2017 Colorado Springs Open

Round 1

I believe they call this the 150 Attack, against the Pirc, but I’ve never played it before, just decided to do it spontaneous-like, although even then I spent a lot of time deliberating over doing it.  😉

I had never played Karthik before.  He fell into this trap with 17…Nxd4??, which I hoped he would play, given his level of play.  The funny thing about this game is that I kept wanting to sac a rook or knight on so many moves, but the time-control wouldn’t quite let me do it, as I suspected there may be flaw in the combos, so I had to sort of checkmate him positionally.  Houdini says the sacs were like +8 and so on.  It was fine how I played it, but all of my games suffered from a certain lack of self-confidence.

Round 2

I’ve been telling Alex for years that I thought that I would match up well against chess Master Peterson.  Well, I told Chris how excited I was to play him, and I sort of came through on that promise, and played well enough.

I thought that his move 18.Qg4+ was weak, and it turns out it was.  I was expecting 18.Nxc6 Qg5, although I wasn’t sure whether or not I could play 18…Qf6, and Houdini shows I can’t because _then_ he would play 19.Qg4+.  These subtleties become important when sacrificing, and OTB I sort of like concrete play because my sense of danger is adequate and I can usually calculate well, given enough time.

24…Qc8.  I missed that I could play 24…Ka4, 25.Qa6+ Ba5 -+.  We didn’t even see it in the post-mortem.

The first two rounds were G/90, d/5.  The third round (and 4th and 5th) are G/90, Inc 30, but I was so tired me that me and DuWayne sort of slept off the first hour of our clocks.  He seemed at least as tired as I was, probably more so.

Round 3

This is the game that makes me sick, missing wins.  I was too nervous and it felt somehow disrespectful to seriously play for the win against an accomplished player like DuWayne.  What I realize now is that I’ve already paid my dues, made the mistakes over the past ten years.  I feel like it was my time to shine, and somehow I still didn’t realize it, wasn’t completely sure because chess has a way of making you believe you should be a loser (from a lot of past experience).  Maybe the stronger players simply never dwell on the negative, it sure seems that way.

When I played 13.Rc1, I felt like 13.b5 Na5, 14.Qa4 b6 should be +- for White, and then 14….Nc3, 15.QxNa5 NxBe2+, 16.Kh1 Kg8, and then I felt I could roll with c5, probably throwing in Ne5 first, and it’s odd that it’s like +4 for White, but you have to find the follow-ups.  I was seeing a lot of continuations, like I feel I’m seeing more lines, and getting a more sure feeling than ever before, just raw output of what I can calculate OTB, I just need to believe more to match that intensity that I analyze with.

In the endgame, I felt I was wining but got too nervous because I saw the point of his moves.  For example 52.Ke4 would have been an easy win.  I was between two and three minute, never got below a minute and a half, and DuWayne was playing on the increment.  As Daniel pointed out, I simply missed 54.Rxh3+ KxRh3, 55.c8(Q)+ winning – +5.  My games are often the last one done, and so lots of people standing around.  I was nervous and a little bit too tired.  I need to lose the nervousness, it’s making me not want to look for new things the way a person would if more relaxed.  It’s almost like I am missing the moment and not showing my true strength when I get that nervous.  It’s as if I intentionally do it when I think I am suddenly winning, and can’t even stand to look at the board anymore until I calm down.  You can almost tell how nervous I was by how poorly I played the winning positions.  It wasn’t that I didn’t sense or see a lot of winning lines, it’s that I didn’t believe at those critical moments, as if I weren’t supposed to be winning or something.

Round 4

My opponent in this game gained 70 rating points from this tournament.  I played a new line in this game that I hadn’t seen before.  In fact, all of my games had new lines in them for me except the game with DuWayne, where we were both tired but nevertheless managed to reach new territory from the opening.

17…Rg8 was not really accurate, since I needed to play …c5 on this move.

18…Kc7  I wanted to play …c5 here, but can’t get it in yet because of 19.bxc bxc, 20.d5?! e6xd5, 21.Bd3xf5+ Kb8, 22.c4xd5 Bxd5 and 22.Bxh7, but I see ..Rh8 now, so Black did have this continuation available =+.

He managed to make some mistakes in the endgame and thereby lost.  My biggest think of the game was deciding to trade queens and head for the endgame, since I spent so long and then keeping the bishop pair and queens on had also looked better to me by that point, but the endgame was rather concrete, not easily losing, and I initially had a plan of how I wanted to play as Black.

Round 5

My rating rose to 1832, but I’m still not sure what a rating like mine is good for, since I was only competing for an Under 2000 prize.


5 thoughts on “2017 Colorado Springs Open

  1. Round 1 – the trap with 17… Nxd4 was funny.
    Pretty straightforward attack as it should be.

  2. Thanks! I needed to win my last round to win prize money. $150 win, $50 draw, $0 loss. I played Bc4 King’s Gambit Declined (because it’s supposedly best, but in reality sucks in my experience but is statistically best and has to be played it’s own way, a line I haven’t played OTB since I was around 1300, and I play and analyzed Bb5). It was an unfortunate choice. I should have played early many times Nc3 in last round, and let it get weird because I was thinking about the prize instead of chess.

    Once the game got even, I (needlessly) gave up a pawn and was confident I could draw it, but on the increment did not. Since this game, I’ve studied this ending for five or six hours, and could probably draw it every time on the increment, but it’s very complicated, you have to know what to do in many different positions to know it best. There isn’t an easy rule of thumb that won’t get you killed some times even though there are some rules of thumb and many of them, you have to know how to play any/each position concretely, know exactly what’s going on, the ideas. Posted that game.

  3. I saw two your last games, I am surprised you played King’s Gambit in the last round.
    I played yesterday, got an old foe, expert rated 2136. I had Black and played Semi-Slav, was on the defensive most of the game and with the position between -0.5 and -1.
    In the end it was an only -0.3, though quite difficult position.
    Having only 2.5 minutes left I thought he blundered a queen for a rook and missed his back capture on the second move, after which not only he recovered the balance, but I also was losing a piece by force. Maybe it was even a trap.
    After a few moves I resigned in a completely lost

  4. Sorry you had a problem leaving a comment, hopefully they didn’t change anything on this site.

    I wasn’t worried about that last round at all, but I tried to cheer up Alex to get him psyched up to win his game, and then that threw me off mentally as I was playing the KG that made me give up the KG variation when I was 1300 and played it then. I never play this variation, but did it on this occasion because I felt nuts-like in the head. This game was a complete psychological lapse as last time this opponent was weak in the ending, so I was too confident, his rating had gone up 150 points in the meantime.

    Your game sounds like a totally even played game, your intuition strong and not betraying you, but in time-pressure you didn’t ask yourself what his idea was behind his last move. In acute enough time-pressure you can’t play correctly because you don’t have time to answer these ideas smoothly, and to find all the moves.

    I find the blindfolding the move/position in my head before playing it will give me a much truer evaluation of the strength of move that I am considering. I am not a great blindfolder, but I try it anyway because it does give you a bigger playing strength advantage, and even moreso the more often you do it. The problem is trying to blindfold in time-pressure, it really puts any sense of that skill to the test. You probably don’t even realize that you can blindfold. Any time you describe a position to someone that is the essence of what blindfolding is, remembering a position or remembering it in your minds-eye. So, it’s really easy to miss and miss evaluate a tactical continuation in time-pressure.

    I played tonight, posting my game now.

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