Debacle on a Blue Board

Round 4

My game yesterday finished quickly, but at the same time I stayed at the club until 1am looking at other people’s games, involved in post-mortems, and even went over three of Morphy’s games in the lobby with Mike and Will.

Today, I was more exhausted than I realized, a little nervous from the day, and also thinking I could take this game lightly, which I never do.  After the game, I blamed my missed moves on the blue-board (me and DuWayne are two players who have horrible records on blue-squared boards – he refuses to play on them).  I think I can handle any color other than blue, it’s such a passive color that I don’t notice the threats like I do on a pink, green, red, brown, black board.

At the board, I was seeing a lot quickly, which has been a trend for me recently, but this time I had that “Teacher, my brain is full!” feeling.  I would see so much on a move, and then just want to move, even taking into account my opponent’s lower-rating, which I tell myself never to do “just play chess, don’t think about the opponent.”

9…fxe5.  My blitz instinct was to play 10.Bxf5 and looked at 10…Qf6, (at first, I looked at defending the Bf5)11.BxNd7+ KxB, 12.0-0? (not wanting to give the f-file to his queen) e4, and didn’t like it, but 12.fxe (Black’s queen has the f-file for a moment, but so what?).  Then I played 10.fxe without really even looking at it, and then noticed the check while I was making my move.

15.Bxf5??  I had calculated that both 15.Bxg3 and 15.hxg3 were both safe, but with my sort of “anything wins” mindset going into this game, thought that maybe I should have double-checked this move as soon as I picked up my bishop.  She instantly snapped off my bishop like a pro, even clunking the pieces together as if to chop wood.  In this game, Shirley played, and spotted, all of the tactical moves quickly, like a pro, and only got bogged down when she needed to think strategically/positionally.  If every move were a tactic, I feel she would have kept it up all game long.  In my mind, I was going to play 16.Bf5-g6+, but that bishop got gobbled up instantly, before it could do that.

Recently, I’ve noticed my biggest issue with tactics is spotting the simple “one-movers”  I do hard tactics problems on ChessTempo sometimes, but because they are so hard I don’t do that many of them!  Someone doing tactics on, which specializes in the easy-tactics, will increase their board-sight for these simple tactical details, but I don’t have a paid subscription there, and should probably switch to a book with some simple tactics, or just hanging piece exercises.

I felt 22.Rf7 was not a good move, but I am just playing for tricks here.  The position is like -7 or -8, so even the computer starts offering ridiculous move suggestions.

I played 23.Rfe1 because …Nc5, Qc7 Qxe6 wins my passed-pawn, but I didn’t notice how it wasn’t defending e6 after all, and she snatched it instantly.  Truth be told, I wanted to play 23.h4 here already but couldn’t because of 23…Nc5 winning the e6 pawn.

27…Qd2??.  28.Re2?  Played a-la-tempo as I had this response sort of pre-programmed in, but no sooner had I played it, the thought occurred to me “What about 18.RxBf8+?”, then realized this was winning, which I demonstrated to Sara after the game when she asked about this move (she saw the moves, like instantly, at the same time I did). Unfortunately, Shirley played the expected response 28…Qg5, which cuts out this tactic.  Here, I knew I had blown it because I was feeling the effects of exhaustion, so I played the move I had determined I was going to play in this line 29.Qxb7, since doubling the rooks didn’t seem to be a real solution.   I guess my quick moves had worked by now, as she played 29…Rc8 much more quickly than she usually moves when defending.  She sort of did that jump up and look around instant shock reaction when I took her rook (Imre did this same sort of thing when I checkmated him last week)  I told her after the game I was expecting a three-fold repetition after 29…Rd8, 30.Qxc6+ Rd7, 30.Qa8+ Rd8, 31.Qc6+.

Well, all’s well that ends well, I guess.  hehe.  My rating barely moved at all this month – it went from 1834 to 1832.  Real signs of stability.  hehe.

