Wednesday, November 7, 2007

King Kong - Game 2

Here's my second game again "Kevin Kong". There was nothing special about this particular tournament. Since his big breakthrough in February his rating had been bouncing back and forth between low 1400s and high 1300s. In the first round both of us got paired up and lost. I just missed the break so I played the number 1 seed and lost. Kevin was the lowest in the whole tournament. One upset and two late entries forced the second round pairing of the two of us.

This time I had the white pieces so I was pretty confident that I could get payback in the rematch.

I like my position out of the opening, but I guess I expected to be able to take advantage of the isolated d pawn. As I looked at the position today I thought maybe allowing the d pawn to become passed with 19. e4 was a mistake. However Fritz gave every line as equal. It wasn't until 21. exf5 that Fritz started giving black a small advantage. Once again he had a time advantage of roughly 4 minutes at move 25. 29. Bf3 is the last move I wrote down. Even though the passed pawn is a pain in the ass it's not crushing. Most of the continuations that Fritz suggested were equal or equal over plus for black.

This is the final position:

I have no idea how we arrived at this position, but somewhere in the time scramble I got rid of the pesky passer, but dropped a pawn, and as my time ran out the queens were being forced off the board. I don't know how many moves we played once we stopped keeping score. I drew up the diagram at the end. For all I know I left out a piece and maybe his bishop is defended by more then his queen and I'm losing my queen. If I'm only down the pawn going into the bishop versus knight ending it seems like I have drawing chances. If he doesn't choose to trade queens I still have problems. However when the digital clock reads 00:00 the board doesn't matter unless you have mate or the opponent lacks mating material.


Temposchlucker said...

Again a very passive game. Is that your style? An IQP is only bad when his pieces are passively placed. Which wasn't the case obviously. exf5 opens the diagonal which makes his pawn much stronger and give you space problems.

Of course you will get his d-pawn sooner or later, but the space trouble you have will probably compromise your position.

Gee, it's easy to shout from the sideline:)

Icepick said...

Okay, two games into this excercise and I'm starting to think the opponent isn't the problem, it's the tournament. This game wasn't as bad as the first, but in both you seem to be playing without any energy and mostly without purpose. (Okay, so you stuck him with the isolated pawn. But what were you going to do about it?)

Perhaps you just don't have the mental energy left to play tournament chess well at these times of the week. In this case, King Kong will definitely have an advantage over you, because I doubt his life is a stressful and intensive throughout the work week.

Wahrheit said...

Since you seem to have a fan base that wants to help you take the kid out next time (I'm sure he's a good boy, but he needs his comeuppance!), I'll throw in a suggestion from a completely different direction; in both games you were out of time or well behind on the clock at move 30--taking a suggestion from Rolf Wetzell's Chess Master at Any Age, in a G/30 and other SD time controls you need to start out assuming that the game will take 50, 60 or even more moves. Thus, you should arrive at move 30 with at least 10 minutes on the clock, preferably a little more.

Looking at your other games and rating I'd say you're plenty strong as a player to find moves as good as in this game at a faster pace; even if they're a little superficial I think this approach is a good one for quickplay situations, and especially for this opponent. Put him in time pressure or stay even with him on the clock; I'd put my money on you in that situation.

Wahrheit said...

Forgot to hit the email button; I'm interested to see other's opinions.

Polly said...

Tempo: I am not an aggressive player. I tend to go for small positional things which tends to lead to passive play on my part. I need to liven up my game somehow.

Ice: I don't think it's the tournament per se. I've played him mostly in the evening (Tuesday or Driday), but sometimes on a weekend. He's 10 years old, he's the one who should be getting tired at night. LOL Also I walk marathons and do 100 mile bike rides so endurance is not the issue. But perhaps the physical endurance isn't helping the mental endurance.

Wahr: You're spot on about the clock. That's something that plagues me in many of my games regardless of the opponent. There are times I get ahead of him on the clock, but when the position worsens I give the time back.

Icepick said...

But perhaps the physical endurance isn't helping the mental endurance.

That's where I suspect the problem is. Plus, how much physical endurance do you have at the END of an event? These tournaments are at the end of the day. How much mental energy have you used up during a day?

He's 10 years old, he's the one who should be getting tired at night. LOL

Well, yeah, except he's ten years old and gets to take a nap after school! Do you take naps before tournaments?

Polly said...

Actually sometimes I do take an afternoon nap before playing in an evening tournament. That might explain why I don't do well on Thursday nights. I go straight from my last class to the train station to catch the train into NYC. It's hard to nap on the train though at times I closed my eyes for a bit.

All of these comments are giving my things to think about, not just about King Kong, but my play in general.

Icepick said...

Polly, I'm also a fan of positioal chess. But the thing to remember is that positional chess can also be aggressive chess. It's just not as "out there" as the wild sacrificial & tactical stuff.

Personally, I like to think of positional chess as a case of slowly building pressure until something breaks. In this second game, you nicely went about isolating the pawn, but then you didn't really apply pressure to it.

Instead you dallied a bit with flank pawns and traded off your remaining Knight. I believe the Knight swap was bad regardless of whether or not it changed the evaluation of the position. It removed the best potential blockader you had AND it removed a Knight (Nf6) that really didn't have all that much to do for Black. Obviously Black's position isn't cramped, but leave that Knight to Black. There's a reasonable chance that he'll place it badly eventually. (Suggested idea: 13 Na4 with the idea of Na4-c5-d3. Black doesn't really have a good way of keeping your N our of c5, and 13 ... Nd5 doesn't accomplish much after 14 a3.)

Regardless, once you force your opponent to create a weakness, it's time to go primative: just pile all of your pieces up on that weakness. The opponent can usually defend that, but often only at the cost of other weaknesses. THEN you can look for tactical shots.

I've been playing a lot of game 30 tournies myself lately, and this is the strategy that I've adopted for playing against weaker or more inexperienced players. The caveman aspect of just piling up pieces makes it easy to find credible moves in a short amount of time.

Also, I find that inexperienced players (read: youths) will often reply to simple threats by simple defensive moves. Such mindless defense of permanent weaknesses usually leads to bad piece placement, which can often be exploited by fairly simple tactical means.

Yes, this is all a bit of gamesmanship, as opposed to trying to find the right move all the time. But we are discussing G30, as opposed to more leisurely time controls. Tactics and strategies need to be adjusted, if only to preserve energy for the games against the better players.