Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Quick Recap - Detailed Reports to Follow.

Friday I played 4 games at a time limit of Game/60. I started off with 3 straight draws, and then won round 4. I was encouraged by my play, and was looking forward to the slow games on Saturday and Sunday.

What can I say? Everything went all to hell. I don't understand what happens to me when I have lots of time to work with, and I actually use the time. Round 5 went almost the entire 6 hours, but I self destructed in a position that I was up a knight and a pawn. Round 6 I would have been better off skipping the round, just to unwind after the brutal loss. Instead I tried to tough it out, and lost that game.

Sunday was a fresh start, but gave away a game in round 7 that I was up a pawn against a 5th grade girl with one of those last names I couldn't spell or pronounce. The 8th round sucked. I just crushed. I had nothing left.

In the slow games I was not wandering the room much at all. Pretty much my trips from the board were for water, or answering Mother Nature's call. I need a couple of days to sort through this weekend I figure out what the hell happened.

Maybe Game/60 my time limit. 2.5-1.5 against players rated 1710 - 1790, followed by 0-4 on the slow schedule. Go figure. Maybe Linux-Guy can offer some insights since he got to watch me in action.


LinuxGuy said...

Here is my honest assessment of your play Polly, and thanks for asking. :-D

At attacking play, you are an Expert level chess player, there is no doubt in my mind.

Defense? Yes, you see what needs to be defended. But there's this thing called taking an airplane across the country and well, why do all that just to play defense? Attack!

It was interesting, you saw everything that needed to be defended in that one game, but you only wanted to do that (defense) when your opponent forced you into your being able to do it (as part of your attack).

I think if you simply switched your style some, that you would be back to A player almost overnight.

You were very focused, no problems there. A grueling schedule, I bet it hit you at some point. I had the opposite experience, it hit me sooner but then I was able to play my way into the tournament. I didn't feel that I was focusing as well as I should be until the evening of day 3.

wang said...

I think part of what would help you out is to take a bye in the middle of these monster tourneys.

I think that the a good place for a bye here would have been Round 5. You just finished playing 4 games in one day and it would have allowed you to recharge the batteries as it were.

Just an idea.

LinuxGuy said...

One thing I noticed that I do in time-pressure, twice I blundered this way. The position is dead even or better and I have a move that I know improves my position, but then there is another move and I say "What if this move is even better?" and I play it because it looks a tad more forceful.

About 2 seconds after I make the more threatening looking move, I realize that it is an enormous blunder. Against the 1980's level player it instantly cost me the game, but against the 1720's level player he spent at least 5 minutes on the move, but apparently never saw it.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, following a good start, I sometimes relax -- after all, I've accomplished something. This is completely unintentional, and has the same effect as cleanly winning a light piece and losing concentration. It's perfectly disastrous in long games, where focus is critical. ... The remarks about fatigue above also seem on the mark. Cheers!

LinuxGuy said...

"Maybe Game/60 my time limit. 2.5-1.5 against players rated 1710 - 1790, followed by 0-4 on the slow schedule."

It's simple math, really. In the slow games where you got 3 draws and 1 win out of 4 games, your opponents also had G60 time-pressure that they had to deal with. In a 6 hour game, if you are waiting to go into "flurry-mode" with 3 minutes remaining, and your opponent has 45+ minutes, they can more easily scoop up on your mistakes.

To me it says that you should probably be playing a section up, but not before you also let go of whatever weaker playing habits that the U1800 crowd will give you a pass on (and I'm guessing that you already subconsciously half-expect these things by now).

Anonymous said...

This is a great blog. My husband used to read it often.

Mrs Chessloser

Polly said...

One of the things I like about this tournament how they merge the schedules. You play 4 G/60 games on the first day with no slow games until the next day. The merge occurs on Saturday in Round 5.

Many tournaments I've played with on an accelerated schedule I've had to play 3-4 fast games in one day, and then a slow game on that same day. I find that transition is difficult and taking a bye either for the last fast game of the day or the 1st slow game of the day is probably a prudent thing to do. Being a chess junkie I usually take no byes.

I felt good after Friday's game both mentally and physically. I think the physical and emotional toll of losing that 6 hour game on Saturday in such sudden turn of events was a killer. In hindsight I should either taken a bye in in round six which would have been a zero point bye, or asked my opponent for a draw early on.

Sometimes I'm so damn stubborn about overcoming obstacles such as bouncing back from a tough loss, that I don't think about the mental and physical effects that are carrying over. Sometimes I just have say "it's okay to step back and regroup. I don't need to prove anything to myself by playing round six with a pounding headache."

I feel like that game 5 was the turning point. I win that game, I'm going to feel great about how I fought back and won. I think that would have carried me over into the final rounds. Who knows.

Games to follow.

LinuxGuy said...

Well, that will be fun to see your games! Wins and losses do to tend to snowball in opposite directions.

Even Anthony, a 1900 player who was part of the staff on hand there once acknowledged this sort of thing to me, he said I had "momentum" from previous wins on one occasion.

I don't know how anyone can play 4 games in a day. That 3-day section was a madhouse that day. The 4-day section was further from the doors, and it was much quieter.

The one kid who blitzed me 13 minutes for 50 moves, where I had to take 3 tylenol before the game and blundered early. That period is almost like a blur, even though I remember the game. It was still so noisy when I got there 10 minutes (couldn't find a parking space).

I am sometimes thinking to myself "Did that game really happen?" I rushed to get there, my opponent rushed, then I rushed to get the heck out of there. I was thinking what happened to the slow game where I now have to wait so long for the next one? That was the one time I thought about withdrawing from the tournament.

After that game I played well from then on, 2.5/3, but I guess looking back that loss gave me a chance to recoup, rest and recharge.

Polly said...

One day G/60 tournaments with 4 rounds are very popular in NY. I actually enjoy them because I can get 4 rounds of chess in one day without killing my whole weekend. The time limit is on the fast side, but not as crazy as cracktion.