Friday, April 18, 2008

In Lieu of This Week's Wacky Wednesday: Freaky Friday!

It's been an extremely busy week as I've been very busy practicing in preparation for my Tae Kwon Do belt promotion test next week. I will write more about the mental aspect of learning new forms and techniques in a later post. There are remarkable similarities between how I learn in Tae Kwon Do and how I learn in chess. The mind battle I deal with in chess also plagues me in Tae Kwon Do. I guess none of this should surprise me. This leopard isn't going to change her spots just because she's doing TDK instead of chess.

But after three straight days of class I had no time for Wacky Wednesday. Do not fret! Last night I went into autopilot, and the result of that was a pretty freaked up opening. So welcome to Freaky Friday. It was a typical Thursday night at the Marshall Chess Club for me. First round I'm paired against Vladimir Polyakin. Unlike most of my recent games with him I had a very good position going into the ending. We reached this position after 42...Qa3.

I had around 1:30 on the clock and my opponent had a little over 3 minutes. Instinct told me I did not want to trade queens and allow him the very advanced passed pawn. I didn't feel real comfortable trying to hold the pawn back with so little time. I looked at the position today and perhaps I can hold. One possibility is 43. Qxa3 bxa3 44. Nc2 a2 45. Kf1 Na6 46. Ke2Kf8 47. Kd2 Nc5 48. b4 Ne4+ 49. Ke3 f5 50. g4 Ke7, but who has time work that all out with less then two minutes? Even now I haven't worked it all the way out to the end. At the time I felt it was safer to keep the queens on the board. Unfortunately I managed to find the fourth worst square for the queen. a1, a2 and c3, tie for first in the worst square category. I played 43. Qc2, overlooking 43...Qa1+. Curses! Forked again!

That was not the Freaky Friday moment. The FF moment came in round four. Yes I actually made it to round four without getting paired against "please wait". My third round opponent so nicely hung a piece in drawish position. In the last round I'm playing the Black side of what was supposed to be an Accelerated Dragon Sicilian. The problem was I hit the accelerator way too early and played 3...g6 instead of cxd4. When he played 4. d5 I was totally oblivious to what I had done and said to myself "What the hell piece of crap move is that? White can't just push d5 there. That never happens." Then the light bulb comes on. "DUH! White can play that if you don't play 3...cxd4. Hello! How many years have you been playing the Sicilian Defense as Black?"

Here is the game in all it's splendid ugliness. I think after my brain fart I couldn't think straight, and kept finding horrible responses. Once again I was seeing things that didn't exist, and dismissing defenses that did exist. I could have held on longer if I didn't freak out over the move transposition. C'est la vie! Today is another day. Maybe I can beat King Kong tonight.


transformation said...

at a superficial glance, as white, all i feel is panic, and how can i not loose this?

chess is all about discomfort, and this position reinforces this point.

Polly said...

When I first read your comment I had forgotten that I had posted the position from the first round game. So at first I was wondering why you said white.

The funny thing was I thought I was fine as long as I didn't trade queens in that position. Unfortunately I put my queen on the wrong square. Who knows what would have occurred if I played the right move. I doubt he would have accepted a draw offer. I've blown much easier positions in extreme time pressure.

BlunderProne said...

I don't know, I think the Q-exchange giving your opponent an adanced ROOK pawn with your knight in porximity ( can hold and block on a2 until you bring King over), you then have two CONNECTED Passers that can provide enough compensation to keep his knight busy.

Polly said...

Blunder: I think at the time I was forgetting that I have connected passed pawns. Looking at the position again after your comment I think you may be right. I'm going to have to look at more carefully now.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say the same as Blunderprone yesterday, but now I'm not sure. It seems Black can bring his King down to White's side of the board while the White King travels to a1. He'd have uncontested penetration which may create problems (space advantage, etc.).

Or maybe White has something else. It requires calculation I don't have the time for. And better endgame knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I would like to agree it was nice the way I hung that piece in round 3 (Thursday 17th)--but it still stings! Ouch! Enjoyed my trip there, nice club--nice blog!


Polly said...


It must be Karma. Since our game I've managed to out right hang a rook and a queen.

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to NY. My next chess trip to Texas will be for the US Open. Maybe I'll see you there.