Monday, October 13, 2008

ICA Fall Open: Part I

Greetings from La Guardia airport. I'm off to California today. First to sunny San Diego and then foggy San Francisco. No chess tournaments on this trip. In fact I probably won't get to play in another tournament until November 3rd. Knowing that and still having a terrible taste from Thursday's 0-4 debacle at 4 Rated Games Tonight! (My last round game from that tournament will be Wacky Wednesday's post this week. I decided to cross the river and play in Hackensack, New Jersey at the ICA Fall Open, held at Bergen County Academy. This tournament is held in conjunction with the International Chess Academy's Fall scholastic. The Open section is limited to players rated over 1400, but that doesn't make it kid proof. The stronger kids play in the Open, not the scholastic. The Open section was quite strong with two Grandmasters and a number of masters. As luck would have it, who do you think I played in round one? FM Boris Privman. The same Boris Privman that I resigned prematurely against on Thursday because I couldn't find the knight fork combination.

I'm so glad I traveled to New Jersey to play one of the Marshall Chess Club usual suspects. I guess that's what happens when I wear my new Marshall CC baseball cap to other tournaments. Just like Thursday night I lost to him. Make that 0-15 against the guy. I'm not superstitious, but I was wondering if this was a bad omen to lose to the same guy that started off my 0-4 evening at the Marshall last Thursday.

We had our own little bi-state chess bloggers carnival at the tournament. Here I am with Jim West and Atomic Patzer, Tom Stanics.

Grandmasters Alexander Stripunsky and Sergey Kudrin do battle on Board 1 in round 4. I'm not sure what the final result was, but there was no two move grandmaster draw since there was another 3-0 playing a 2.5 on Board 2.

The playing room for the Open Section was very nice. The room is the classroom and restaurant for the school's culinary program students. Everyone had individual tables, and we were far away from the scholastic bedlam occurring in the main cafeteria. Ruy Lopez would have liked the layout. If you had misfortune of facing the windows you had to deal with the sunlight in your eyes and reflecting off the board.

The tournament got off to a rough start. After losing to Privman in round 1, I got paired against a middle school kid with a rating in the mid 1500s.

He spent the entire game attacking the living daylights out of me. After 26. Qe7 we reached this position.

I thought I was dead meat here. He's attacking my bishop and my f7 pawn. He also is threatening Bxg6. I kept looking for a way to resolve all my problems. First I considered 26...Ba6. However then follows 27. Bxg6+ Rxg6 28. Qxf7+ Kh8 29. Rxg6 and mate in 1 or 2.

Next I considered just giving up the bishop to defend the f pawn with 26...Kg8. That's bad too. 27. Bxg6 Nd6 28. Bxf7+Kh8 29. Be8 Nxe8 30. Qg7+

I was on the verge of resigning, but having been given to premature resignations as of late I decided to keep looking. Finally I came up with 26...Qc7. That appears to hold everything. My opponent played 27. Qb4. I was patting myself on the back for toughing it out and finding the move that seems to hold everything together. However it doesn't really since my opponent missed 27.Rxg6! Qxe7 28. Rg7+ Kh8 29. fxe7 Rb8 30. Rxf7 and goes downhill from there.

The game continued 27... Nxf6 28. Qd4 Ng4 29. Be2Bc8 30. Bxg4 Bxg4 31. Nxd5 Rxd5 32. Qxd5 Bxd1 33. Rxd1 Qf4+ 34. Kb1 Kg7 35. Qa5Qxh4 36. Qxa7 Qf4 37. Qa3 h4 38. Qc3+ Qf6 39. Qxf6+ Kxf6 40. a4 h3 41. a5 Rh842. a6 Ra8 43. Rh1 Rxa6 44. Rxh3 g5 45. c4 At this point we both stopped notating to arrive at the position below. According to Fritz, Black is slightly better. However Fritz is never in time trouble so what does it know?

With seconds left on my clock the position looks something like this. The White pawns are definitely on those squares. My pawns I'm not sure about.

Don't ask me how his pawns got up the board like that, and mine didn't. I think I made too many defensive moves with my rook. I think two factors came into play. The first was I spent the entire game on the defensive. Sometimes it's hard to switch gears so one tends to stay in defense mode even after the attack has been stopped. The other issue was the clock. This is where a better understanding of rook and pawn endings would help. I guess I should have brought Silman's Endgame Manual with me on vacation. (Too big!)

To be continued from DFW....


Anonymous said...

Nice jacket and cap!

Its not fun losing but i hope you have learned from the games you lost, where you could do better. Maybe even analysed with Privman?

Have a good vacation!

Polly said...

With a tight schedule it's hard to do a full blown post mortem, but Privman always gives me a brief suggestion of something I might have tried. Thursday he had told me about the knight move, and how it would have been better then Rf8. I grab these little bits of information when I can get them.

The Mascot said...

Hey, you might try this next time you plan on getting pictures of yourself at a tournament. Get some chess clothing that's tight and form-fitting so it shows off your curves. This gives the male-dominated chess world has even more incentive to hang around your site.

(Not that we wouldn't pay attention to your write-ups, of course.)

Polly said...

Mascot: Did Donnie put you up that? Tell Donnie I'll have the hot babe clothes for Sunday when I do my marathon. :-)

Anonymous said...

Um...that was not prompted by me, and suspect it had something to do with a little too much alcohol.

Rolling Pawns said...

I wish I could describe my losses so calmly as you do. I just lost to the guy rated 250 lower than me in 30 moves, feel completely awful. Maybe because you played a lot more OTB games than me ( is it 4000? ), so you got all kinds of experiences.

Polly said...

RP: There are times after a loss I want to just shoot myself or just give up chess all together. There are other times where I can actually say "That was a fun game even though I lost". Some losses are harder to take then others, but I try to get something out of each one. I was once told by a player visiting Russia that he met a grandmaster and teacher who said "If you have not lost thousands of games, you are not trying hard enough." The point being you have to lose to get better.

I think that's why I get irked at kids who just try to get easy draws from higher rated opponents, or who drop out after a few rounds to protect the rating gains. The rating goes up, but what did they learn?

All that being said, by the time I write the story of my loss I've calmed down. It's probably good that I can't say the first things that cross my mind and have them go straight to this blog.