Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Liberty Bell Open - Day 2: Round 5

I was tired after my long round 4 game. I went back upstairs to eat and tried to take a nap. It wasn't much of a nap, but just being able to lie down and rest a bit helped. This was a luxury that I have not had at the last 2 Liberty Bells I played in. Normally after playing 4 games on Sunday I would be lucky if I had time to finally get around to checking into my hotel room. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go back to that frenzied schedule. I'm sure my long time readers are saying "It's about time!" Yes I suppose it's about time. This is not a promise to totally eliminate fast schedules, but I certainly will avoid them as much as possible.

After an early dinner, it was time to head back downstairs. Being on a high floor has its advantages when it coming to going down on the elevator. There might be one or two people when it stops on the 23rd floor on its way down. When there are a bunch of people trying to go down at the same time it gets harder for people on the lower floors to crowd on. Evan Rabin took this picture on one of our elevators rides down and posted it as part of his Liberty Bell report.

I'm laughing because shortly before he took the picture I was brandishing the crutches and saying "No more can come in!" Right after that the elevator had stopped and the doors opened. The people waiting caught the tail end of my act. The kid staring at me was the only one on the elevator who did not know me. He probably thought I was nuts. I have to have a little fun at my own expense. Soon enough I would be back to the business of playing chess.

This post could be sub-titled "I'm so glad I traveled to play one of the members of my chess club in White Plains." It seems to never fail at this tournament. I will get paired from someone I've played at the Marshall Chess Club. This 5th round pairing was a variation on that same theme. I played one of the kids who plays at the Bob Peretz Chess Club. I had just played him a couple of weeks ago in the last round of one of the Monday game/30 tournaments. He totally outplayed me and won with the Black pieces. Now it was my turn to play Black against him.

I got the stealth three Blacks in a row pairing. In round 3 I had played Black. In round 4 I had the bye in my section, but I played Black in the under 2100 section. Back in my section the computer only sees the bye, so for whatever reason I got Black again. I never did get around to looking at the wall chart to check it out, but my guess is the computer was alternating colors and he probably had played WBWB and was now due for White. I probably could have complained if I wanted to, however it wasn't worth the energy going back to the director's room. Besides I had two miserable losses with White in rounds 1 and 2. Why would I want to play White when my games with Black at least were half way decent?

This would be the first of 3 consecutive opponents whose age is a single digit. Jason has had a phenomenal jump in rating since the beginning of 2009. He started the year at 988 and finished at 1777. He's got a lot of talent. However he's got the energy of a very active 8 year old. He is one these kids who can't sit still. Maybe he's the 8 year version of me, or I'm the 55 year version of him. Unlike him, my rating won't go up 800 points in a year. On the other hand I don't think his rating will go up another 800 points this year.

Unlike my last game we played the first 10 moves in less then 15 minutes. Some of those minutes were spent on him coming back to the board after I made my move. He would make a move, get up and walk around the tournament room, and then come back when he saw I had moved. When he started out with the Grand Prix against my Sicilian I was expecting another one of those games where I would have to try to beat back a fierce attack. However he seemed to be willing to let me break up the tension with a few trades in the center.


He was the one who offered the draw. I have the bishop pair. I didn't see any easy way to get in. Looking at the final position later I though maybe I can try to put my king on d5 and try to break with b5. Either way it didn't look like there was anything forced. I was the one behind on the clock. The clock wasn't going to be an issue for long time. We agreed to the draw on 39th move, so we still had the second time control in addition to the time remaining from the first control.


LinuxGuy said...

I would have gone for the endgame win. 39...fxg, then trade a pair of knights and see what that bishop pair can do, keeping the pawn chains fluid and pushing the b-pawn or such.

It's possible to outwork for a win there, especially as it is another grinding game where time, energy, and experience are usually determinative.

Polly said...

I didn't have 39...fxg. The pawns were already locked up at that point. My best chance I think was 39...Kd5.

Like the last round, I didn't have much fight left. It's hard to want to go into a long drawn out ending that may still be a draw when one is depending on assistance for bathroom runs or getting a snack. It was difficult getting the bathroom run timing down right. I found myself having to ask other people to take me out. Sometimes I'd be on move and staring at the board so hard that Donna wouldn't want to disturb me.

Anonymous said...

When does the cast come off?

LinuxGuy said...

Oh. I meant 30..fxg, BTW.

I understand about the situation. I'm not as comfortable blitzing OTB as I am online either, but you are not in a bad situation to blitz out an ending. Your rating is near it's floor, and if you won it playing fast it would give you some confidence in your endgame ability (instead of locking up the pawn-chains, which favored his knights). It's a drawn position, though, sure.

Polly said...

Anon: I go back to doctor tomorrow. Hopefully he'll take it off then, but depends what the x-ray shows.

Linux: This game was not a blitzing situation. We both had a lot of time coming into the end of the first time control. I don't see that I have anything more with 30...fxg. 31 hxg. He can still lock up the king side with 32. g5. It looks like the same position with one less pawn for each side.

Looking at 31...h6 32. g5 hxg 33. fxg Nf5 34. Ng4 both knights have a few more squares, but don't look like they can cause much trouble.