Sunday, September 30, 2007

OMG! The Things I Do In Time Trouble!

Somebody should just revoke my memberships in the USCF and the Marshall Chess Club, put my Chronos, and Mon Roi on eBay, hide my Metro North tickets, Metro Card, and Marshall CC key card, and pack me off to Time Trouble Anonymous. "Hi, I'm Polly and I'm a clockaholic."

It's another Thursday night with the usual suspects. Alright so I didn't play Polyakin in the first round, but I did keep my "perfect" record against Boris Privman intact. 0-11 and counting. Other 1700s pull upsets against him, so what's my problem? The clock may have played some part in my demise, but this time I actually held my own until the ending. It came down to he could stop my pawn by sac-ing his Bishop, and I couldn't do a damn thing with my knight to stop his pawn. Say "Good Knight to the White Bishop, and hello to the coming white queen."

Now it was time to play one of the usual suspects. This would be game number 30 against this particular opponent. In August I actually won two times in a row against him, doubling the number of wins I have against him. I was actually starting to think maybe I starting to get the better of him. September tempered my optimism with an annoying loss in a totally insipid position that somehow got away from me. But why dwell on annoying losses when one can for a brief few moments be elated by being up a piece for a pawn.

This was the position at the point that I stopped keeping score. I'm up a pawn, and there's not a whole lot happening. As I was writing this, I let Fritz play around with it. It gave white plus over equal. Fritz didn't even have me ahead by a full point. One line had white at .59. Whoopie!

However my opponent and I don't think or play like Fritz. Somehow the queens came off the board, and somehow I won a piece. GOK (God only knows) how that happened. For several moves I wasn't even aware of the fact that I was ahead. Maybe I would have been better off not noticing the extra piece, and offering him a draw. Instead I'm thinking, "I'm up a piece, time trouble be damned! I can win! Woo hoo! 3 wins out of 4 games with him."

Don't ask me how we arrived at this position. I'm fretting over the backward b pawn which he doesn't take, and I've been having this debate whether I want my rooks lined up on the first rank or the third rank. Mind you, I have 10 seconds, and he has 30. Instead of taking, he plays f5!

"What's that pawn move all about? Who cares? No time to think!"
Debate resolved, I play R1-f3??

"Oh look! He has a check."


"Oh crap, I can't move my king to g4. Quick do something, you're almost out of time. "


"So much for my extra piece."


"So much for 3 out of 4. Sigh." Sometimes I hate this game. I especially hate it when this particular player gives me some sort of lecture afterwards. In this particular case he's asking me if I watched his game against Eric Hecht last week. (Yeh, the same Eric Hecht who beat me in 10 moves last week.)

"No I wasn't watching your game last week. I was too busy licking my wounds from the butt ugly round 3 loss that preceded the heart breaking round 4 loss. So no I didn't happen to notice that you pulled the exact same mate against him."

Note to self: Watch Schnitzler's other games so you can see how he's going to beat you next time.


denopac said...

Polly, love your blog... it's great to read about life in the chess trenches, where games are not decided by some TN on move 23. Question though... I'd be interested to hear why you prefer the 4 games in one evening to the slower tournament going on at the same time downstairs on Thursdays at the MCC. It seems that so many of your games are decided by a time scramble....

Polly said...

You're not the first one to ask me that question. In fact sometimes I ask myself that same question.

Answer: I have 35 minute train ride on Metro North, followed by a subway ride to 14th St. To do all that travelling for one game of chess a week just doesn't make much sense to me. I like to get the most chess bang for my travel buck.

Also I think I've gotten addicted to the pace of the shorter time limits, and find I get antsy when playing slower time controls. There's certain adrenaline rush that I get when the clock is running down. I guess that's the problem when my other hobbies are triathlon and biking.

G/30 is chess crack.

denopac said...

"G/30 is chess crack" -- It must be. I play slow time controls and I can sometimes tell when my opponents usually play G/30 since they will play at just about that rate anyway. This happens more at special annual events like the USATE or US Open. You can tell they can't wait to get back to that fast time control!

Blue Devil Knight said...

Great fun annotations.

I can only take so much crack before I need to slow down and think. After playing blitz (2 12) for a month, that first slower game feels like such a beautiful luxury: actually having the time to think about moves! Or, I get bored as I am so used to the quick rush from the crack.

Polly said...

Often I play faster schedules in slow tournaments. I played the 5 day schedule at the US Open and the 2 day at the NY State Championship. Last year at the US Open in my first game at the slower time control I got crushed horribly. (Damn Smith-Morra!) This year I again lost at the slower control, but not as ugly a game. I do find it takes me a round to transition to the slower pace.