.  Then I took off my jacket to focus again but it was almost too late by this point, as I decided to play on.

20…Bb6?  It’s all over at this point.  I should have played 20…h5!, putting the question to his knight.

20.Qc1!  I was impressed with this move of his more than any other.  I expected 20.Qd2, but this move also stops me from playing 20…b5 (21.Qxc4).  Actually, it’s irrelevant because he’s just winning on the kingside now in any event, but I can appreciate his positional thoughtfullness here, as 20….b5 would at least be better than taking his pawn.

20….Nxd4??  The defensive task from a poor position had eaten away at my clock much more than it would have had I had a position with more legitimate chances.  BTW, 20…Bxd4 is obviously a much better move, however, winning this pawn is a bad idea except in the world of practical changes.  Some sort of maneuvering/waiting move here would be best, but it was really too late once I missed playing 20…h5, which I considered but didn’t appreciate all of the danger just then.

My Rating is up to 1844 now, and I split first place with Aleksandr, the Russian.

This game was bitter-sweet, as I had a good overall result, but felt out of it on Wednesday, probably because I hadn’t been tot he bar so long and was still recovering.   I was not psyched up at all for this game, and thought before the game and during the game that I could have a mental lapse, and that is exactly what took place.  I was not my normal self where I am paranoid and look for threats, nor really motivated, was in this lackluster mood after the opening instead.   I had considered playing Kasparov’s 5….Be7, but had told my buddies last week that I would play for a win as Black.  So, intellectually I may have still been motivated, but physically and spiritually lost my motivation after I felt some relief knowing I had survived the opening.  His manner of play, going from big thinks to an almost blitz-like series of moves, played confidently, also had an effect as I sort of glibly tried to play my moves back just as quickly, though without sufficient preparation behind them, as if it were a game on FICS.   I’ve had this throat infection today, so not sure if I was already coming down with a little bit of something during this game, but definitely was after another late night at the bar with Alex and Paul.  Magnus wins sick though!  hehe.


3 thoughts on “Round 5 Loss

  1. It seems me that you underestimated what (not who) you were playing against.
    I studied Evans Gambit a lot when I started to study chess.
    It was a weapon of choice in 19th century, very dangerous in good hands.
    Nigel Short crushed me in simul with it. I remember playing a couple of years ago against 1300 rated guy and being very careful, he by the way knew at least first dozen of moves.
    His Bg5 was very bad, you could get +3 advantage playing gxf6, because then you play d3.
    After book move 10. fxg7 Rg8 Black still should be very careful, look at this game with the same sacrifice on e6:
    By the way I played 5….Be7 about 5 years ago against higher rated guy and drew.

  2. Yes, I told myself not to underestimate this opening, but as soon as we left the opening, I immediately began to play like a “chess-tourist” which is something that a player can’t afford to do against it.

    The surprising this is how “loosey-goosey”, strangely indifferent I became toward this middlegame position, which demanded a lot more time and board-sight of follow-up moves than how I handled it. Even post-mortem I once saw …gxf followed by …d3, but was all over the place and would show you some other variation two seconds later, didn’t even realize that that was +1 there after …gxf6, let alone +3. After I lost, at first I felt like everything wins after …gxf6, then tried playing it out seriously against Expert Paul, and then figured nothing wins, but yes, all of his cute follow up tactics were based on my not getting in …d3, which would have stopped all of the threats that he pulled. It’s just amazing how much can go wrong there in the span of just two moves.

    I remembered your game with …Bb4-e7 and my general feeling was that although Black had gotten this clear pawn that White gets this massive, advanced, protected center, and Black is getting kicked around in development. Still, having to be objective, that must have been the way to go because I would have been rather lost at sea had he played …f6xg7; not because I don’t know that the knight can afford to attack and fork from all of those dark-squared holes, but because it is so dog-gone difficult to avoid what is coming next from White, who can keep many threats in the air going at the same time.

    During the game, I just wanted to move, which is terrible, and convinced myself to at least look for an alternate move, which is when I found …gxf, but barely remembered seeing this after the game because I was saying to myself essentially “See, are you happy now? You found another move and still don’t like it as much as your own!” The problem is that this position has nothing to do with likes and is very concrete. What I didn’t tell myself to do until I took my hand off the bishop was to analyze what I was actually going to play – I should have analyzed what I wasn’t going to play as well!

    My job is mostly trouble-shooting, and I was thinking today how chess, like trouble-shooting, involves looking at “multiple points of failure”. I wasn’t looking at any points of failure in my move selection process, I was simply asking myself which item I would like for desert, lemon-meringue pie or apple-pie a la mode – this is not part of the trouble-shooting process! hehe.

    After the game, I felt I got nothing out of it, but given what you said, and given my post-mortem with Paul. I am lucky to have him around as a friend! 🙂 Couldn’t believe we even got drunk together, and I say that in the way of amiration in the sense that what if Bareev was your buddy, and you got drunk together, and he tore about your play in such a friendly manner. That is like having the best coach/second one could have. hehe. However you actually showed me how NOT to get torn apart! Thanks! 🙂

  3. Also, thanks for posting this game! Yes, I see what you were talking about. 12…Qd5 seems to be losing by force by the surprising game conclusion. This is like a study position! 😉

    I tried to find an improvement here for Black. At first I looked at 12…Bxc3, putting the question to the rook, but then White could simply play 13.NxBc3, dxN developing his knight and removing a threat by Black, and then playing 14.Qh5. So, why not play 12…dxc3 putting the question to the queen rather than the bishop. The position becomes computer-like after 13.Qh5 (…Nd4 doesn’t work, since that …Ba5 can hang as can …e6 still) Qd5, 14.RxB Kd8 15.Nf7+ Kc8, 16.QxQ, so no that just totally loses for Black. Then I looked at the goofy 12…Kd7, which looks positional in lieu of everything else just looked at. And THEN, and only then, did I spot the move 12…Qf6, and after say 13.Nxh7? Qg6 (actually, simply 13…Qxg7 would be winning for Black) , I am liking Black here. 😀

    It’s like Artur Yusupov said, in so many words, but I’ll elaborate here, GMs go straight to the prime candidate-move, whereas us weaker players need clock-time to go through the morass, or we may say to ourselves after the game “Duh, yeah, how come I didn’t blitz out 12…Qf6!” hehe, and then think that we were only a move away removed from GM status, haha. Yes, chess can be cruel that way. At our level it IS important to study openings simply not be lost all over the place and learn by trading in our OTB rating points.

    The main problem with these concrete, gambit openings is if your opponent knows theory one move deeper than you. So now I like 12…Qf6, but naturally an opponent as White should have one more move to reel off here (although they probably won’t have one), and if they do then just that one extra move of theory can hammer you on board, clock, nerves, energy. OTH, to lose after this position as Black could easily become one of those instructive losses that only sharpens your play further in these types of situations.

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