The difference between a five second increment and a thirty second increment is like night and day. I saw that I was down to 4 seconds against Earl, made my move and pressed the clock as fast as I could, and I still somehow flagged.
By the way, I am including people’s regular ratings as that way you have an idea of how strong they really are. Quick chess ratings are often down a couple hundred rating points, probably because people are not quick enough, particularly below Expert level.
I actually had 4 minutes left at the end of this game, and that was to prove to be the last time that I had more than say 12 seconds by game’s end.
There was an obvious time-scramble at the end, where I missed a win, then gave him a perpetual-check chance but he missed it.
At the end of this game, I saw 4 second and move my arm all the way over from one side of the board, where I had just placed my captured pawn, to the other side of the board to play 36.Kh2, which was right next to my clock, and somehow, amazingly I still did not complete the move in time. Immediately after the game, Daniel showed on the board 36.Qa8+ Kf7, 37.Qxb7+ Kd7, 38.Qa8+ Ke7, 39.QxN+ winning at least the knight and trading queens. Losing this game probably cost me at least a second place prize. Yes, it’s amazing how it all come down to that move!
Earlier, I was going to blitz 30.Qf3, but then I got cagey and played 30.Qf2, hoping he might bite on 30…Qxh3??, and then saw my a3 pawn hanging after that. I was going to play Qb2 there, but I dropped the pawn, and then I was going to play Rb1 after Bb5, but dropped the exchange and knew it was a blunder as soon as I had played it. Crazy how that 5 second increment only can destroy a game like that. OTB, the increment feels the same as a 5 second-delay, next to nothing. Between them the difference may be large, but not compared to the difference between those two and a 30 second increment.
As there was no time to shake off a loss, I went into this game still feeling a sense of dejection from the result of the last game. This game was a melt-down, but also the most useful to go over, as this is the opening I seem to most dread facing as Black, but even during the game I recognized that I had made some silly oversights. I flagged as I was playing 23…bxa.
Apparently, I took revenge for my humiliating quick-chess performance with an online blitz game:
Quick take-away from this tournament. It is obvious that I wasn’t used to playing four tournament games back-to-back-to-back, one after another until done. That’s very evident in the fourth game. Another is that it was probably helpful to have played in that Ironman Blitz tournament, as Rhett and Earl did for example. OTB is not the same thing as online, as when you play OTB you are tweaking your OTB instincts to respond more quickly, and efficiently. In online play, also, you can look for tactics in all of your games and go from win to loss. In OTB play, you are more naturally and rightfully concerned about strategy, and you don’t want to toss away a game as much in the interest of pretty tactics as much as you may want to online.