Thursday's 2nd round game with White was pretty ugly. I was lucky to scrape out a draw in that game. Here is that game:
That game was in the back of my mind, but I knew that I had to avoid wasting moves in the opening. I had been happy with my third round play despite losing, so I felt like I could bounce back. Overall I had been satisfied with my play on Thursday.
After getting through 3 rounds with no kids, that streak came to an end with my 4th round opponent, a little kid rated 1247. I had the White pieces. I stayed with my English Opening despite Thursday's ugly game. When he replied with 1...e5. I was perfectly happy to play an Accelerated Dragon in reverse. Sometimes when I'm playing my Black opening as White it's easy to try to stay "in book" or go back to book. The problem in trying to with trying to stay or revert to book, is sometimes it's easy to overlook better moves. When I play the Accelerated Dragon as Black I play 7...Qa5 in the main line.
In this particular game I opted to play 8. Qa4, however I missed 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. d4. Ultimately playing 8. Qa4 caused many problems as the game progressed.
Sometimes I've had problems with behavior issues when playing little kids in Southern California. This was not the case. With the exception of the occasional foray to look at other boards, he was very focused on the game. I was also happy to note that there wasn't the crowd of friends, coaches and parents coming over to watch. Mom brought him to the board, and I didn't see her again until after the game was over.
Sometimes things happen that defy explanation. Mentally I felt alert and calm. I wasn't anxious, and I certainly wasn't taking the kid lightly despite the rating and the young age. However all it takes is one bad move and things can go to hell quickly. I was so the most annoying aspect was every time he gave check he announced it in a voice that could be heard beyond our board. He was not being obnoxious about it. He was just letting me know it was check. I did not need the reminders. Each pronouncement of check make me want to sink further and further into my chair. I was being totally crushed and each check was a reminder of the checkmate that was inevitable. Unlike many of his previous opponents who probably play all the way to mate, I chose to resign. I asked him how old he was. 7 years old. At least he wasn't 6 years old. I've yet to lose to a 6 year old. I'm sure that day will come.
Here's the game.
Solomon Ge with his coach Joe Hanley
Often when I get smashed by some little kid I take consolation in that his real rating is probably 200 points higher. I was quite distressed to find out he had dropped almost 200 points since National K-1 Championships. So his pre-event rating is 1077. Oh well! One of my friends who was following the game live on Mon Roi told me "He didn't play like any 1200 I know."
I didn't sweat the blow out much. It left me over 2 hours before round 5. The advantage of being in a nice location is there is life outside of chess. I borrowed a bike from the hotel and went out for a nice bike ride on the Mountains to Sea Trail. It was not a fancy bike, but it served its purpose.
The problem with going into the 5th round with .5 - 3.5 is getting paired way down. Welcome to the back of the room in the children's zone!
Paired with another little kid was inevitable. This kid was 8 years old and had a 637 rating. His September rating is 910, but even so he played way better then that! It went all the way down to a rook and pawn ending with me short on time. I did manage to win, but it took 66 moves.
Do I look scared??
Here's the game.
I'm running out of time. Qick recap of remaining games on Friday. A draw in round 6 aaginst a young girl, and a long win in round 7 against an older woman. Details in another post.