Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chess in Texas

After leaving Wisconsin I played in the San Antonio City Championship and had a pretty good result. After that it has been all down hill. I usually don't play rated games with a time control faster than G/60, but since I did not have much options in Corpus Christi decided to play in 3 such events which brought my rating down from 1852 to 1821. (I am going to stick to G/60 of slower!)

I was looking forward to the Houston Open with a time control of G/120 to recover some pride, but it was not to be!

I played round 1 of the 3 day schedule and had the following position as Black.
Some times you lose because you do not see tactics, other time you lose because you see tactics that are not there. Can you guess Black's losing move. (Answer in comments)

I decided to re-enter the 2-day event and had 1.5/2.0 before I got to the following position with Black to play in round 3 . Here I had to make a decision:
a) ...Rxa4 and after Rb4 play Ra7
b) ...Rxa4 and give up the b pawn and activate the rook behind Whit's b pawn
c) ...Rb5 and go for the pawn endgame

I thought that all the options would lead to a draw and chose option c, but managed to lose. The reason I lost was because I did not play b6 to cut off the White king.

That loss was hard to take. In round 4 I some how managed to draw a position that evaluated to +4.5! (I was white)

I had the following position in round 5 after the moves ...Bc2 and Rf1.
I played ...h6, allowing White to play e4 and trap my Bishop. Although I could have complicated matters with ...Rfd8, I did not find that move during the game & lost.

I met fellow blogger Donnie from Liquid egg product who tied for 1st in the U1600 section. We played a few blitz games after the event.

My next tournament will be the Pike's Peak Open in Colorado Aug 1-2. That will be on our 2009 road trip.

Houston Open History
2009..153..JACEK STOPA
2007..156..AMON SIMUTOWE


  1. You didn't mention you had a plus score in our blitz games. So, there's a positive you can build on! ;)

  2. Corpus does indeed need slow play tournies. I might put a few on myself once my house is built.

    I, too, cannot handle fast play anymore.

  3. Position 1, I did not see that tactic with Qxd4, but even had there not been a rook on f1, taking that pawn and trading queens would still give Black some reasonable compensation for that pawn with the now active bishop. I only saw 0-0-0.

    Position 2, tough decision, tough game to play either way, but perhaps you know that one way well now. I might try to stick it out in the rook endgame, just because the king and pawn endgame is so final when it comes to not having counterchances. You still threaten Ra2 should he ever push that b-pawn and perhaps you can even play aggressive like ...f5 and try to parry him on that side of the board.

    Game 3, ...Bg6 instead of h6 and your game looked okayish. ...Rd8 would have been a nice find, getting the d-pawn and rook at least for knight and bishop.