When I entered the slow tournament at the Marshall I did not know what to expect. I certainly didn't expect to win a lot of games. I figured with a tournament minimum rating of 1600, there weren't going to be too many people lower rated then me. I hoped I could put up a decent fight against those much higher rated, and even beat a few people within a 100 points of me.
The first round I did put up a good fight until I panicked when his knight got deep into my territory. It's just not a good feeling when you're black and there's a white knight sitting on f6. Just like the night before I got into some gambit line that I really had no idea what I was doing. My opponent had a lot of play for the pawn, but I was holding my own. In game/30 I know that I can't agonize over the position, and in less then an hour it's going to be over with one way or another. I may succumb to an overwhelming attack or I may hold on for dear life and win or draw a wild ending with little time on the clock.
When both players have 2 hours each then it's a whole different story. There's time to work out the lines of attack, and defense. In playing with so much time, I needed to adjust my thought process and my attitude. In game/30 I may find a move, look at the possibilities briefly and then just make the move with the thought "I don't know what the hell is going on, but I don't have time to figure this out." Sometimes that works but more often then not, the move loses.
When I saw that he was threatening to stick his knight on f6, I retreated my queen to d8 with the idea of if 24. Nf6+ Rxf6 25. exf6 Qxf6. I had spent a good bit of time on 23...Qd8 debating whether or not the sacrifice was sound or even necessary. Then once he played Nf6+ I had decide whether I really wanted to go through with the exchange sacrifice. I debated a long time, and then chose not to do it at that point. A few moves later I did do it. It turns out if I was going to play Rxf6, I should have done it on move 26. Waiting a few moves changed the position too much, and then it was no good. Here's the game.
One of the problems with slow chess is if your opponent is being somewhat annoying, you have to deal with it longer. As I mentioned in yesterday's summary this particular opponent barely acknowledged my existence at the beginning or the end of the game. After I resigned, I made the comment to the effect of "Maybe the exchange sacrifice would have been better when you first played Nf6." Most opponents would acknowledge the remark, express an opinion on the offhand analysis, and if time permitted ask if I wanted to go over the game. He ignored me and went to analyse his friend's game. I think I even posted the result on the pairing sheet.
He chewed gum the entire game. This is my own personal opinion, but I think chewing gum in certain places is kind of rude and annoying. Would you chew gum during a church service, classical music concert, at a reception or other formal occasion? I think that chewing gum during a tournament game is not appropriate. Considering the less then congenial exchange at the beginning of the game, I didn't feel very comfortable asking him not to chew gum during the game. Maybe I felt he would not respond kindly to my request. I certainly didn't want to bring the tournament director into it if he had some negative reaction. It seemed like a petty thing to fuss about. My solution was to listen to classical music on my iPod and tune him out. I pulled my cap down low so that I could keep his face out of my line of vision. It's really annoying to look up and see your opponent making faces similar to what cows do when chewing their cud.
I guess I should ask myself "Why would I want to spend any more time with the guy?"