Beaten On The Clock

….or at least that’s how it felt OTB.

Round 3 of Colorado Springs City Championship.

I got down to 1 minute on my clock against Dan’s 50 minutes, and then blundered by letting my rook get trapped.  It was one of those positions I felt was drawn, and I just needed to shuffle my pieces, but it’s hard to have that discipline in time-pressure, waiving off useless targets such as his h-pawn.  I made a decision, thought I had messed up and let my rook get trapped, then wanted to play ….Rh3 on move 41, for example, but didn’t see why that worked until I plugged it into my computer, saw the eval, then immediately understood why that was, that the king can’t really approach it.  I didn’t actually flag, but resigned since I knew my last few moves were all blunders and that it was over.

Dan’s last tournament was the Colorado State Quick Championship on Friday.  It’s funny, me and Alex avoided that, and he avoided the weekend tournament (in the same hotel), and that is sort of how this game played out.  He wasn’t quite putting me away on the board as he should have, and as I expected, thought about resigning earlier, but he did put me away on the clock, as it would have been very difficult to hold that position for fifty more moves on my clock.  I would say he wasn’t even spending 30 seconds on any of his last four moves, or six of the last seven moves.

I should play …Ra1 and just let him try to make progress, since if he moves he rook I can play …a4.  His king can’t get out while I control the d-file (and I would have loved to see a rook trade), and his knight can’t be improved, and neither his pawns, which I did realize during the game.  If I had have another five minutes, I believe I would have drawn the game. I didn’t realize he was rated as high as 2138 back in 1995.

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