Having just gotten back from Europe on Tuesday I wasn't really sure if I would be up for going to the Marshall for my Thursday "Cracktion" fix. Typically I'm still a bit jet lagged two days later. I've had some pretty ugly games when I've played too soon after returning from abroad. I probably would not have gone, except that Wang wrote this post on his blog. He wanted to check out this "cracktion chess" that I blog about frequently. I figured the least I could do was show up and play since I piqued his interest in the tournament.
This particular Thursday it was stronger then usual because it was "10 Grand Prix Points Tonight!" instead of the normal "4 Rated Games Tonight!". When it a Grand Prix tournament it draws more grandmasters and masters because the money is guaranteed, and it's another opportunity to pick up Grand Prix points. I knew it was going to be a hard night when I got paired against a 2092 in the first round way down on the next to last board. Wang was next to me playing a 2042. Welcome to Thursday night cracktion!
I actually had a very good game in the first round. I had lots of chances, but unfortunately I didn't take full advantage of my opponent's marginal opening play. Also I had clock issues that came back and bit me at the end. When it was done I had flagged and he only had 7 seconds left. Here is the game.
In the second round I played a 1977. Once again I had a good game, but clock issues caught up with me again. I won the exchange, but he got a few pawns for it. This is the final position after he played Bc3.
I can't stop the promotion. We both have 3 seconds left, but with a 5 second delay White has all the time in the world to win. I did not feel like playing 3 second chess with a rook against a queen and bishop. I suppose I could play on and hope he flags or stalemates, but it didn't seem likely.
The third game is "Wacky Wednesday" material so I will save that for my next post since tomorrow is Wednesday. I'll just say that jet lag had caught up with me, and that I had one of those ADD over focusing moments.
I was 0-3 going into the last round. I wasn't overly distressed by it, since I had played well in the first two rounds against my higher rated opponents. Even my play in the third round was good in the opening, it was just that one totally horrible move that did me in.
Wang also had lost his three games. I'm sure he'll have something to say about his first experience with "cracktion" at the Marshall. I know he was amazed at how strong the tournament was. We would have played each other in the last round, however he had requested a bye for the last round. I'm sorry he couldn't stay for the last round. It would have been fun to have a blogger battle.
Instead of playing Wang, I got paired against a middle school aged kid rated 1711 who was having an equally rough tournament. He played very poorly against me. I almost felt like he was dumping the game. However I found out afterwards that he was really upset about something that had happened in one of his other rounds. He just couldn't get past whatever had happened in the third round, and it showed in his play.
I think one of the hardest things for us to do as tournament players is be able move past a heart breaking loss or upsetting incident. Too often we play it over in our minds. "If I had only done....." Some times I can do it better then others. On this particular night I was coping pretty well with the heart breaking losses. There have been other times where I just totally fall apart, and can't think straight. I did not get the details of what had happened to my opponent in round three, so I can't even begin to understand what was going through his mind during our game. I just know that it really took him out of his game.