Monday, January 21, 2008

Is This Philadelphia or Green Bay??

It's absolutely frigid in the playing room, and this morning there was no hot water. There was no way I was taking a shower in ice cold water. I guess it was good that I didn't work out before the round. I stayed in bed until 9:00 AM.

I think my brain has frost bite. Once again it's absolutely freezing in the playing room. I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt, a fleece warm up jacket, and a heavy leather bomber jacket.
If it weren't for all the chess players in the background and me sitting at the board, one might think I was at yesterday's football game.

So last night I had the stoic old gentleman who played slowly and only left the board once. Today I played a little kid with a 1514 rating. (Geez! Can I ever play in a tournament without dealing playing little kids who are playing up??? Yes, If I had plus score.) The game was going just fine until some of his friends came by to watch the game. One kid said something to my opponent. I don't know what he said, but his clock was running on my move and I don't know if the kid said something about it. Then the two kids are having a conversation with each other behind my opponent. I'm trying to work out what I wanted to do because I made a slight mistake which allowed him to put his knight in the center. I chase them away and go back my analysis. (My opponent did finally punch his clock.) I finally decided to trade my dark squared bishop for the knight. The position was even, and not much was happening. After I opened things up a bit with 24. f4 it started getting interesting. (Note to self: Don't open up position against little kids! )

On move 26 we reach this position.

When I made the series of moves that lead to this position my intention was to play 27 Rg4. I decided not to play it, because I was concerned that the rook my gets trapped there since there aren't many squares to go to once his queen moves away. I had several different possibilities. I wanted to double the rooks on the file so I did not consider Rff1. That left Rf3 or Rf5. I didn't really like Rf3 since it blocks my bishop. I knew that after Rf5 he might sac on g3, but I miscalculated the strength of the sac. I thought he'd play 27...Bxg3 28. hxg3, Qxg3. I wasn't afraid of the passed pawns since the board would be wide open on the kingside.

I played 27. Rf5, Bxg3! I instantly took 28. hxg3?? Qh6+! I missed that move completely. 29. Rh5 Qxc1+ 30. Kh2 Qxa3. I'm totally toast. I'm down the exchange and two pawns. Now I'm really pissed and frustrated. The next series of moves I play in a rage. I guess it didn't matter at that point. I can play on and lose painfully slow or I can just go into meltdown mode and have it end quickly. 31. Qd2 Rbe8 32. Bh3 Re5 33. Rh4 a5 34. d4 Re7 Now here's where I have a major implosion. I'm looking at playing 35. Qg5 Ree8 36. Qh5 (Crude cheapo and totally stoppable with h6.) But before I play Qg6 I decide to trade off the b pawn since it's hanging. 35. bxa5 Qxa5 36. Qg5?? Qxg5! White resigns. If I ever wanted to sweep the peices off the board in a rage this would have been the time. I suppose it was not as bad as hanging the rook yesterday in a better position. At least this game I was already lost, and hanging the queen just put me out of my misery earlier. But it's just the principle of not being able to control my anger and stay focused on trying to make good moves.

It was tempting tell the tournament director to take me out and go home. However I just can't leave on that note. So here I am the computer center at the hotel blogging this mess, and waiting for round seven in a few hours. I will either redeem myself in the last round or be even more pissed off if I lose again. What are the chances that I can forget about rounds 4-6 and play a decent last round? Leave your bets in the comments section. I promise I won't look at them until after the round is done. I start playing again at 4:30 pm eastern time.


Anonymous said...

As John Nuun says, "LPDO"
( Loose pieces drop off )

I live to think of my rooks as twin-brothers who are watching each others backs when they are connected.

I am always very worried about them when I disconnect them in pursuit of some higher goal.

Andy B.

happyhippo said...

Hello Polly,

Loose pieces drop off indeed. That must've really hurt.

Usually, when such disasters happen to me, I just laugh and shrug it off and treat it as a lesson. There's nothing I can do about it after all. Every chess game is a lesson for me and it is only through continuous self-study and hard work can we "tighten" up our skills.

Having said that, sometimes, defeat is so hard to take it on the chin especially if your opponent happens to be a d!ckhead. I can understand your frustration.

Polly said...

Anon: Excellent point! I was trying to connect them on the file, but unfortunately missed the combination on the sac.

Hippo: My opponent wasn't a d!ckhead. He's a young 9 year old kid, with 9 year old kid friends who sometimes I don't know how to act properly. I actually spoke to him and the kid who was talking to him about proper conduct in the playing room. Their fathers were there and thanked me for saying something.