Fall Classic

Round 1

I felt this guy was dominating until he went into self-destruct mode in my time-pressure.  It’s odd how every game was decided in my time-pressure  I got down to 2 seconds in a couple of games and never finished a game with more than a minute on my clock, which is how everything that got so weird seemingly got so weird.

Round 2

This game is a reminder of how sickening it can be to watch an ending played under 3 minutes (he finished with 23 minutes remaining) with only a five-second delay.  After the game, when I signed his scoresheet, I noticed he had stopped keeping score on move 19, and had asked to see my scoresheet when I reminded him that he didn’t need to keep score because I was under 5 minutes.  I kept score until move 26, the queen trade, because that is when I actually went under 5 minutes.  Also, he offered me a draw there, which made me burn up a lot of time doubting myself.  He’s been 1775 rated before and he is on a rating low, for some reason.  This opponent is now in sole first-place with 3/3.

The first two rounds were G/90, 5 second delay, the last three rounds are G/90, 30 second increment.

On move 31, for example, I was kicking myself for not playing 31.a4 right away, which I had been planning, and playing c3 first, which allowed him to push his pawn onto a light-square and make my extra pawn backward, and I even let him do this on the other side of the board.  What was I thinking?  I know, it was crazy moves.  Basically, I was looking for legal moves, and it shows.  I was thinking 31.b3 after the game, and yes, you can just play 31.b3 and 32.c4 there, game over.  Ridiculous how a time-control is allowed to mar a game like that.  They are pushing to have Round 2 be G/90, 30 increment in future tournaments.

I was at my most tired during this game, after only 3 1/2 hrs sleep.  I left for the restroom like 6 times (to throw water on my face), and only once did he not move as soon as I left.  Once I left just because I knew it would get him to move, and immediately returned to the board.  I lost well over ten minutes off my clock because of these incidents.  Right around move 16.Bg5 is where I began to lose it.  I was going to play the much better 16.Qg3, but at that point, I was more concerned about grabbing control of the game, and the clock for later.

Round 3

Before you feel sorry for this guy, know that he gained 99 rating points in this same tournament alone!

1.e4 e5 is a risky proposition, versus the Scandinavian defense, for example, in terms of what you might get faced with.  Here is an example of what I thought about early in the opening (the Perreux variation of the two knights), and why an easy to use database of master games would be desirable.  It’s weird trying to visualize this during a game because your opponent is wondering what you could possibly be thinking about, and you are trying to reinvent the wheel on some variation that he won’t even play.



Round 4

I finally got to play Ann; she usually finishes around second place in these big tournaments, so I knew she was strong in this section.  Actually, I cannot find my scoresheet for this game at the moment, so I just recreated this entire game from memory rather quickly.

Round 5

This turned out to be a money-round, but I wasn’t honestly entertaining those chances, just trying to get in a good, competitive game if that.  I figured I might draw, but just as likely to lose in time-pressure.  I got into acute time-pressure and blundered my f7 pawn, but then unexpectedly he had a difficult time finishing me off.  As it was, LM Brian Wall showed me that I missed a rook and knight mate on previous move.  38…Qf5 was another laughable move, since I saw a few seconds after making the “pre-move” that I could have threatened mate, and the rook with 38…Qg6, 39.Nf3-e1 Nxh3+



8 thoughts on “Fall Classic

  1. Round 1 – I don’t think he was dominating, it was pretty equal.
    28. b3 was a mistake, Bxa5 was better.
    30. Bb4 was a horrible blunder, of course and the game was over after that.

    Round 2 – he definitely miscalculated with 26… e3.
    Yes, you noticed it right, you allowed him to create the pawn structure that was good for him.
    It was very difficult to play being under time pressure in this situation.
    46. Ne1 was a mistake, Nd4 was holding the position.

  2. Round 1 – I was in such time-pressure that I didn’t even notice that he had 28.Bxa5!
    Round 2 – That endgame felt like a blur on the 5-second delay. At one point, I wanted to try to calculate a win, but then realized I wasn’t able to that quickly, and then went into defensive mode simply trying to hang on. The next three games had the 30-second increment.

  3. Round 3 – 28. Rxd4 was a huge losing mistake.
    You needed to play 29… Rb1 with a threat of mate on h1, the same possibility remained on the move 30.
    He missed his way to draw by 40. Ra7 and Black can’t defend “a” pawn because of the 41. Ra8+ Kh7 42. Ra7+ Kh6 43. Ra8.
    After that the game is lost for White.

  4. Yes, when you mentioned it, I could see the line quickly, where he plays Rdd1 RxRd1, RxR Rb8, Ra1 Rb1, Rxa2 Rhf1 mate. I saw that he could double rooks and didn’t calculate further. I was down to a minute, so worrying about the clock, and Rxc2 is such an easy move, and nerves, but there is no excuse other than bad form, since that is an easy line to see.

    OTB, I too figured he was drawing with 40.Ra7 by my calculations, but I could also sense he was “wobbly” in playing out an endgame on my increment, and I was actually playing and calculating faster than my increment at times. If something was obvious, whether it was a draw or not I played it (just like blitzing on FICS, right?), and this sort of seemed to affect his ability to judge the position (not surprisingly), even though he had plenty of time still (he had around 23 minutes when the first pair of rooks got traded, and my clock starts showing seconds once you go below 20 minutes, so that can heighten a sense of needing to blitz).

    Funny note to this game is that a few times when he made a bad move, I felt feint like I almost wanted to pass-out on him making it so easy on me suddenly. Part of that is probably because this was third game of the day, and playing on 3 hours sleep, but that was still an unusual experience for me.

  5. Round 4 – you had 19. Bg5, winning exchange.
    Why did you play 28. c4, was it a blunder?
    She could reply 28… Nxb5 29. axb5 Bxc4 with a win.
    Then she blundered back with 29… Nxb2, losing a piece.
    42. Bxc2 was a mistake, she could play 42… Bf4.

  6. Yeah, I guess I really screwed up that one. lol. I thought I was winning a piece in my line, but I missed her Bd5, attacking my hanging Bc4. I also thought I was winning an exchange if she simply traded queens at that point.

    28.c4? Yes, a quick move with little time left that I instantly regretted. OTB, I must have been afraid of 28…NxB, followed by 29…Bc4, but 28.Nb8 with 29.Nb8-c6 looks so much more obvious now. Wasn’t able to find or decide on that simple plan.

    She played 41…g5? first, and then 42…Bg6, so she blew that chance, yeah. I remember when I attacked both of her white pawns that she pushed that one. So 41…g5, 42.Bxc2 Be3, 43.Re1 Bf2, 44.Re2 Rc1+, 45.Kh2 doesn’t save her. She was trying hard to find those things, which is why she eventually flagged, but she blew her chance there.

    Thanks for pointing these things out to me! 🙂

  7. Round 5 – his 38. e5 was a big mistake, yes, 38… Qg6 was winning exchange.
    He missed 51. Ra2 with advantage.
    Yeah, you missed the mate on move 52.
    53. hxg4 was funny. 🙂

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