Monday, March 10, 2008

Psycho Psunday Part 2: How to lose Rd. 6 in a 5 Rd. Tournament

So could it get crazier and weirder then getting mated by a pawn in the middle of the board in an even position? Use your imagination.

She gets the bye in the last round, and gets to go home early. Ho hum. Boring. Been there, done that over and over again.

Gets paired against a master who has 1 more point then she does. Done that too.

Opponent is a no show. Yawn! But you're getting close.

The opponent shows up, but isn't really there. Bingo!

There were two things I was trying to avoid in this tournament. First thing was trying not to get the bye, particularly in round three when there was nobody around to play as a house player. Second was not having to play the 1220 who was in the Open section. I don't play in Open sections in order to have to play 1200s. I can stay in my own section, lose in the first round and then play a 1200 in round two or three. I don't need to get pounded on by experts and A players for the privilege of playing a 1200.

Since my morning game only lasted 2.5 hours I had a lot of time before the next round. I had kind of forgotten about the possibility of having to play the 1200. He had taken two 1/2 point byes for rounds 3 and 4. Why somebody would take byes in those two rounds and come back to play just round 5 is beyond me. I thinking more about the possibility of getting the bye, but had to wait to see if that was going to occur. I think in some ways I'd rather gotten the bye. The player who did end out getting the bye got to play a house player rated 1900.

Sure enough I get paired against the 1220, and to make me more anxious he's late. He finally arrives at the board with a score sheet and a pen. He doesn't bother to fill in any of the information on the score sheet. I offer my hand to shake and he ignores it so I press the clock. I had gotten a heads up from his first round opponent who said he was terribly weak, and seemed to be recovering from some sort of brain trauma. I think it perhaps was a nice way of saying is elevator didn't quite go to the top.

The game started off 1. e4 c5, 2. Nf3 Nc6, 3. d4 cxd4, 4. Nxd4 g6, 5. Be3 Bg7, 6. Nc3 Nf6, 7. Bc4 Qa5, 8. Qd2. There's nothing spectacular about the opening. Basic Accelerated Drgaon stuff with slight differences in the move order. The only reason this took any time was because he struggled to notate and he was using English Descriptive. After he made his 8th move he took a different pen out, put it with his score sheet and got up and left the board. I just figured the other pen wasn't working so well, and the he went to use the bathroom. I made my 8th move of Qa4, and then waited for him to return.

After about 10 minutes I was starting to wonder about where he had gone. Some how I didn't think he was sitting in the bathroom with Pocket Fritz or an Accelerated Dragon book trying to figure out what to do next. Somehow I just had this feeling that he just got up and left. He had not come in with any equipment or a jacket so the only thing at the board was his score sheet and the pen that he had swapped with the original one.

After 15 minutes I complained to the TD. He didn't know what the guy looked like, however one of the local players who was hanging out did. He checked in the bathroom to see if he was there. He wasn't there. Then he figured maybe he went down to the second floor to get something to eat. No sign of him in the cafeteria either.

Now I'm getting pissed. I want to play challenging and competitive games of chess. Having a player walk out 8 moves into the game is just out annoying, and rude. Why the hell did he come to play one game on Sunday, and leave after 8 moves without saying anything? But what can one say about a player who has played 6 rated tournaments between 1998 and now, plays in the Open section in every single one, and doesn't play all the rounds? He either takes 1/2 point byes, gets assigned a a full point bye, or forfeits a round.

Does a director have the right to refuse his entry, or make him play in a section that's more appropriate to his strength? Looking at his tournament history he has a win or two against 1100s and a 900. Why play in a section where the next lowest rated player is over 400 points higher rated? I'm sure some of the 2300s I've played in the Saint John's Masters wonders the same about me. However as 1700 who has been as high as the mid-1900s I feel that I have enough of a grasp on the game, that I won't necessarily get crushed by the 2300. Also even if I lose ugly, I have enough ability and resources to understand what I did wrong, and perhaps improve the next time. I'm not sure a provisionally rated 1200 adult with other issues benefits from such a mismatch.

