Wednesday, December 07, 2022 09:05

Posts Tagged ‘Game Errors’

Near Rumination on Northbridge Tournament. Moo!

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

My first Regular time control tournament was played at Northbridge Baptist in Normal. It was a four round G/70 with 5 second delay. There were about thirty players total, and it really was enjoyable. Jeff Smith did a great job directing, as did Victor Mata (assistant TD and house player.) I arrived just in time to check in for Round 1.

During the tournament itself, I did some blogging in between rounds. Here’s what I wrote then:


Round 1 is complete. A loss against a 1500 I didn’t know. The critical error came in the midgame when my Queen was vulnerable and I tried to find a way to save her. [Ed. note: I do need to verify that…]

I consider it a very good game, and I was more or less on time with the other player. When I was finished it was great fun. eNotate is working very well.

Round 2, and another loss against a local player I have known somewhat for some time. He’s rated 1484. I was playing White, led into a Giuoco Piano, and I think I got too cute by half. I kept ratcheting up pressure, giving him much of nothing. But I ended up having my Queen trapped, and it was a very quick loss thereafter.

So now I’m in between rounds with 35 minutes to go before the next round. The playing facilities are very nice. The playing room is their main sanctuary space, and their multipurpose room is the skittles area. It is an enjoyable environment.

There are many players here today (about 30.) Many of them I have known for over a year – I can count six that I know well, and another few that I know from the scholastic circuit.

A lot of people are playing skittles games or analyzing their past games. I am not, myself. That’s a tradition that goes back to Speech & Debate in High School. During a S&D tournament, one can review the judge’s notes and try to adjust one’s performance in-tournament. But I never did…. Some of it is that I like the downtime away from the chessboard (and I feel like I’m playing enough chess today.) The other factor is that I don’t want to end up correcting my play, only to have that give me other weaknesses. I can always analyze my whole performance later.

It may seem odd that I’m enjoying myself, with two losses so far. But the reality is that while I want to win, I remind myself of my primary goals in playing chess. Winning is not on to of that list. So, if that means I lose a game or games I still haven’t lost, if you follow. Thus I really am enjoying myself.


Round 3 was another loss to an 1184 player. (Actually, the brother of the player in Round 2.) I had a few other things to accomplish, but I think I felt like I was stronger than this. It was still a very good game, we worked it down to the endgame and the other player had a Knight advantage. I think I was actually winning at one point. But three losses in a row – not good.

Then in Round 4 I scored my first tournament win against an player rated 906. It was a Italian Game, Two Knights defense. I actually blundered by playing 4. Nc3 instead of 4. d3. So the other player got to equalize by forking my Knight and Bishop with a pawn, but I recovered well. A few moves later I went up a Queen. But again, on move 17 I made a less-than-optimal play.

Northbridge tournament, Round 4, after 18. ...Ke7

Northbridge tournament, Round 4, after 18. ...Ke7

I went straight out for 19. Rfe1+. Although I’m not hurting, the best response would have been 19. …Ne6 – breaking up the attack somewhat as then I’d have to shift my Queen. I was lucky – the other player played 19 …Kd7. That allowed me to continue my assault and go up a Rook. Mate came on move 25.

I have to confess feeling a little sorry for my opponent. She was a 5th Grade girl who finished 0/4, and the only player with a 0 score. But she played well against me, and it was an honorable game. Also, in the chess world if you’re going to enter the kitchen of tournament play you take the heat. And I did feel good about my first tournament win ever, and don’t feel I have to apologize for that.

So, about twelve hours later my record was 1/4. There was one other unrated player there… someone provisionally rated 2058 after the tournament – 7 games total. So he took home the trophy for Top Unrated. (Then again, did I really want a trophy for one win and three losses???? ;) OK, honesty time…. Yes I did. :D )

Even without the trophy I very much enjoyed my chess. Today, after shopping and other personal tasks, it will be time for deeper analysis – but I’ll have to use my other laptop for that work. Tomorrow night it’s again TCCC night. In the meantime

Enjoy your Chess!

Sometimes it’s not as bad as I think….

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

I played two games on Saturday, and lost both of them rather quickly. In both I thought I was completely and totally lost early on. I did make a first-class blunder in one of them. Prior to my blunder move the position was:

Bad but not Dead

Bad but not Dead

I couldn’t find a move that worked at all, and I thought I was utterly lost here on move 20. I made it that way by giving away my Bishop for nothing.

The position is certainly grim, but oddly Fritz6 shows my position being rated at only -2.22. This is despite being a whole minor piece behind and with a very isolated center pawn.

I’m certainly not winning, and I would be very hard pressed to work out a draw here. This is wildly different, though, from being “completely and totally lost.” In fact, when I washed the next ten moves through Fritz, the absolute best line is only up to -3.00. The fantasy position for move 30 is:

Still down badly but not completely dead, and it is playable.

Still down badly but not completely dead.

I wonder if I wasn’t feeling the pressured to move *something* at that moment, would I have seen the move I should have made instead of the losing blunder I chose. (Plus I play at a level and against opponents who do blunder and choose less than optimal lines, also.)

All of this is meant to say that “objective assessment of the position” also implies not panicking just because one is behind.

Enjoy your chess!

Missing the Easy One

Friday, November 27th, 2009

I had a game earlier this week at the cafe that was interesting. Eventually I managed to win it, playing as Black. But after move 11 by White the position looked like this:

Position after 11. Nc3

Position after 11. Nc3

I was very tired, and I thought that 11. …Bh3 would confuse White immensely. My plan was that if 12. gxh3 then 12. …Qg5+ Kh1 and if I could manage it eventually …Qxh2 would put me very pretty. If, alternatively, White didn’t take and went 12. g3 then the Rook at f1 is now vulnerable.

(Post-game analysis with Fritz6 proves the old saying attributed to Nimzowitsch that, “the threat is stronger than the execution.” Actually 12. gxh3 is perfectly playable, giving a 2 point advantage to White. Black can threaten the check, but after Kh1 the threat evaporates.)

But, my opponent did play 12. g3. And, I was so enraptured by going up the Rook that I just took it (12. …Bxf1.) Here’s the missed part, though. If I had only played 12. …Qf3 instead, you get this:

This would have been so much better!  12. ...Qf3

This would have been so much better! 12. ...Qf3

Now, White’s next move is irrelevant – the next move following whatever White chooses for move 13 is 13. …Qg2#.

But I missed it. :O ;) It happens. And I still had a fascinating game, and eventually the win.