Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thursday Fun and Follies

I finally managed to play all four rounds on Thursday night with no unrequested byes. Winning in the third round helps tremendously in that regard. It's usually a given that I'm going to get paired up the first two rounds, and unless I pull an upset I'm going to be 0-2. It's the third round that can go either way. Sometimes I get paired up again, but more often I'll get paired down. But being paired down in this tournament is no bargain either. Often it's another B player or one of those "box of chocolates" unrateds. (You never know what you're going to get. - Forest Gump) This week I played a rusty 1500 in the third round. We reached the following position after 15. f4, Bxh6, 16. Qxh6, Nxf4

Usually I'm not fond of taking on h6 and letting the opponent's queen sit on h6, but winning the f pawn is was too tempting to pass up. Outside of the sac for perpetual I didn't think he had much in the way of an attack. I was wondering whether he'd try to sacrifice for perpetual check. Sure enough he plays 17. Rxf4, exf4 18. Bxg6. I know I have a draw if I play hxg6, but I decided I'd didn't want a draw so I played 18...Qe7. The game proceeded 19.Bd3 f3 20.Qh4 fxg2 21.Qg3 Qg7 22.Qd6 Bd5 23.c4 f5 24.cxd5 Qxa1 25.Qe6+ Kh8 26.dxc6 Qd4+ 27.Kxg2 Rg8+ White lost on time. His position was pretty grim at that point so whether he flagged or not didn't really matter.

Round 4 was an exercise in aggravation. I got paired against one the "usual suspects". He's an elderly gentleman from Eastern Europe who is very "old world" in his attitudes towards female and youthful chessplayers. He's extremely old fashioned and addresses me as Miss Polly, but it makes me me nuts when he talks down to me or gives me some sort of lecture at the end of our games. On those rare occasions when I do beat him he usually has some excuse about why he lost. This particular game I played really well against him, and won a pawn. I was also up on the clock. I had over 2 minutes and he had less then a minute. This I feel was the crucial point in the game where I got sloppy.

I think I should have left the rooks where the were, and tried to bring my king into f4. He can't move his rooks without losing the h pawn. Instead I tried doubling on the f file, and let him get play on the h file. The game went like this. 53. Rh2 R8h7 54. Rhf2? h4 55. Rh2 hxg3 56. Rxh6+ Rxh6 57. Rg5 Rh4 I managed to allow him to get the pawn back, albeit very weak. I had stopped keeping score at this point. I know that 58. Kg2 Rh2+ 59. Kxg3 Rxa2 60. Kxg4 occurred. The rest of the moves are roughly what happened as I managed to find a losing plan. 60...Ra3 61. Rg6+ Kf7 62. Kf5 Rxb3 63. e5?? Rf3+ 64. Kg5? (64. Kg4 allows for a rook trade, but I'm still outside the box, and the a pawn will promote just before I get there.) Rg3+ 65. Kh5 Rxg6 66. Kh4 Rg1 67. Kh5 a4 0-1

I resigned at this point. He starts to move pieces around, and wants to give his "lecture" on where I went wrong. I told him to leave the pieces because I want to note the final position. He tells me "there's nothing to see." I told him I don't care, just leave the pieces where they are. Getting the final position allows me to reconstruct missing moves to some degree. He goes to post the result. I just wanted to get the position and get the hell out of there. It was midnight and if I didn't leave soon and jump in a taxi I would miss the 12:30 train. That would have totally pissed me off to miss the damn 12:30 and have to wait for the 1:30 train.

My hasty escape avoided having to hear his little lecture. I value feedback from strong players, but I knew what I did wrong, and I don't like being talked down to by a player whose rating is only a 100 points higher then me. Spare me the platitudes and lectures. Argh!!! I'm sure I'll hear about it next week, though if I'm lucky he'll have a senior moment and won't remember that we played.


likesforests said...

Well played in the third round! All sorts of tactical possibilities in that diagram, and none of them too good for your opponent.

likesforests said...

But how about 2...Rb7 instead of Qe7 defending the perpetual but also keeping that wonderful fork on the table?

Polly said...

Yes your move is even better. I kept wanting to move my queen and had to remeind myself that it was defending againt mate on h7. As I turned out, I picked up the rook any way, but why not make it easier for myself?

BlunderProne said...

Round 3 was nice and full of rich tactics. Bravo. See, you do have it in you.

As for round 4, with single digit minutes left on the clock and a 2 pawn advantage, it's still hard to see the correct plan in order to pull off the win. Time was not on your side and the old man got lucky.

Too bad there are some players who feel they have to lecture in a condescending way. It might be a reflection of their self esteem as they do it to boost their ego. This is in opposition to those who are more genuine and understanding of their opponents. Those folks tend to teach in a way with out the platitudes but more from a source of " You know, I got lucky... but did you know you might have had a win 5 moves back?"

The elder statesman in your club also sounds lonely... sad.