Monday, February 20, 2006

Last minute disaster

Every example has its counter. Unfortunately, this also holds true for my last story. Another unrated club game. This time I had White and a good opening advantage against a Modern Defense. But let it slip away in the middle game. Then matters turned, advantage went to Black. I defended and things remained ok. After move 50 he blundered, and my game should have been won. Should have. But this time my time management has been bad. I only had a couple of minutes left for the whole game, and the position still was quite complicated. Seven moves later I had to decide attack and let my King be checked (but not mated) or what? A defense that was none! Blunder. More blunders followed, I lost back my rook. Then wild blitzing followed. He missed a mate in 1. I won back a Knight. But my time ran out first. He still had 8 seconds. And this was my last blunder: I must have stopped the clock and claim that his time was not sufficient to win by normal means.

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.c3 Nh6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.O-O Bg4 7.h3 Bd7 8.Be3 f6 9.Qb3 Qc8 10.Re1 Nf7 11.Nbd2 O-O 12.Bf4 e5 13.dxe5 dxe5 14.Be3 Be6 15.Bc4 Re8 16.Bxe6 Rxe6 17.a4 Na5 18.Qa2 b6 19.b4 Nb7 20.c4 c5 21.bxc5 Nxc5 22.Qc2 Qc6 23.Red1 Nd6 24.Bxc5 Qxc5 25.Rac1 Bh6 26.Qa2 Qc6 27.c5 Nf7 28.cxb6 Qxb6 29.Rb1 Qa6 30.Nb3 Bf8 31.Rd5 Rb6 32.Rbd1 Rd6 33.Nc5 Qc6 34.Nb3 Rad8 35.Na5 Qc7 36.Qc4 Qb6 37.Nb3 Kg7 38.a5 Qb8 39.a6 Rc8 40.Qa4 Rb6 41.Nbd2 Rc7 42.Qa2 Qc8 43.Ra5 Bb4 44.Ra4 Rcc6 45.Rb1 Rc2 46.Rb2 Rxb2 47.Qxb2 Qc5 48.Qa2 g5 49.Nc4 Rb5 50.Qe2 h5 51.Ra2 Kg6 52.Rc2 Kg7 53.Na3 Qe7 54.Nxb5 Bc5 55.Qc4 Bb6 56.Qd5 g4 57.Nh4 Qb4 58.Nf5+ Kg6 59.Qc4 Qe1+ 60.Qf1 Qxe4 61.hxg4 Qxc2 62.Nh4+ Kg5 63.Nf3+ Kxg4 64.Qe1 e4 65.Nh2+ Kf5 66.Nf1 Ke5 67.Nc3 Bd4 68.Nb5 Bb6 69.Nc3 f5 70.Qa1 Qxf2+ 71.Kh2 Qg1+ 72.Kh3 Ng5+ 73.Kh4 Qh1+ 74.Kxg5 and more wild blitzing that is not recorded 0-1 (time)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Last minute salvation

Club game, yesterday, G-120, unrated. I was Black against a King's Indian Attack. Interesting game, lots of threats, but both sides played it carefully most time. Deep Shredder Score within +/- one pawn unit most of the time.

Then came the endgame. I had a winning position but not much time left. So I grabbed the wrong plan. Dream of a phantom mate with 7 blocked squares but one escape left. I overlooked this. I made my move and, shame on me, thought that I had won. My opponent said: oh, this is bad! I was so excited that I forgot to write my last move. Even worse: I forgot to press the clock!

Time ticked away, slowly. My opponent just sat there and stared at the position. I waited. Time was ticking. My reserve had been 6 minutes, and it had been ticking down to 2 when all of a sudden I realized my time blunder and pressed the clock!

Now comes the interesting part of the story. The part that will tell you that CTS training pays off! He chased away my King from my Knight and I lost it. But in a fraction of a second I spotted a skewer that won back my Knight in 3 plies. Next moves I played a tempo, and I managed to hold material more or less even. His time reserve had also been melting away, and with both of us less than a minute we agreed a draw.

One more experience, earlier in this game: I had to defend a mating attack with careful pawn and king moves. In the times before CTS training I was very nervous in such situations and threw away many games. Now, after many CTS problems with near-mate King escapes, I am much fitter to handle such situations.

Here is the game:

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.d3 d5 5.Nbd2 e6 6.O-O Be7 7.e4 dxe4 8.dxe4 O-O 9.Qe2 e5 10.h3 Nd4 11.Nxd4 cxd4 12.f4 Bc5 13.Kh1 exf4 14.gxf4 g6 15.Qc4 Bb6 16.e5 Be6 17.Qd3 Nd5 18.Ne4 Bf5 19.c4 Nb4 20.Qb3 Nc6 21.Nf6+ Kh8 22.Qg3 h6 23.Bd2 Bc5 24.a3 Be7 25.Nd5 Bh4 26.Qf3 Qd7 27.b4 d3 28.Bc3 f6 29.exf6 Rf7 30.b5 Nd8 31.Qe3 Ne6 32.Be4 Bxe4+ 33.Qxe4 Nc5 34.Qf3 Raf8 35.Rg1 Kh7 36.Rg4 Bxf6 37.Bxf6 Rxf6 38.Rag1 Rd6 39.Qg3 Qf5 40.h4 Qe4+ 41.Qg2 d2 42.h5 Qxg2+ 43.R4xg2 Ne4 44.Kh2 Rf5 45.hxg6+ Kg7 46.Rd1 Rh5+ 47.Kg1 Rxg6 48.Rxg6+ Kxg6 49.Kg2 Kf5 50.a4 Rh4 51.a5 Rg4+ 52.Kf1 Rg3 53.Ke2 Rg2+ 54.Kf3 Rf2+ 55.Ke3 Rg2 56.Ne7+ Kg4 57.Kxe4 Re2+ 58.Kd3 Rxe7 59.Rxd2 Rd7+ 1/2-1/2

Friday, February 03, 2006

Breaks and Drops

I have been pausing at CTS for various periods of time. First for 2 months, then, after some weeks of regular exercise, again for 2 weeks. My last break was a week. It is interesting to see how my performance dropped and recovered. Today, I had a drop for some 10 problems, then I recovered and raised my rating by 15 points. My 2 week break has been more serious, and for the 2 months break I had paid 50 lost points.

The one and only reason of these drops is speed. I use more time just to see what is the matter on the board. Long time no chess means so silly questions as, hm, this is not sudoku, this is chess, and where is the king, and, ooh, there are queens around. Oh, many pawns. Hm, hm, they move in what direction? I am black? Mine move upwards or what?

Well the 6 seconds have gone, the problem makes its move. And I am still staring at these silly symbols on the screen, wondering what this is all about.

This is the bad story. The good story is: Once I have got the task, I see the motifs and I get the solution in most cases correctly. So, even after a long break at CTS, it could be that I am stronger in a slow game than before.

But now it is time to start again exercising on a regular basis at CTS, even if it is only 20 problems a day!