2017 Pikes Peak Open

Round 1

Round 2

Time-pressure is really a confidence check.  If I were playing a Class C player, I would have played 28…Qe5, 29…Qc5 and won easily, a rook up, which I saw, but was worried that since he’s an Expert he might have seen something here, such as 28…Qe5, 29.Nf5 Qc5, 30.Ne7 and 31.e5+.  Also, after 29.f4, can take on f4, or just play Qc5.  In time-pressure, I believed him enough to think I could win without the risk.

43…Kg7.  With 1min5sec on my clock, I was still writing down moves and only looked at the board enough here to actually make a move, otherwise 43…d6xe5 is blindingly obvious, as is not moving my king into a fork.  Even here, this would have been a relatively easy win with a 30 second increment, but I was playing on a 5 second delay for this game.  It’s ironic that superior blitz skills are a factor here, in an otherwise Standard time-control game.  In hindsight, I should have stopped writing down moves (he was still writing them down, and not playing faster than he felt he needed to, though he is practically a blitz specialist), but this is also a bad habit to get into for the 30 second increment time control.

Round 3

Off to a 2W 1L start.  I was winning the game I lost, but blundered a piece with a minute and 5 seconds on my clock (G/90, 5 second delay for first two rounds).

Round 4

38….Qf2+??  We were both under a minute.  A panicked move in time-pressure.  I told myself when playing 37…Qf6, that my next move was going to be do move the knight as a discovery on the queen, and I had seen the fork at some point as well, but I was trying to work out if there was either a mate or perpetual for some reason, and just blundered from here.  I knew I had blundered with this move, but compounded it on my next, and then blundered my rook on the following move while thinking about a “winning endgame”.

Round 5

This game took less than 20 minutes from my clock, a sad last round pairing, considering I could have been playing for prize-money instead had I won that previous game.  Alex finished his game quickly and wanted to go home, so I wanted to finish my game quickly as well.

Sadly, I noticed as soon as I had played 9.exd6? that he had 9…Nf5 in reply, yet he blundered the game by taking with the queen anyway, then he played …Nf5 instead of …Nc6, so he had to give up the queen to avoid Ne5 mate.

I feel as if this game I just played is representative of where my level is at in chess right now, it’s somewhat higher than previously, and of course every time I’ve studied some of Tal’s games it’s helped my strength.  The main thing about this game is that I knew where I was going in this game straight out of the opening, much better than he/she.  I could tell during the game, even though it’s blitz, that my opponent was falling in with my plans.  Chessdotcom 5/5 blitz game

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2 thoughts on “2017 Pikes Peak Open

  1. Game 2 – yeah, 28… Qe5, 29… Qc5 was winning.
    5 seconds is blitz increment, right, this is how I play online, not much.
    Around move 40 he has a pawn for exchange and very active pieces,.
    Writing moves with a minute left and that increment was a recipee for a disaster and it happened.

    Game 3 – a confident win.

  2. Thanks for your comments!

    The hardest part of the aftermath of this tournament is coming to grips with having had winning positions in all 5 games, and having such a result that I did not get paired consistently with other strong players in an open tournament. My round 3 game against a 1400 was my toughest game.

    In the Round 2 game against Daniel, I instantly saw the win and doubted it. I was able to mentally reconstruct what happened against Paul B. in Round 4. I set up for the shot on the queen, and when he moved his rook, I instantly saw the winning fork, could have played in bullet, but naturally figured I have to think maybe he saw it and it’s a trap and he has some shots, then I thought I might have a mate or a perpetual, although wasn’t too serious about pushing the pawn, yet it was still an option, and lastly I tried to construct this winning endgame. There were too many thoughts going through my head in the 30-45 seconds that I spent on that move. It’s the one time of the game where you have to not doubt yourself, when you sense the win and think you see it. I wasn’t ready for the easy victories I could have had because it was so unnormal for me to get them. I had gotten sleep that I don’t normally give myself before a tournament, so I figured I must do well, but it came as too much of a shock for me to handle at the critical moments because I wasn’t expecting them to happen so easily as they did, even though in reality I had to work hard, stay confident enough to get those moments in the first place.

    A lot of other people have the other issue, they work more on their confidence than on their classical chess, and this wins them games. This makes sense because hardly anyone has the time to put in as much study as chess demands.

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