Yeah, Got Crushed

Round 4, final round

Like I said after the game, I was hoping that Daniel would speed up his play and not refute my moves, or at least take a long time doing it 8…Ndb7?, 9…e5?? where I wasn’t so sure that either of these moves wasn’t a blunder, OTB, but I was banking on surprise value as well.  Daniel’s style of play now reminds me of his coach, Master Josh Bloomer.  Both take a lot of time in the opening trying to recall lines, but as soon as you mess up they are quick to be all over it.

I played something I hadn’t tried before against the Trompowsky, 2…c5, hoping that this would add to the fun value and take us out of the books, but that totally backfired.  This game became one all about capitalizing on opening missteps.

Even if I had played this opening properly, I now realize that it is not terra-firma, it plays more like a correspondence game on opening theory – it does not play like your standard chess game.

when I played 4…Qxb2, as I said to Daniel, I was hoping he would play 5.Na4 Qb4+, 6.c3 Qa5, which Houdini puts at -1, in Black’s favor, but Daniel said he would never offside his knight like that (which is what I was hoping for).  As soon as I saw 5.Bd2, which I figured he probably wouldn’t do (he could have captured on f6, which I would have immediately captured back on f6), I could see that it was very strong, and didn’t waste too much time in retreating my queen all the way back to d8.

I thought that Daniel might play 11.Ng5, but once he played it, I saw that my preliminary thinking of 11…Nb6, 12.Bb5+ Bd7 was going to be refuted by 13.Nxe6!, and so I spent most of my time considering other possibilities.  Houdini gives a lot of moves which if you run through turn out more poorly than it indicates at first.  For example, I almost did play 11…Nb8, but then got fatalistic over 12.Bc4 which Houdini doesn’t even suggest, so I plug in 12.Bc4 d5, 13.exd5 exd5, 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 (winning a piece for Black, right?) 15.0-0, but then Houdini starts finding all kinds of shots for White and actually ends up with an eval around +5 for White!  12.e5 was Houdini’s #1 choice until I plugged in 12.Bc4, which it thought was nothing at first.  Either way, both moves win.

Two solid ways to play this for Black are 8…g6, and 8…e5.  Both have a tricky style to them.

LM Brian Wall makes a good point, my 8th move was not a blunder, but it requires a more than average imaginative follow-up.  9…Qc7, 9…Ng4, and even 9…g5 are quite playable.  9…Nbd7-b6 may look okay at first, but if you follow it down the line after White plays a2-a4-a5, the evals will switch on you and White is taking a commanding lead.  9…g6 is also semi-suicidal as White can respond with 10.e4-e5, then e6 when Bb5+ can win a piece if a pawn is left on e6 – also, after 10.e5 fxe, 11.Ng5, as Daniel showed after the game, is a very effective follow-up at this point.

I did suggest that 8…e5 might be playable, after the game, but that was after we had also looked at 8…Nf6-d7, which I had also been considering, and that didn’t turn out too well in the post-mortem.

My rating ends up 1767 after this tournament, still in the U1800 dungeon.





2 thoughts on “Yeah, Got Crushed

  1. It looks you didn’t take him seriously. Frankly I don’t quite like taking on b2.
    I don’t think there is any fun value in the opening, it is just you are OK/better after it or not.
    After 9… e5 10. dxe6 fxe6 your pawns look vulnerable.
    After 11… Nb8 instead of Qe7 he is still ~+3 after 12. Bc4 Nc6 13. Bxe6 Nxe6 14. Nxe6 Qd7 15. Nd5.
    A tough loss, I usually hate those games that ended up too quickly.

  2. Actually, I find this loss the easiest to take in a way, not just because the game was over and done with practically by move ten, but because I was trying something new, giving it my best shot at the time, and was careless in the opening, but I know that next time I play a position like this, chances may be that I make sure to analyze it right, or flag or blunder in time-pressure. Of all of these fates, to blunder in time-pressure feels the worst, because while at the board it may be one moment of indiscretion, it colors the entire game and tournament by a negative result; a simple, understandable mistake can ruin a month’s worth of tournament effort, and self-study.

    Black is okay after …Qxb2. This is not a good line for White, it’s just okay, although White does get some quick development out of it that does seem scary the first time you face it OTB as Black. It’s a scary opening for Black, but not a bad one.

    It used to be that I would never even think of trying a line like …c5 that I didn’t know, and quickly follow it up with …Qxb2, even though I realized that I could not take it with a more straightforward game. The thing to keep in mind is that be that as it may it was Black who needed to solve the difficult questions. White sacked a pawn for development, so his play came easy. Like I say, you can be on the good/easy side of an equal position or the challenging side of an equal position, it just means that you have to accept more responsibilities OTB, for finding a creative solution, than your opponent does.

    What feels a lot worse than my game was watching this game:
    This is the line that I had prepared for the tournament when I faced Sullivan for the $150 game that I lost to him in, where I played Bc4 (a line I’ve done poorly with but is supposedly the better line held conventionally). Brian Wall makes a comment as if it were his first time playing it “looks like a Ruy Lopez on steroids”, and Sullivan plays badly enough that I probably would have won if I had played that line against him as I had planned on before the tournament. Certainly, I was “afraid” that he would make the right moves and draw, but both of them should have gotten in trouble by how they played, and one is a Life Master, and the other is nearly an Expert. That chaps my hide a lot more, if anything should be allowed to affect me at all by this point. Chess is metaphorically speaking, a losing proposition.

    Now if I were to try this line against Sullivan (not that I wouldn’t), the novelty/surprise value would not be there. In fact, Brian Wall has beaten Sullivan now with this Bb5 line, and the Bc4 line at these quicker time-controls. So, the way I feel is that Sullivan got all this training in quick time-controls, to face the line/s that I like to play, and meanwhile he got the rating points. So when I face Sullivan, should I play the KG, I would get a much tougher game out of Sully now. So, I won’t necessarily get credit for anything I do other than winning a game, because the surprise value of my opening systems doesn’t get me too far because the ones who get a high-rating play until they’ve faced all the interesting opening surprises, and they generally play up in Denver with the other high-rated players. You have to really win in the opening, middlegame, and endgame these days.

    What’s worse, is that I feel that the losses are taking credit away from my wins. In stead of taking the good with the bad, my wins are like useless filler that gets in the way until the “real me” gets exposed by an ugly loss. I don’t think the real me is anymore the win than it was the loss. If anything it suggests more to me that I had discipline one day and not the next.

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