Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Liberty Bell Open - Day 2: Round 4

Sunday morning, and now it's time to see if I would be playing in my section or scrounging for a game because I got the bye. Sure enough as expected I had the bye in my section. There were byes in other sections, so it seemed like I would get a game. In round 3 the kid who got the bye in my section played a 1040 who got a bye in the Under 1300 section. I wouldn't want that pairing. I would take my bye and find something else to do until round 5. I could have super mom roll me around one of the museums.

I told Walter I wanted a game if possible. Last year when I got the bye in I was running around looking for somebody to play. This year I just had Donna park me outside the TD room. I figured if I hung out there long enough one of the TDs would find me an opponent. I can be pretty persistent when trying to avoid byes. It was pretty hectic because the directors were trying to get the players to go quietly into the room since the 2-day and under 900 sections were playing already. I just waited patiently hoping for the best. I at least showed restraint by not dropping out of the 3-day schedule and re-entering the 2-day schedule. The thought had crossed my mind, albeit very briefly. I don't believe in re-entries. Really now, what makes me think I would do any better if I started over?

After about 20 minutes one of the directors comes by and tells me I have a game. I'm playing Black against a kid rated 1796 who opted to play up in the under 2100 section. We're playing on my new assigned board. Finally I feel like I'm actually in the tournament. I have players sitting to my right and across the aisle that row is also full. These players are in the under 1900 section. I don't know what scores they have. It didn't really matter since for that round I was playing in the under 2100 section. I was getting the full point bye in my section which would mean regardless of what happened in this game the "wall chart castling" would stop at 0 0 0. Fitting for someone who calls her blog "Castling Queen Side".

I don't think my opponent had ever seen 7...Qa5 in the Accelerated Dragon before. If he had, he would played 8. 0-0 immediately. Instead he spent 15 minutes coming up with 8. Nb3. I played 8...Qb4. He spent another 20 minutes on 9. Bd3. Having sat through 35 minutes on two moves in the opening I was getting antsy already. Inside I was screaming, "IT'S THE OPENING!! JUST MAKE A MOVE!" At least after that much time he didn't play Qd3 which loses a piece to Ne5. It's so rare that I actually see this line that I forgot that I still have 9...Nxe4. Instead I played the very timid 9...b6. I think I was recalling one of my Thursday night screw ups where I allowed Bc5 trapping my queen.

I knew this was going to be a long round since my opponent spent almost an hour on his first 10 moves. Under normal circumstances I would have been out of my seat, wandering around the tournament room, and checking out what my friends were doing. Even though I could get up and walk around if I wanted to, it was a bit of a production, and too much like work. Instead I figured this was a good exercise in patience and concentration. Breaking an ankle was not exactly what I had in mind for dealing with my ADHD issues at the board, however might as well make the best of the situation. Though despite how focused I may have appeared on the outside, my thoughts weren't completely about this game. I was thinking about what I would blog, watching the games next to me, and asking myself when is he going to move?

So here is the game.


This is an example of a game being played between two people who have gotten off to a poor start. We're 0-3 in our respective sections, and it's almost like neither of us is willing to take chances because we don't want to lose. The one time I did play for material gain on move 24, I miscalculated and it ended out being a series of even trades. My opponent was using a lot more time then me. In the mean time many games were finishing up. I was thinking we had been playing a really long time, but then I remembered we started around 20 minutes later then everyone else. I was concerned that we would hold up the round if we went the full six hours.

When we got to the 40th move he had 01:41 left on his clock and I had 39:33. I was moving faster then I had in round three. Usually I slow down as the tournament goes on, but I was restless. We only played another 5 moves after that, but the game lasted almost another hour. When I offered the draw I had a big advantage on the clock. However there was nothing happening in the position. I have a passed pawn, but it's isolated and sitting back on e6. He can't win it and I can't push it. We're just going to fiddle around with our rooks and minor pieces. While working on this I let Fritz analyze the final position. Every line was 0.00.

It felt good to finally do something besides lose. It wasn't a win, but I'll take drawing as Black against an 8th grade kid with a rating close to 1800. I also got the bye out of the way, and would not have to think about the possibility again.


LinuxGuy said...

It's "only the opening" if both players have a real clue. You have shown me this trap before, so I figure that you simply lost patience because of his delay. If you had played ...Nxe, you could have spent the rest of the game fancying the best way to polish him off after that. ;-)

In the final position, sure play ...a5, kicking his knight. Play on and let him lose on time. Look at that final time discrepancy, he could very well blunder playing quickly, and you earned it. :-)

Polly said...

Usually taking on e4 comes after they've tried to play it like a Yugoslav with f3. That's when I'm most familiar with it. I just forgot it still works in the continuation we played.

It's White's move in the final position. I had played Bg7 and offered the draw. It's true I had almost an hour more going into the final time control 21:14 vs 1:17:04.

If the position simplifies enough the time factor may not be relevant. It may become one of those positions where the minor pieces just make moves that don't take time to come up with.

Under normal circumstances I might have played on. However with my having to depend on people to take me to the bathroom, and having started late I didn't want to play much longer. I still had round 5 to play that evening. I just felt resting and eating before the next round was more important then playing on for a possible time pressure induced point. Besides there's no guarantee that I wouldn't have burned my time, or played too fast and made a mistake. Sometimes 1/2 point in hand is better then 1 in the bush that could possibly 0 or 1/2.

LinuxGuy said...

It's just as possible to win from an even ending. Younger players usually don't have as much endgame experience.

A lot of Experts play to beat me in the endgame, and I probably have more experience there than many of them even, but they can wait for that one tactical slip-up. It may seem insulting, but they do it. Just saying, in terms of making it more worth your while.