[Event “Wednesdays Swiss”]
[Site “Smashburgers”]
[Date “2017.06.28”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Shirley Herman”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1033”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1835”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nc3 f6 5. f4 h5 6. Nf3 Nd7 7. Nh4 e6 8. Nxf5
exf5 9. Bd3 fxe5 10. fxe5 Qh4+ 11. g3 Qxd4 12. Bf4 Bc5 13. Qe2 h4 14. O-O-O
hxg3 15. Bxf5 Qxf4+ 16. Kb1 Qxf5 17. Rhf1 Qg6 18. hxg3 Qxg3 19. e6 Nb6 20. Rf3
Qh4 21. Qe5 Bf8 22. Rf7 Qg4 23. Re1 Ne7 24. Qc7 Qxe6 25. Rff1 Qh6 26. a4 Nc4
27. Ka2 Qd2 28. Re2 Qg5 29. Qxb7 Rc8 30. Qxc8# 1-0

I’ve gone over this game blindfold-style, and hxg3 is the obvious move, since the bishop controls e3, and the h-file is an asset.   During the game, I tell myself to wait one more move before taking on f5, but then forgot why.  I also saw that after hxg3 she won’t be able to play Qg4.  During the game, I was perturbed over the possibility of playing …g5.  Even then I didn’t see that 15.hxg3…Rxh1, 16.RxR g5, 17.Bxg5 Qxe5, 18.QxQ NxQ, 19.Re1 is a pin … Bd6, 20.Bf4 and then either …Nf7 or don’t even bother and pin back with …Re8.  Missed this line.  Also, missed that 18.Qh5+! is +10.  Immediately, the queen wins the g5 pawn, so that Bg5 doesn’t take it, and then all of White’s forces get involved in an attack on Black’s king.  Completely missed all this by not analyzing deeply enough.  15.hxg3 looks like an instant recapture, and Daniel suggested it after the game as if it were completely obvious, and it was the most obvious to me too, but that move right there, with both of us having over an hour on our clocks still, was the time to chart the next few moves.  One could play the right move through educated guess, but that is not what chess  strength is, you have to be able to analyze continuations OTB and not just “_play_ chess”.

I added the following to temposchlucker’s blog:

When it comes to visualizing, one has to give a position meaning, otherwise it’s like Temposhuckler’s analogy of not visualizing the coffee-pot (because it has no meaning, unlike a person’s face for instance).

When people try to visualize, there is a good chance they go about it the wrong way. You have to learn the board, think about the squares and diagonals without trying to “visualize” them. The visual part will come when your mind is filling in the gaps subconsciously. The trick is to give, find, explore the meaning of the position rather than try to “visualize” it. People naturally want the empty calories, they want to visualize without giving a position any particular meaning, which is nearly impossible for most people, much like how Temposchlucker says our bodies weren’t naturally adapted to do it.

The saying “You can’t have something for nothing” is even more true when it applies to chess. Once you analyze and understand a position blindfolded, then you will see it much more clearly. Unfortunately, I have found it very difficult to compress this process into a short period of time; i.e., blindfold blitz.





2 thoughts on “Debacle on a Blue Board

  1. It doesn’t look like you were in a good shape.
    Yeah, 18. RxBf8+ was laeding to a mate.
    27… Qd2 was a bad move, instead 27… Qd6 was forcing queen’s exchange.

  2. Yeah, 27…Qd6 was game-over, queen trades because 28.Qxb7 Rb8 is going to be deadly. The fact that she played such an obvious attacking move pleasantly surprised me. I believe my exhaustion was the result of too many tournament games, The weekend Open, then Tuesday, Wednesday, then Friday and Saturday with Imre, I was still overloaded from all that, and it took much longer than usual for my nerves to recover after this game, the better part of a week.

    The good news is that this “loss”/win motivated me to get CT-Art tactics software (it’s cheap on the site for the rest of July), and I have trained with it for many days/hours since then. I can’t say how much it will help overall, but it does help with confidence somewhat. I didn’t play on the 4th of July Tuesday, but I did go the Mate Factory (Ma-tay tea) to play some casual chess. I showed Pete some opening lines and played against this kid, and at least there was seeing tactics quicker than before.

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