Editorial rant over with. Back to the tournament. I wasn't particularly interested in winning the game like that. I would have been perfectly happy if they treated it as a forfeit loss for him, and just repair me with a house player. I was even willing to play a shortened time control to compensate for the elapsed time. I just wanted to play an interesting game of chess with somebody!

One of the tournament directors offered to play me. One of the other tournaments directors told us to take the elapsed time and divide it in half. The original time control was 20/1 followed by G/1. The TD I'm playing resets the clock for 20/35, and tells me "Don't worry about the 20 moves." Since I use the move counter setting on my Chronos I knew that would be a problem if one of us took more then 35 minutes to make 20 moves. I suggested we change it to one time control. I'm not sure how I came up with this number but I set the clock for G/75. All I know is I should not be trying to do math when I'm tired and aggravated. I should have set it for G/95. At the time I didn't even realize what I had done. I think I took 35 and divided that in half to come up with 15+60=75.

I was not aware of the mistake until later when I was watching some other games and noticed that the other clocks had a lot more time on them. I was short on time, but couldn't exactly tell my opponent/tournament director that I set the clock wrong, and that we should each have 15 minutes more. There are rules about this kind of stuff, so I knew I was stuck with what I had set. Note to self: Let well enough alone when the TD initially sets the clock.

I'm having trouble with Chess Publisher so I'm going put in a diagram and let all the endings junkies pick it apart and see if either side can win, or whether it should be a draw. This after White played 32. Rxa6.

Nobody seems to want to comment on this position. Perhaps people find it as overwhelming as I did. With so little time it was hard to determine my best course of action. Here is the entire game, but for some reason Chess Publisher 2 wouldn't generate the moves with all my comments. I have put some of the comments following the game.

On move 15 I missed just taking back on d5 with the knight. He can't take the knight with his queen. (15..Nxd5, 16. Qxd5 Rad8)

After I played 22...Rc8 I thought it was a killer move because I thought he had to play Rc1. I overlooked the very simple c3. I was looking at this line of play. (23. Rc1 Qe5 24. Bd4 Nxd4 25. Qxd4 Qxd4 26.Nxd4 Bxd4)

After 36 Kb1 I play Re1. I'm trying to see if he'll come out again with king and allow me to repeat the position.

37...Ne5? I'm trying to be too clever. I was trying for something along the lines of Nd3 and piling up on the pinned bishop. Remember the axium. "Passed pawns must be pushed!" e3 was much better for me. (37... e3 38. c6 e2 39. Rc5 Be5
40. c7 Bxc7 41. Rxc7 Rd1 42. Rxf7+ Kg8 43. Re7 e1=Q 44. Rxe1 Rxe1)

I sac the bishop on move 43, and on move 46 he sacs back. I was surprised he sac'ed back at this point, but I didn't have time to think about it. I have 3 seconds on the clock.

49...Ng6 was not good. I couldn't find a way to hold the pawn so I just made a move to keep my knight closer to the king. Kf7 would hold the pawn after Re5, Kf6.

After losing the pawn I still felt I should be able to draw. I'm simply making moves to avoid forks and skewers. I'm now down to 1 second.

58...Rh7 is probably a mistake. I'm putting the rook too close to the king. I should have left the rook on h2, and continued moving my king towards the queen side.

59. Ne4+ Kd5?? Walking into the fork I had been very carefully avoiding for the last 10 moves. 60. Nf6+ I resigned. In some ways I wish I had flagged before I blundered. Result would have been the same, but at least I could have blamed it totally on the clock.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The position was overwhelming. I had no clue how to decently evaluate the position. :)

My best guess is that it would be a draw. Black seems to have a slight advantage being on the move, but if the long-range pieces are traded off, White having a more outside passed pawn might be an advantage.