Friday, October 9, 2009

Train Wreck! The Slow Express Has Derailed!

Since the New York State Championship I have tried to play more slow chess, and ease up on the cracktion. Easier said then done. I have played in two tournaments with one game a week with time limits of G/75 and G/115 respectively. The Wednesday evening G/75 was at the Westchester Chess Club. The Thursday evening G/115 is at the Marshall Chess Club. Both tournaments have been exercises in frustration and at times futility. I've spent the last few weeks trying to write a post about the Marshall CC FIDE Thursdays tournament that I've been playing in lieu of "Four Rated Games Tonight!" There's one week left in the tournament, and it can't end soon enough for me. I came, I saw, I got conquered, and I've had enough.

Here's the short version:

First round
: I lose to an annoying guy who barely acknowledged my presence at the start of the game, chewed gum the entire game, barely acknowledges my resignation at the end of the game, and walks off to go analyze his friend's game without saying a thing to me about our game. Sheesh! We don't have to be best buddies, but what's wrong with a being a little sociable before or after a game? Isn't that part of the charm of live chess? Social interaction. I've more enlightening conversions with Fritz!

Second round: I see the winning move, but don't play it because I think my bishop is hanging with check if I play the move. It's not hanging and the combination I saw wins his queen. The game was a draw.

Third round: I lose a piece early, and I don't feel like playing out a lost game for another three hours. I resign, go upstairs, play the last 3 rounds of the "cracktion" tournament and lose 3 more games.

Fourth round: I get a bye since I have the low score and the low rating. Since I've traveled into NYC to play chess, I play in the "cracktion" tournament upstairs and go 0-4.

Fifth round: I play an old guy sitting on an 1800 floor that he got for winning over $1,000 tying for second in the under 1800 section at the 1986 New York Open. His score in this tournament consisted of a 1/2 point from a requested 1st round bye. 3.5 hours later he now has 1.5 points. On the bright side, it was an interesting game, and he's a very pleasant person.

Sixth round: TBA. It can't get any worse at this point. Actually it could. I could get paired against somebody who decides to not bother to show up, and not tell the director he isn't coming. One player had that happen to him in the fifth round. His opponent was a no-show. People like that piss the hell out of me. Just make a phone call so the director can pair accordingly. Instead one guy gets a bye because there's an odd number, and another player sits around watching his opponent's clock run down.

In the Wednesday slow tournament my results have been just as ugly, but at least it's only a 10 minute drive from my house to the club. I posted round one from that tournament in this post. More games from the various tournaments will follow.


LinuxGuy said...

Games, or it didn't happen. ;-D

If I had a tough streak, I would probably slow down and even lose some games on time so as not to lose on the board, and focus more on better defense.

That's too bad about the bye and opponent not showing up.

Perhaps it can get better, maybe now is a good time to lose the Colle and switch to 1. e4! :-)

LinuxGuy said...

There's an in-depth opening analysis article of the Colle-Zukertort by S. Polgar in Chess Life May 2006 issue. I see the b3, Bb2 in each diagram, except one where it went Ba3. I remember you saying you weren't sure about your dark-squared bishop and don't remember seeing it go there much(?)

Anonymous said...

nezha here

Losing streaks - It happens to the best of us :)

CHESSX said...

Players like the bloke in game 1 are few and far between,their level of manners would get a very low rating.

In England i watch a football (scoccer)team and sometimes one of the strikers goes a few games without scoring a goal.
They seem to try to hard to score a goal and they dont.
When they relax and play their game,the goals start to come.

What i am saying in a long drawn out way is,dont panic relax this streak will end.
Dont be like an striker and force the situation.

Polly said...

Games are coming. :-)

I may at some point ditch my openings, but my brain is in overload at the moment. I will become a black belt next June. In preparation I'm trying relearn and memorize all the Tae Kwon Do forms I have learned in the last two years. When one's brain is wired the way mine is, it's difficult to keep everything straight.

LinuxGuy said...

Congrats on the black-belt progress!

I know how it is sometimes, a tournament is offered and you don't feel like going at the time, but you don't want to pass up the specific opportunity either, and then people wonder why you did so bad. hehe.

Sometimes I have played poorly after being burnt-out beforehand from studying too much.

Polly said...

Linux: Actually I really was looking forward to a change of pace, and getting an opportunity to play different people and play much slower games. However at times the atmosphere in that tournament makes me feel like I'm on the set for "Grumpy Old Men". I play not only for the intellectual stimulation, but the social interaction. The "cracktion crowd" upstairs is friendlier and more fun to hang out with.

I'll play my slow chess on weekends and at the Westchester Chess Club that's a 10 minute drive away. If I'm going to schlep into the city on a Thursday night I'm going to play 3-4 games and get my "cracktion" fix.

chesstiger said...

The no show is indeed an annoying thing. I hope the Marshall club has some rule that (s)he may not play in the next tournaments.

I guess the transition from quick to slow chess didn't go as planned. You probably need more adjusting to this new kind of chess where you may think of more then one line. ;-)

chesstiger said...

Btw, i tell my adult chess students that i rather would see them lose on time then blundering pieces which means that i ask them to use their time.

At first they will lose on time but with some more experience they will win some games aswell.

In your case i guess you must learn to play again like a beginner again, checking things out very carefully and not relaying on things you (supposily) already know. Kinda reinvent your chess and who knows creating a new chess style in the progress. You wouldn't be the first adult player who goes from active to passive chess style or vica versa.

Zweiblumen said...

The club I play at has severe financial penalties (and you can never sign up for another tournament if you don't pay them) if you are a no-show forfeit.

Cracktion is good for relaxing, tactics, and openings study, but I think it's bad for thought process, plan making and making sure your choices are good ones. Still, chess is a hobby, right? Do what's fun! If you're not enjoying slow chess, you shouldn't be playing slow chess.

Liquid Egg Product said...

Man, I've gotta try that gum-chewing trick.

Polly said...

Tiger: Actually we do have stiff penalties for no shows. I believe they have to pay $25 extra to play in their next event. That's basically double the member rate for most of our longer events.

In terms of examining my thought processes, I feel like I've regressed. I'm overlooking stuff that I really should be seeing at my so called level. I'm not sure why that's happening. I will discuss this more in an upcoming post.

Zweib: I'm conflicted in terms of what I want out of chess, and where I want to go. I have to decide whether I want to simply play and enjoy the social aspect regardless of results. or really concentrate on improvement and sacrifice the social element.

I'm going through a rough spell right now. In my last 17 games I have no wins, 14 losses and 3 draws. It's tough to look at all those zeros in the win column. I'm having some internal battles with myself. One part just wants to say "f#$% all and just quit", another part says "suck it up and work your way through it" the third part says "there is a compromise, figure it out!" My inclination is #3, but that's probably the toughest one to work out.