Friday, June 20, 2008

June Loony Tunes

I've only written six posts this month. Yes, I know for some bloggers that's a lot of posts. But for this "motor mouth" that's hardly anything. However June got off to a crazy start which left little time for blogging. I started out the month by playing six consecutive days. I played 17 games. Amazingly enough I didn't play Vladimir Polyakin or Gabor Schnitzler in that stretch. Quite surprising since there are some months that I play the two of them almost every week. So how did I do in this crazy chess maarthon? I won 5, lost 11, and drew 1. There would have been 9 losses and 3 draws if I hadn't tried to win drawn games against Family Ostrovskiy on the last day of this crazy chess marathon.

When Steve has a two day tournament at the Marshall he runs a 3 round G/30 on Saturday night called "Prove Your Point!" You win money based on how many points you score. Often it's a crap shoot in terms of how many players show up and what their strength is. The tournament tends to be small, but often is very strong. There was a stretch where I never won a game in the event. In a two year period I played in the event 5 times and scored 2 draws and 13 losses.

This particular one was a funny tournament in that out of eight players there were two father/son duos, and one brother/brother duo. Yefim Trager and I were the only two players not related to someone else in the tournament. In the first round I played Aleksandr Ostrovskiy. I had played him two days earlier in the first round of 10 Grand Prix Points Tonight! In that game I misplayed the opening and ended out with a miserable position and resigned on my 24th move. That brought my record to 0-7 against him.

In this game we played the exact same opening except I played the correct move, and I had a good game going. I was up two pawns in a rook and bishops of opposite color ending. I turned down a draw in this position after hanging the g6 pawn and walked into mate after 60...Re3+, 61. Kf4 Ra3?? 62. Rh6#. Chalk up loss #8 against the kid.

In the next round I played the father of the other father/son duo. They were visiting from Chicago for a weekend of going to baseball games in various east coast cities. They had attended a Yankees game that afternoon, and the son decided he wanted to play at the world famous Marshall Chess Club. This was dad's first tournament. This was not the ideal tournament for a newbie to start out. As number 6 on the wallchart, I out rated the son by almost 500 points. The son is much stronger then his dad.

There are two types of unrateds. There is the ringer unrated who can be anywhere from 1400 to 2200 in strength, and then there is the novice unrated. Dad fell into the latter catagory, though I didn't take anything for granted. When he hung a piece early I actually thought it might be a sacrifice. It wasn't. He said afterwards it was simply a blunder.

In the last round I got the other half of the Ostrovskiy duo. I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking about when with less then 10 seconds on my clock I opted not to repeat the position, and went for it.

I guess that's what happens when I get to my 17th game in 6 days. I had blown my chance to not be on my floor for the July rating list with Friday's 0-3 thumping by King Kong and company. It didn't matter. I'd already blown one draw in this tournament. The worst that would happen is I'd blow another one. Somehow losing this game did not bother me as much the loss last November. Perhaps I'm finally getting to the stage where I can shrug off stuff like that and move on.


Tom Panelas said...

This is the second year I've been blogging, and for some reason, this year as last, June becomes major down time. Maybe I just need a breather after scholastic chess season ends.

I blogged a lot in July and August last year. We'll see how the muse inspires this summer. There's always plenty of chess to write about.

Polly said...

Tom: This being my my first year of chess blogging come August I'm not sure what to expect. I have lots of ideas, but just having trouble coming up with the right words.