Thursday, July 7, 2011

On the Road, but Not for Chess!

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....