Sunday, June 25, 2006

Morra Patterns and Quiescence Errors

I have to report another loss here. But I leave the battlefield with head held high. Because I did not give up after a knight loss. Fought myself back into the game and, alas, blundered it away in time trouble. Shit happens.

Two important notes here. First I missed a really basic opening pattern. Just because I have not come across it up to now. The Knight Fork of the Squares e8 and c4. The next pattern I have looked at, but not deeply enough. Quiescence Error, that is, stopping the calculation too soon, in a non-quiet position that is treated as if being quiet. I did this twice in the game. First missing a distinctive advantage. Second, after being back in the game, missing the last drawing chance in time trouble.

And now I come to the real point. I had looked at the line that would have secured an equal position. But I did not have the time to calculate it to the end. I just stopped at a point where I said to myself, sorry, boy, not sufficient. Then I switched to candidate move 2. Time was dripping away. Stress. No time now to look at candidate 2 as thoroughly as at number 1. And here comes the irrationality into play. I just hoped that number 2 must be better than 1. I was fully aware that it was not looking better at a glance. In fact, it was looking worse. All the same, I played it and, of course, lost.

I think I can learn a lot by looking at this crazy brain mechanism. It is what mankind always has done when in danger and despair. Just hope and pray that things will be ok. Stupid.

A proper way of handling the situation would have been as follows. Well, candidate 1 looks very promising. Calculate. O shit, it will not be enough. Now candidate 2. It overcomes a drawback of 1, but at what cost? O shit, not enough time to calculate. Quiet. No panic. Just have a look. Candidate 1 looks much better than 2. I have nothing to lose. Well, I play 1 and we shall see what happens now.

Okay, enough words. Here is the game.

[Event ""]
[Site ""]
[Date "2006.06.24"]
[Round ""]
[White "Mousetrapper"]
[Black "MR"]
[WhiteElo "1670"]
[BlackElo "1670"]
[ECO "B21"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Bc4 e6 7.O-O Qc7 8.Qe2 (8.Nb5 {I missed this pattern. King e8 and Bishop c4 are on a Knight Circle. A Morra Gambit Player should know it, of course.} Qd8 9.Nd6+ Kf8 $18) 8. ... a6 9.Be3 (9.e5 Nc6 10.Bf4 b5 11.Bd3 Nge7) 9. ... Nc6 10.Rac1 Qa5 11.Bf4 (11.Nd5 {I had looked at this line because it is a thematic pattern in the Morra Gambit. But I had rejected it because my Bishop prevents a Queen check after the file has opened. Not sufficient, I thought. False, boy! Why didn't you see that the Queen on a5 gives the Bishop an additional tempo? } exd5 12.exd5 Nce7 13.d6 Qf5 14.Bb6 $18) 11. ... Nge7 12.Bd6 {This is a Knight outpost. A Bishop is a bit out of place here.} Qh5 13.Qd2 Bh6 14.Bf4 Bxf4 15.Qxf4 O-O 16.Be2 (16.g4 {Had looked at it but did not have the guts ...} Qh3 17.e5 $16) 16. ... f6 17.Nd2 (17.Rfd1 {It was advised to bring new forces into play.} ) 17. ... Qe5 18.Qh6 Nd4 19.f4 {Vabanque play. Things become crazy here. This just blunders a pawn.} (19.Bd3 {Such a drawish line was not my intent. } Qg5 20.Qxg5 fxg5 $11) 19. ... Qc5 {he refused to take the pawn ...} (19. ... Nxe2+ 20.Nxe2 Qxb2 {and away it is.} 21.f5 exf5 $17) 20.Kh1 {Blunder ... } (20.Rf2 $11 {It is not obliged to protect its companion on c1, because of the Superhero Knight taking back on e2.} ) 20. ... Nxe2 21.Nxe2 {Quiescence Error: I stopped my calculation here, thinking that the Queen has a problem and must retire...} Qe3 {The problem was mine. Queen Fork, and away is the Knight. Should I give up? No, let's go for the King. All or Nothing.} 22.Nf3 Qxe2 23.Rce1 Qb5 24.g4 {Qh5 was threatened.} Qxb2 25.f5 Rf7 26.g5 gxf5 27.Rg1 fxe4 {This brings White back into the game! But unfortunately I was in time trouble...} 28.Nh4 {... and threw the game away.} (28.gxf6+ Ng6 29.Rxg6+ hxg6 30.Qxg6+ Kf8 {I stopped my calculation here because I saw the King escape and the Pawn captured. But ...} 31.Qh6+ Ke8 32.Qh8+ Rf8 33.f7+ Ke7 34.Qxb2 exf3 35.Qa3+ d6 36.Qxf3 Rxf7 $13 {Black has Rook, Bishop and two Pawns for the Queen. A very asymmetric position. It is hard to tell who stands better. Not easy to play in time trouble. But it would have been a chance.} ) 28. ... fxg5 29.Qxg5+ Kf8 30.Rxe4 b5 31.Rf4 Bb7+ 32.Nf3 Bxf3+ 33.Rxf3 Rxf3 34.Qh6+ Ke8 35.Qh5+ Rf7 0-1

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