New Territory

Round 2

After taking a bye in Round 1, I played Anthea in Round 2 and decided to play Ruy Lopez.  I’ve played it twice recently OTB in past few months, but haven’t played it online in years for example.  I was even more surprised than I already was at how slow the play develops, when I went over it for a few hours with Stockfish.  I got into acute time-pressure and blundered a piece.  I intentionally gave up the pawn on f3 because I felt stuck for a move, and after thought that Nd4 or Rc1 was better, but in reality even those are losing.  a4 was best try.

I was more relaxed than I would normally be, having taken three tylenol, two aspirin, and an ibuprofen before the game, but that’s not why I lost.  I didn’t hold it together under pressure, and Anthea, although I saw virtually all of her moves before she played them, played very well!

If you run it through a kibitzer, it will say Bxf7 was +.9, but actually in the right lines they all fall back to 0.0.  The important thing in this opening, for example, is to have a very holistic attitude, and get in a4 for example, don’t worry about trying to win or hold a pawn, worry about the game as a whole.  I was going to play 24.Rae1, but then in time-pressure I didn’t.  Again, you can’t think too highly of tactics in this style game and positional strategy really needs to come first.



2 thoughts on “New Territory

  1. Of course Ke7 was a mistake, she didn’t see Bd5.
    You started well, but then …
    24. Raf1 probably was better than Ke1.
    The events that followed showed that you needed to protect e5 pawn.
    Objectively, her two bishops and active rooks were good enough compensation for the pawn.

  2. Yeah, I was surprised to some extent that I had no advantage according to Stockfish. I should have played to hold the position at the end. My biggest trouble is the clock, not figuring out things in chess according to the incessant demands of the time-control, and my opponents who never ever leave the board and act like it is a religious requirement to only think on my time until after move 20.

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