Saturday, July 07, 2007

Western Open, Milwaukee WI, July 7-8

Tournament Results

Although my result (0-3=2) was horrible, I learned a lot and had a good time. In the first round I was paired against expert RENE GLEN ANCHETA who tied for first last year.

In this game I had the following position.

All I have to do is take the knight(37 Nxd6) and then Play 38.Q f5 or 38.Q e2.

I decided to play 37 Qe2 first, I am still better but not after the horrible blunder 38.Ne2?? (after 37...Nde4) Black now wins with 38...Qb2 ouch!
Your mental state playes a big part in your results. I was feeling pretty bad after this loss. In the next round I was paird against a 1900 player and had the following position. I am up a piece AND threatening mate but with 15 seconds left (vs about 2min) settled for a draw. I didn't see that f7 was a safe square. Earlier I made a mental note not to go to g3 as it allowes a queen check on e8. For some reason I though that f7 was a bad square too.
After these two set backs I couldn't get back in mental shape for the next round and lost pretty routinely. In the fourth round after being a pawn down for a long while, manageed to draw against a 1844 player. I remembered most of what I had learned about defending a rook end game a pawn down. At this stage I probably should have withdrawn , but I did play the last round against a 1888 player and hung a piece very early in the game.

I know that if I had beaten the expert in the first round, it would have boosted my confidence for the rest of the rounds. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
I heard that there might not be a Governor's Cup in South Dakota this your, due to hotel issues.


  1. Ivan

    What did you learn how to play bad chess ?

    What a terrible result for you !

    Good job your floored at 1800 or you would go down to 1600

    Your chess is in serious need of study and help

    Jon Burgess

  2. I learnt that I can get good/winning positions against higher rated opponents but have trouble maintaining concentration to finish them off.

    I learnt that I can defend difficult (pawn down) positions.

    Yes, I agree. I would probably be rated around 1600 if I didn't have a floor.

    Just looking at the those two games against players rated considarably highter than me, I don't see how studying more could have helped me win them.

    I think that my results depend a lot on my confidence level. In order to do that I have to get a few good resuts against strong opponents, and in order to do that I need to do something about my lack of concentration during games.

  3. In the months I've been reading your blog, I see so many blunders (moves beneath your ability) and so much time trouble. You point these out, but ... it keeps happening.

    It's not about the specific tactics or about whether f7 was safe or not - it is about why you continue to get into the SAME situations again and again. What are you doing to address these fundamental issues?

    I still think you place too much importance on ratings. There's no such thing as "winning position against higher rated opponents." They are higher rated precisely because they can bring home the point, even from a tough position. I've been on both sides of that.

  4. It is frustrating to make moves beneath my ability just before brining in the point.

    I am not sure what to do about this. It has to be something related to nerves/not being able to concentrate for the whole game/over confidence in better positions. Maybe some form of meditation might help?

    In the first game I was not in time trouble, in fact I was ahead on the clock. I saw right away that if my queen gets to e6 I was winning. I just didn’t see that he could block the
    e-file with the knight. Even after the e-file is blocked I am better, but have to find another plan.

  5. Ivan, why is your confidence so low. Next time you go to a tournament just pretend your a GM in your mind, and I am sure you would have better results. That or you need a confidence booster eg. working out ;)

  6. I'm a big fan of Vipassana meditation: I believe it helps with my concentration in all areas of life, including chess. Haven't played a tournament since I began meditating, though, so can't prove cause and effect for improved play.

  7. You have a psychological problem. First, you worry too much about rating. That's bad because you just worry and do nothing about it. When you lose you immediately feel depressed etc. Solution - redirect your energy to focus better in games instead of thinkg all the time about rating. Just yesterday I saw amazing game where 2200 outplayed 2500 rated in endgame and was satisfied with a draw even though he had winning position. Why did he agree to draw? Because he had 2500 rating opponent in his mind and not the player at the board that made a blunder. Don't fear the opponent. Make him fear you.

    I saw in your games that you doesn't quite know strategy too well. Study pawn structures and things like that, how to make a plan etc.

    If you just wish to have 2000 rating no matter what, you can accomplish that just by being a better tactician in your games. You might even win against 200 elo higher rated. Try this if you didn't know for this site already
    You can also read De La Maza - Rapid Chess Improvement where he explains how to be better just by studying tactics. I have pdf file so I can send it to you. Actually I have at least 100 pdf chess books so if you need anything I can send it to you.

    PS I tought I was 1900 but when I see your games Im not so sure. Im maybe even higher rated. Around 2000? I hope these tips help, ibarix

  8. One more thing. 1900 rated players are better than you not because they are better but because they always punish your bad moves.

  9. ibarix

    Thanks for the input, yes I am interested in the De La Maza and other PDFs. Do you have a list of the PDFs?

    Best wishes

  10. Well, I have almost every chess book that's worth mentioning in the chess world... ibarix is bark! I just couldnt find my password for blogger. I'll send you De La Maza's book.

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    there are helpfull tips, analysed games and my tought process, but I don't have time to update it regularly because of work.. but check it out anyway