I leave shortly for Brussels in about an hour. No great chess plans on the agenda though one of my readers did give me a few suggestions of chess cafes. One I've been to on my last trip to Amsterdam, and I was not successful in getting any games. Maybe this time I'll have better luck if I visit there again.
A lot has happened in the chess world that I was not part of. I skipped this year's Thursday Night Action Championship. I was in no mood to deal with the angst of which section to play in. The previous Thursday got me fed up with chess. I realize I'm not going to improve until I do some work on my game. Right now I don't feel like working on my game. I have too much else going on. Read this post at my other blog and you'll understand.
The week before I went down to the Marshall for Thursday's 4 Rated Games Tonight! It had been a month since I last played down there. I figured I should show my face before people thought I had died. Since Josh and dad weren't going I had to take the train down to Grand Central and then catch the subway down to Greenwich Village. $5.95 for the train and $2.25 for the subway each way. On top of that there's the $25 entry fee. $16.40 + $25 = $41.40 for an evening of "entertainment".
My evening's entertainment featured getting smacked around in round 1 by a 2100. In between rounds I got into a bit of a heated discussion with a player who had dropped out a tournament at my club. I wasn't the director that night. When I run tournaments at my club I either play or don't play depending on whether it's odd or even. I can either put myself in if the number is odd or take myself out to keep it even. I was rather annoyed that he withdrew that night because it caused the number to be odd so someone got a bye. I was even more annoyed that it was him because I had put a rule in requiring players over 1900 to play all the rounds. I did that because this particular player ended out getting a bye in the last round when a kid took a bye in the last round. He was pissed off because he wanted to play all 3 rounds. I let him know that I did not like the fact that he dropped out of the tournament causing someone to get a bye.
He took offense at my criticizing him for dropping out. This was not the first time we've exchanged words under not such nice circumstances. So what happens? I have to play him in the next round. I hate when I have to play someone who I've had a dispute with. It just makes things a little uncomfortable. Outside of the perfunctory hand shake and "good luck" at the beginning nothing else was said. The game did not get off to a great start. I managed to lose the exchange early. However some how I managed to battle back and draw the game, but not before losing a piece. That part of the game did not get recorded because we both had seconds left on our clock.
Here's the game.
I was happy to pull out the draw under those circumstances. Yes it would have been nice to beat the guy, but a draw against a higher rated player was also acceptable. Round 3 I got paired up again and lost. I was also paired up in round 4. That game was particularly annoying because the opponent gave up a pawn early. It didn't seem like he was getting any huge jump in development from the pawn gambit. In fact I felt I had an excellent position with passed a and b pawns. Somehow I let the position slip away and he got all kinds of counter play and went on to win.
Here is that game:
For $41.40 I got to lose three games, draw one, lose another 13 rating points and get into an argument. Who needs that crap? On the train ride back I realized that I'm making myself crazy with this kind of play. I'm making the same mistakes out of the opening and I'm missing simple tactics. Why do I need to do this to myself? Until I invest some time into my game things aren't going to change. The time limit isn't necessarily the issue. Many of the mistakes are coming before the clock is a factor.
I decided unless I'm getting a ride down to the Marshall I'm not going to play.
To be continued....