Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Washington State Class - Day 2
Despite my brutal Saturday, I managed to bounce back on Sunday a little bit. Not that I won any games on Sunday, but I didn't lose any either. I had two interesting draws. The two games were very different in terms of opponents and the final position.
My 5th round opponent was a kid from Victoria, BC. A number of Canadians from BC were playing in the event. They used his 1644 Canadian rating for pairing purposes. His USCF rating is 1581. With kids I tend to just ignore the rating, because no matter what it is they tend to be under rated. When he played the Maroczy Bind against my Accelerated Dragon, I'm thinking to myself, "Here we go again." Lately I've had some painful losses facing the Maroczy, so I wasn't thrilled to see 5. c4. He blundered a pawn early, but he handled the position very nicely. I think I probably played a little too cautiously, and traded down too much. I couldn't see any way to make progress since once we got down to queen and bishops of same color. All the pawns were on the same side, so when he offered the draw I accepted. Here's the game.
In round six I was paired against someone, who my lone adult opponent from round three described as "steady". I didn't even have to see the person to know that he was going to be one of those older players who's probably sitting on his floor, and plays a real solid positional type game. As luck would have it, even though I was due for White I would end out with a 4th Black. Despite being a tournament director, sometimes I don't understand the vagueries of the Swiss System that decides that a player that has had WBBWB gets his third white over the player who has had BWBWB. I'm not going to quote the rule, but if you're really interested go to page 144, and look at #4 under Pairing players due the same color. Go figure. I liked the old rule which is now #5, and the rule of last resort. Higher ranked player gets his due color. I would have gotten White under that rule.
It was one of those games where I was having trouble coming up with a decent plan. The game remained equal until around move 25. I got overly cautious again. I think I was playing not to lose, but that's usually the type of attitude that cause one to let the position get away. It really should have gotten away from me since he missed a couple of good shots that win pawns. When he offered the draw I happily accepted since I still thought I was slightly worse, and at a disadvantage on the clock.
Tomorrow look for my Wacky Wednesday, 2 hour 17 move loss from round 4.