Friday, May 23, 2008

First Round Shocker!

Preface: I started this post when I got back from NYC. I continued it killing time in Chicago while awaiting my flight to Los Angeles. (I'll be playing in the Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic. ) I would have finished it in Chicago but I did one of those incredibly stupid things that happens when you forget to hit save as draft before logging out. I had initially posted this first round position when I got home from the Marshall. It was a wild start to what ended out being a decent tournament. I was so excited about my first round game that I posted the critical position before going to bed. Given how little sleep I ended out getting I might as well stayed up and written the whole damn article.

Now I'm in Los Angeles, and maybe I can finish it without losing all my changes. What was annoying was that I spent a lot of time adding to the initial post. Between being very slow on the keyboard, and trying to come up with pithy descriptions on my evening I lost over an hour's worth of work. True confession: I type with two fingers. I liked what I wrote, but it vanished into the Internet Great Beyond when I logged out of Safari on Mac and logged in on Windows to pull up my Chess Base stuff. Damn when are they going to make a Mac version of Chess Base?? Note to self: "Press save as draft when editing a published post."

For the second time in two weeks I achieved an even score in a tournament at the Marshall. This is rather unusual for me since typically I get paired up so much that I end out with minus scores, and or go 0-3 and get a bye. I actually got to play every round of 4 Rated Games Tonight! No byes! I also didn't get Polyakin in the first round. I did get him in round two, but I'm getting ahead of myself. My first round opponent who is rated 2079 plays slash and bash chess. All of our games have had at least one dubious sac and a wild time scramble. This game would prove no different. However unlike my previous encounters I would be the one ahead on time, and the one coming up with a counter-sac.

Knowing that my opponent likes to attack wildly I decided I would not accept his Smith-Morra. Instead I ignored c3 and allowed it to transpose to a c3 Sicilian. This was a fun way to start a tournament. My usual late round encounter with "Please Wait" would have to wait for another time. My opponent is sac happy. He's already sac-ed a rook, and now he's offering me a bishop to reach this position.

White just played 28. Bxg6?! Now the fun begins. I didn't like the looks of 28...fxg6. I couldn't figure out if I get mated or he just gets a perpetual. I decided two could play the sac game so I replied 28...Bxg2+!? 29. Kxg2 Rxd2+ 30. Kh3? This gives me too much play. Better is 30. Kh1 Rd1+ 31. Qxd1 Qxe5 32. Qh5 Qxh5 33. Bxh5 After 30 Kh3 it continued 30...Qd7 31. Bf5 Rd3+ 32. Kg2?? Qd5+ 33. Kf1 Rd1+ 34. Ke2 Qd2+ 35. Kf3 Qf2+ 36. Ke4 Qe3#

I guess if I don't play Polyakin in round one I'm going to get him in another round once I win. This week it came in round two. Unfortunately unlike two weeks ago when I held him to a draw playing white I had to play him as black this week. I had to play against his annoying d4 opening. I was doing okay until I walked into several discoveries. The discovered attack picked up a pawn. The second was a discovered check that picked up my queen. Stupid tactical oversight on my part. That's what I get when I play a little too fast and don't look gift pawns and skewers in the mouth. I resigned after walking into a fork losing what compensation I had for the queen.

Now I'm 1-1, and I get paired up again against Larry Tamarkin. I'm 0-13 against this guy, and every game some horrible happens. Talk about a serious monkey on my back! He should be King Kong II. This game proved to be no different then the previous 13 against him. I played totally stupid. I knew he would get around to sac-ing the knight on e4, but didn't see that he sacs on f2, not g3. I can't accept because I lose my queen. If I don't accept I'm down a pawn and the exchange with a horrible position. Having gotten into an argument with him between rounds, I did not feel like dealing with him any longer then necessary. I didn't think it was necessary to continue down the exchange and a pawn in a horrible position. I disgustedly knocked my king over and left the room. It was one of those times I wanted to pull a Nimzovitch by sweeping the pieces off the board and yell "Why must I lose to this idiot?"

Now being 1-2 I finally get paired down. So who stands between me and my chance at an even score? Steve Chernick. The original gorilla on my back. Our games are always an adventure, and there's always a story to accompany them. That being said, I decided round four merited its own post.

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