I usually get paired with Expert Paul A. in 2nd rounds, but this time the turnout was lower, and I got another Expert instead (a newly minted Expert). I figured if I got paired with Paul, I could at least try to draw him since that would be a first for me, believe it or not. I wanted to make up for last weekend in this game, thinking no one is going to believe me that I brought my “B game” to that weekend tournament, and why should anyone care anyway? No one looks through a database and sorts through which players had a cold during their games, for example.
This game was fun to play, and we both got down to under a minute, finishing hours after the other games where the top players won quickly. Unfortunately, when I play in the tournament in Manitou Springs this coming weekend, the first two of five rounds will be G/90, d/5, boo! I was lucky, yet happy to get a win after putting my body through the abuse the past week. It’s tough to be able to play in a day tournament, at that time, and also in a night tournament in the same week. Generally, you are probably either more of a morning person or a night person. Some, such as Mark, play well sleepy-eyed.
It was poor form of me not to have had the guts, in time-pressure, to push e5 on various moves, which was my plan all along. Still, it was nice to show that I could find another way to win, even if he had an easy draw close to the end by putting his king on h8 before dropping his pawn. I figured it was one of those mistakes on his part, in time-pressure, to try and defend his pawn, although after the game Paul showed that he could have defended it with his knight as well. When I see a technical Expert, like Paul, find a draw relatively effortlessly, it casts an impression on the importance of technical play – from either side of the position.