Monday, January 28, 2008

I should have stayed home!

To perform at a good level one needs to be able to recover well from a set backs. This is true on a move, game and tournament level. I believe that not recovering well psychologically was my downfall in the event.

In the first round I had this position as White. Instead of taking the pawn I played 27.Bg4 first, which throws away the advantage, since Black just plays Rh8 and defends the h-pawn. After the rooks come off I may still have a better position, but I some how manage to lose the game.

I think I did a fare job recovering after the first round loss and was determined to win the next 4 games. After wins in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I had the following position as Black with the move. I was very happy with this position and was sure I could convert it to a win, but only managed to draw. I could not get my self to recover from yet another set back as now there was no way for me to go 4-1. I should have probably not played the last round. What ai missed was the after the exchanges ...Bxd3,
Nxd4 Qc7, Qxc7 Rxc7, White can play Rc1 because of White's back rank issues. It was clearly a case of stopping the analysis one move too early. There was no reason to exchange at this stage. I could have simply improved my position and then infiltrate the Q-side.

In the 5th round I was paired against fellow blogger Greg. After misplaying the opening I got an inferior position as White and to make matters worse also got myself in time trouble. Trying to make time control I repeated the position and should have just taken the draw, but I wanted to reach time control to see if there was any way out of the bad situation, but in the last move before time control I dropped my queen to a knight fork, later analysis shows that it would have been hard for me to hold this game.

It sounds odd, but I am more dissapointed about drawing the 3rd round game than losing the 1st and 5th.

I did bad a job recovering from bad moves and bad games, I just have to do a good job recovering from a bad tournament!


  1. Ivan

    Ok first of all you should never ever go to a tournament saying I will score 4 out of 5 or any score thats just a down right bad idea. I dont go to a tournament expecting to win it I go expecting and hoping to play good chess whatever score I may achieve.

    In the first game you did have a good endgame. Yes you should have taken the pawn. Ignore peoples ratings they mean nothing a 1400 can be 2000 and a 2000 can play like a 1400 on any given day treat each opponent as strong and you will focus better on the games.

    It is sad to hear you say you should have stayed home. Chess is not always about winning we all lose sometimes it just depends on how we deal with those losses and make them go away which means you become a stronger or weaker player.

    I truly dont believe your going to reach your goal until you forget about saying you will score so many points in a tournament, until you forget about peoples ratings and trat everyone as a strong player and start to learn from your losses instead of just getting down right depressed about them.

    Thats my two cents worth.

    Jon Burgess (National Master)

  2. Hey Jon,

    Thanks for the comments. I really didn't mean it when I said I should have stayed home, it was just frustrating to perform at level well below what I am capable of.

    I was looking at Nakamura's new blog and this is what he said after a loss

    "Greetings! So today I will blog because I am not actually on the verge of committing suicide. Yesterday I played a perfectly solid Alekhine and simply got careless trying too hard to win. Alas, this seems to happen too often to me here in Gibraltar (Efimenko 2005). Anyway onto today where things were slightly better, I guess? I actually did not really study any chess today before my round as I wanted to clear my mind after the disaster yesterday. The opening today against Caspi was a Center Counter/Scandinavian with 3...Qd6 and 4...c6. I had a solid advantage out of the opening, but somewhere around move 20 I started to misplay it and achieved a slightly worse position! Fortunately, I had a significant time advantage and my opponent started erring around move 28. 1 win down, 4 to go!"

    Nakamura's web site

  3. Do you know the results ??


  4. MESGEN AMANOV (4) vs Santarius (4) 1/2 -1/2
    Velikanov (3.5) vs Betaneli (3.5) 0-1
    Fricano (3.5) vs Parker (3) 0-1

  5. Ivan,

    in the first round when you played 27.Bg4 instead of taking the pawn, what move did you consider for black to answer?
    From the black side of the board it's pretty obvious that he will defend the pawn IMO. There is nothing else that springs to my mind. Obviously you chose another candidate move for him...

    IMO you repeat this mistake (making bad moves for your opponent) on a regular basis and I already gave you the advise to put more effort into trying to come up with the best moves for your opponent when calculating. I suggested you should look at the board from the opponent's side to better grasp his candidate moves. Maybe you give it a try.
    Or simply force yourself to answer the question "What would I play in his position...."
    Don't make moves when you didn't answer that question.
    Pandolfini thinks if you really "see" your next move, the response of your opponent to that and then your following move then that's all you really need to calculate most of the time (forced exchanges/checks excluded of course)

    Like in military conflicts, in chess you always have to consider your opponents options as much as you have to consider yours. So you should spend a little more of your time doing that IMO.

    Good luck,

  6. Perhaps it was the fact that I hadn't played in a while and am usually a little anxious in the first couple of rounds. I had a momentary loss of concentration.

    I had made few inaccurate moves in the opening and was over confident at this stage because I considered my position much better.

    I didn't understand the move to Rc8 and wanted to punish it by improving my bishop position.

    I have no good explanation, but I don't even remember considering where the rook would go.

    I will post the complete games later today.

    I would like to know what your chess strength is?

  7. My quick look and evaluation. I will try to look at this further this week. It is an interesting endgame position. But, perhaps you should have only exchanged off only one of the rooks. The black knight looks much stronger than the white bishop with the current pawn structure. Maybe exchange off one rook on h6 and then bring the other rook over to b1 with thoughts of pushing the c pawn to break up the black pawns and getting some activity for your rook.

  8. I was very surprised that you played Bg4. Basically I blundered with the previous move. I saw the sacrifice g5 but I thought it wasn't dangerous if I defended my c-pawn. Sadly, I lose at least a rook if I take the g pawn.
    Also I thought I had a better knight vs. bishop endgame, provided I stopped your break c5. Otherwise I just wanted to know why you didn't take the draw at the final endgame position.

    John Veech

  9. I still can't explain what happened at the end.

  10. Hello Ivan,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    If you do have a chance to drop by Sydney, there's 2 chess clubs that'll give you a run for the money ie. provide some strong opponents for you.

    One is the St George Chess club which is down south,
    that's the club where GM Ian Rogers came from. They meet every Tuesday.

    The other is at North Sydney RSL (which is much nearer the city centre) which meets every Tuesday.

    If you're heading down to Melbourne, (unfortunately, I'm not familiar), do drop a post at the Australian Chess Chat Forum enquire and the forummers there will be glad to help u out.