Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's All In The Timing

In my last post I discussed my little debate with King Kong regarding my resignation in our game. Either nobody is paying attention or everyone thinks I was right, and that there is no need to discuss it. :-) I was expecting at least one person to say "You give up too easily" or "Damn kids wanting to drag it out." That post started out being an introduction to my Thursday night follies, but I decided it was long enough.

I was at the Marshall on Thursday for my weekly cracktion fix. I lost to one the usual suspects in the first round. In the second round I would have one of those mind meltdowns where one overlooks the obvious, and sees things that aren't really there. This game was a classic example of that.

After Black played 13...Nxe5, I went into this long debate over whether I should play 14. Nxe5, followed by Bf4 after he recaptures with the queen, or play 14. Bf4, pinning the knight. I decided to play 14. Bf4. What I was totally oblivious to was that the knight was attacking my queen. When he played 14...Nxd3 I was in total shock, and acted accordingly. I let out one of those "Damn I can't believe I just hung my queen" groans, slumped in my seat, and knocked my king over. My opponent is looking at me funny as if to say, "What's your problem? You're only losing a pawn." At that point I realize "Well duh! You played Bf4 because you were pinning the knight to his queen, and you can now play Bxc7." He puts my king and pawns back on their proper squares. In the meantime I had stopped the clock. He starts my clock back up and points at the board. Okay that's a new one. Not only has my opponent refused my resignation, but doesn't invoke the touch move rule. After all I did "touch" the king. I guess he was treating it as an "accidental touch, with no intent to move it."

After losing my composure it was a little difficult to pull myself back together. I was only down a pawn but my next few moves were insipid at best, and pretty crappy if truth be told. I'm not sure if I was having "survivor guilt" and just playing aimlessly in order not to give myself drawing chances, or just was too distracted to focus on the game. It also didn't help that my husband called twice during the first two rounds. He never calls unless it's urgent. The phone did not ring, and I did not answer it on my move. Not that my husband could tell me anything that would be at all helpful. This is a guy who forgets that pawns capture diagonally. My opponent did not refuse my "second resignation" when I was down to 1 second, and he was up the exchange and two pawns.

There had been an odd number every round, so it looked like my turn with the bye was coming up in round 3. Fortunately someone had dropped out so there was an even number. This set up the match up Steve Chernick having White against me. Oh joy! Just what I needed after the second round meltdown. I had already decided that regardless of what happened in round 3, I was not playing the last round so I could get home and hour and half earlier. Steve and I always have totally bizarre games, and for awhile he really had my number. Before King Kong there was a gorrilla named Steve. Though this fall I was actually winning more then I was losing against him.

It started out pretty quietly and I actually like my position, but then I started playing chicken. I had attacked his b pawn with 18...Rb8. He ignored it and made one of his crazy pawn pushes. Instead of ignoring it, and grabbing the free b pawn I played h6, to stop him from pushing h6. Despite playing defensively for a few moves, I still have an excellent game with some good attacking possibilities. Fritz had me ahead by 1.4 through move 31. Unfortunately the clock was getting to be a factor. No I had not left myself with 10 minutes, and it caught up with me.

When he played 34. b4, played cxb4 almost immediately. I figured we were simply trading pawns, and that he'd capture with the queen on d4. I had not even considered the knight capture, and when he did make it I almost moved my rook away until I realized my queen would be hanging. Ouch! At this point I'm just making moves, and proceed to drop two pawns along with the exchange. After dropping the second pawn I almost gave up. However he went from having about 8 minutes to my 10 seconds to having less then 2 minutes. Knowing his history of blowing big time advantages, and some of the crazy things that have happened, I decided to suck it up and keep playing. One premature resignation for the evening was enough.

Sure enough on move 43 the implosion came. I had played 42...Rb7. He took the rook with his queen thinking that after Qxb7 he plays Rc7+, winning back the queen and trading down to a easliy won ending. In fact I was on the verge of just knocking the king over when I realized he was in check, and that I would have time to move my king and avoid the fork. The score stops a couple of moves later because we're both blitzing.

This is the final position. He flags, but I ignore the clock, and deliver the mate. I had 2 seconds left. Though as a footnote, payback is a bitch. Today we played again. He was black, and mated me with 5 seconds on his clock, and 2 on mine. That was after he gave back a 9 minute time advantage. One might make the observation that the two of us have clock issues that we have not resolved yet.


PeteyDaddy said...

About your resignation to King Kong - I agree with your decision to resign. Since you had a history with your opponent, I think it was respectful to resign.

If I'm playing someone that I've never played before, I'll usually play at least a few moves into what I consider a lost position. If the position remains lost, I'll resign. If I've played the person several times before and I know their playing strength, then that will affect how long I play into a losing position.

Liquid Egg Product said...

One might make the observation that the two of us have clock issues that we have not resolved yet.

This is too precious. I'd be way too paranoid about the mate not really being mate to do anything but call the flag.

Polly said...

I did both. I pointed at the clock and said "But I also have this." I wasn't being obnoxious, and against an unknown opponent I would have not done that. However Steve and I always have such crazy endings in time pressure, it just seemed appropriate.

Wahrheit said...

Gott in Himmel, I get nervous enough when I have 5 moves to make in 5 minutes for the first 30/90 time control at my club...anyway, I don't know what to think about someone refusing a resignation, that's a new one on me! Int the second game against Steve Chernick I say good for you for playing on and winning. Your description is so vivid I get a little nervous myself going through it on the viewer. :)

Polly said...

wahr: I guess my opponent wanted to win the game the right way instead of accepting a very premature resignation. It was kind of an awkward moment after he set all the pices that I had knocked over back on their proper squares.

Time pressure: After awhile you just get used to it. Time delay makes it's a little more bearable. I hate playing with an analog clock. I had to use one the other day because I arrived 8 minutes late. That sucked. It was bad enough I gave away 8 minutes to start and then didn't even have a delay to give me some wiggle room.