Monday, July 30, 2007

Continuous update tournament

Day 9: points 6

After the blunder of yesterday I regained my spirit and beated a 1811 player in the last round. Except after one howler of a move yesterday I have never been in real danger this tournament. If it wasn't for that howler, it would have been the tournament of no losses in stead of no draws. My openingsplay is very strong and despite my gambits, very solid. I played 5 kings gambits, 3 scandinavian Marshall gambits and an English defense against c4. The latter was very stupid because I had prepared a new defense against c4 which I forgot to play. That was my dullest game. 4 wins, 1 loss and 4 draws against 30 points higher resistance at average. A TPR of 1845. So overall I'm very happy with the result, and the 55 euro's which I won compensated for Hansen's book. I haven't been in timetrouble at all.

Day 8: points 5

After 4 hours of fighting I had my opponent finally stretched out on the rack. When I just had to finish him off, I made a terrible mistake, giving the game away. It still took him another 40 moves to convert it into a win, which was an interesting endgame nevertheless. But what a disgust!

Day 7: points 5

A dull game and another draw. My opponent started an attack, and I defused it by trading all the pieces off. He offered a draw and I saw no chances to fight for a win.
The Phenom is first mentioned here (under update 21 july) and here (day 1). Read the comments too.

The Phenom is still committing his tiny little crimes against humanity. Yesterday he played against a 9 yo girl and tried to push her thru the clock in the hope to claim the win. He had only a king left and she was 4 pieces up. The arbiter knows him and was alert and declared it a draw a few seconds before her flag fell, so that she at least didn't lose on time.

Day 6: points 4.5

Another KG and a win purely originating in the endgame this time. The past 3 weeks study of endgame strategy are the most productive ever! I started to attack one move too early, I should have moved my king into safety at h1 first. That allowed my opponent to defuse my attack with a nasty pin. In the middlegame I could regain the initiative by simply choosing the most active moves. In the endgame she did about everything wrong that you can think of. Damaging her pawn structure for no reason, deactivating her pieces etc.. Just as I used to do a few weeks ago! Within a few moves I was an outside passer up and with a backrank trick I could force the trade of the last pieces. I played the pawn ending a tempo since I had only 5 minutes left on the clock while she had still 45 minutes. An easy win.

Day 5: points 3.5

Finally an endgame!
And what is more, a win from an 1847 rated player, the highest in my section. I didn't accept his draw offer. The win is quite due to my new acquired endgame knowledge. It took almost the full 6 hours so it was quite hefty. Boy, that feels good! Now we have a rest day, I look forward to study in Lars Bo Hansen's book.
You can find the game here. BTW nobody over here is watching the Tour de France anymore.

Day 4: points 2.5
1/2 - 1/2. Did I say "no draws"?
All 4 days I came out of the opening extremely well. One game against a lower rated player I won. Today was the 3rd draw against a higher rated player. I just lack the skills to finish them off in the complex middlegame. Since material is sacced, transition to an ending is no option. After the tournament I have to think hard and deep how to master the complex middlegame.
I have to analyse my games to find what is exactly the problem.

Tournaments always seem to have an opening theme. Sometimes you meet only Sicilians, sometimes only the French, one tournament I had to play with black against 1.e3, 1.d3, 1.b3 and 1.a3. This tournament I got for the second time in a row the Beckers defense against my KG. Very strange, since 7 years ago was the last time I got this. Anyway, I'm quite booked up again against this line.

The phenom is playing too, until now he has stayed rather quiet, allthough he lured our driver into a trick while he had left only 45 seconds on the clock and being a piece behind. It was our drivers birthday and he was not happy with this "gift".

I could not resist to buy Lars Bo Hansen's "Secrets of chess endgame strategy" It looks very promising. Margriet is interested in it as well, so we can study it together. Margriet is doing well with two wins and a draw, all against much higher rated players.

During the after-chess beer is flowing and we laugh alot.

Day 3: points 2
My style just isn't suited to play simple chess. I'm so used to sac pawns by the dozen that it is just madness to try to enter an endgame. And when I am worse, close to lost, and my higher rated opponent offers a draw, how can I resist? 1/2 - 1/2

Day 2. points 1.5
Today I broke my pledge. I was in a bad position and my 100 points higherrated opponent offered a draw. I couldn't resist. The fact that he thought the endgame was drawish is interesting though. I played a kings gambit and my opponent played the Beckers defense. Since it was 7 years ago that I memorized the lines and nobody ever plays it, I was quite out of book at move 5. Anyway, I'm happy with the draw. At least I did not offer it myself.

Day 1. points: 1

A lot of handshaking and renewal of friendships. My 1590 opponent decided to play a speculative knight sac. Since the position didn't ask for that, that is simply a matter of laziness. He could play obvious moves about 20 moves long. I had to calculate well and often I had to find the only move, but in the end I was left with a full piece up. How am I supposed to exercise endings with a piece up? No time trouble. You can find the game here.


  1. how sweet the muse. beauty to watch! congratulations! bravo!

  2. I could of played this very same game from the white side. This is the danger in falling in love with a style of play and not playing what is appropriate for the position. nice job.

  3. Looks like it's time to start playing the French as black and queen's gambit as white.

  4. Julia,
    an interesting thought. In fact I'm already replacing some failing gambits with more solid openings. That said, the style that I'm used to will not change overnight.

  5. sometimes not to loose is a most honorible if not sensible thing, if that alone!

    i know quite well what i am talking about--i almost gave up chess for good, im serious:

    i lost 18 games in a row at bullet last night, to a 1800/1900 then beat him, in the end. so sweet the joy!

    1/18/0= 19
    w/ L/ D

  6. Great game and performance in general at the tournament.

  7. I love this game!

    The best. Congratulations!

    Makes me want to post games there, and show some high quality bullet games. most would be amazed at what can happen in six or seven mintues!

    A good old fashion slaughter, blood, guts, body parts. A real killing.


  8. do you think you can get the Phenom to blogg? we need some entertainment. So was Phenom trick a bush league trick or a good swindle?

  9. Congrats on your third win!

    Who is the Phenom? I think I missed something. At first I thought you were talking about Magnus Carlsen, but obviously not.

  10. If your opponent has only a king and your clock falls this is a draw anyhow. You cannot lose if your opponent has insufficient material to checkmate.

    The phenom is not the same person every tournament, is it?

  11. Loomis,
    the girl doesn't know how to claim a draw against a 45 yo man, as you can imagine. And yes, it is always the same guy.

  12. It pleases me to hear that a 9 yo girl was up 4 pieces on the phenom. Sounds like he is a real piece of work. Upon the end of your tournament, I look forward to reading more about the ideas behind the endgame. I am very interested in what you have to say about Rook Endgames whose moves are baffling me.

  13. Tak,
    do you have a particular example of a baffling rook ending?

  14. Bummer about Day 8: for me those are the toughest losses psychologically (i.e., losing after being ahead). Bounce back, baby!

  15. sounds like you had a pretty nice tournament over all. congrats!