|White to move.|
Thursday, August 1, 2013
LCCC at the US, Open – Day 6
First……..the good news. I slept well, at night, and even through my games.
Now the bad news.
I am playing just awful! Let’s see, plenty of rest. Good food without over-eating. Drinking nothing but bottled water and Gatorade on occasion. Getting a nap in between rounds. Going over openings and studying a few tactics in between rounds. Keeping up on my Chess dot Com games at meals, where, by the way, I seem not to be “losing it”.
But I am getting in that tournament hall – and there is no other way to say it – and go brain dead …… and blind.
Is it nerves? Is it the lack of distractions or company? I don’t feel nervous and I don’t feel like doing anything else right now but play chess. But I sure picked a bad time to “lose it.”
But – as hitters in a slump would say – keep working and swinging. The fog will (should) clear someday.
Round 3 – I did win, but it felt like a loss because I played so poorly. My opponent had a 900 rating, and played like it. I squeaked out an upset win - by playing like a 700. Wish it was chess-baseball. I need a relief player. My fastball is flat and I am hanging curves (pieces).
So let's talk about Round 2 – With the White pieces, I faced a really nice guy – Brian Villarreal, rated 1820. We talked before and after the game. He said he played my first round opponent when
was in elementary school and rated 1000. Now he is 2000! Brain also stated he
just got over 1800 after a long stint in the 1700’s. He said he did it by playing
the better people at his chess club!
Here is the position at the turning point. As I stated, I am not playing well. Post game analysis showed that although my position is not strong, it’s not terribly weak either.
But I had to come up with the right plan.
I had two options: 1) challenge for the e4 square with Bf3 and then e4!, or 2) play it safe with Nf3 adding protection to the e5 pawn and putting the knight on a primo square.
I chose Bf3, but not for the correct reason. I only see that unguarded bishop at b7 and don’t concern myself with my opponent’s possible moves.
12. Bf3 Qc7
Of course. But I never considered it. So if I didn't see that, there is no way I see e4!
13. c4? Nxe5
14 .Kh1 Bd6
15. Qa4+? Bc6
16. Qc2 Nxf3
17. Nxf3 Bxf4
18. ef Qxf4
I am down two pawns, so now I decide to play some chess. I always like to be down material or crushed in a position before I start playing well.
19. Ne5 Bb7
20. cd Bxd5z
21. f3 O-O?
Rarely is castling a bad move, but it was here.
22. Nd7 Rfd8
23. Nxb6 Rab8
24. Nxd5?! Rxd4
Well so much for a short run of decent chess assisted by my opponent's over-confidence. I have not analyzed it, but hanging on to material when down material is usually best. But his bishop is going to be much stronger in this open position. Especially since my knight at a4 is on the rim and grim. I blunder it up the rest of the way anyway.
25. Re4 Qg5
26. b3?? ......
Worried about his c-pawn and my b-pawn and not worrying about my king or queen.
26. ..... Rd2
27. Rg4 Qf6
28. Qc1 Rad8
Record: 1-2 but should be 0-3.
Other stuff. The President of the Michigan Chess Association, Jennifer Skidmore, saw me and said there will be an attempt made to get all the Michigan attendees together for a Team picture Friday night. If it happens, I will try to get one myself or have her email it to me so I can post it here before it comes out in the MCA magazine (whenever that is published again).