Monday, October 19, 2009

Could have should have........

A couple of week ago I had a chance to get my rating up to an all time high. All I had to do was win this game.

Wijetunge,I (1889) - Rodriguez,E (1717) [D70]
Corpus Christi Xtreme Chess G/60 (Rnd 3), 10.10.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 0-0 8.h3 [ 8.e5 Ng4 9.h3 Nh6 10.Bg5] 8...c6 9.0-0 b5 10.Bd3 b4 11.Na4 a5 12.Nc5 [ 12.Bd2] 12...Na6 13.Nxa6 Bxa6 14.Bxa6 Rxa6 15.Qd3 Ra8 16.Qc2 Rc8 17.Be3 Qc7 18.Rac1 Qb7 19.Nd2 Nd7 20.Nc4 Qa6 21.Qa4 Ra8 22.f3 Rfc8 23.Rfd1 Nb6 24.Nxb6 Qxb6 25.Rc5 Qa6 26.Qc2 e6 27.Rc1 Rab8 28.Qc4 [ 28.d5 exd5 29.exd5 b3 30.axb3 Re8 31.Rxc6 Qb5 32.Bf4] 28...Rb6 29.b3 Rd8 30.Qxa6 Rxa6 31.Rxc6 Rxc6 32.Rxc6 Bxd4 33.Bxd4 Rxd4 34.Ra6 Rd1+ 35.Kh2 Rd2 36.Rxa5 1/2-1/2

Click here to replay I stopped taking notation here, but this was the final position:

I am White & I had 1 min on my clock. I played RxR which draws, but it looks like it is a draw any way. My error was not getting my king to g7 instead of the pawn.


  1. With pawn on g6, you should have been able to get Rf7 in there, then it should be easy after that.

    I don't know rook and rook pawn against rook ending, probably a draw as usual, but that was your only chance by then.

  2. Ivan,

    where was your PLAN in the endgame ?

    It's a shame that you can't kill 1700 players when you started on your 'quest' for 2000 some years ago...

    maybe next time when you get a decisive advantage in a game, then just take a short break, stand up, go around, drink some water and then come back to the board and make a PLAN how to convert it.


  3. I've been reading this blog on and off for a couple of years. Whenever I return, I consistently notice: (1) no strategy/planning whatsoever, (2) time trouble offered as an excuse for poor play, (3) over-emphasis on openings at the expense of endings and strategy, and (4) rating obsession, yet little interest in understanding the underlying game.

    The effort you put into chess, and in to writing this blog, is commendable. At the same time, I'm puzzled by these blind spots in your approach to the game.

  4. 1) This game was all about strategy and planning. The weakness on c6 was the theme of the game. The pressure on c6 allowed me to win the a-pawn and in my opinion a winning end game.

    2) One of the hardest things to do is manage one's time. Although I am much better at that now once I still get into time trouble.

    3) This may have been true in the past but not now.

    4) I am obsessed with rating, can't deny that, but I am also very interested in understanding the underlying game.

    In my last 22 games, I have lost only 4 to players rated : 2115, 2249, 2046, 2109

  5. Coincidentally, check out this week's ending Gulko-Perelshteyn:

  6. Let's try some retrograde analysis - I'll make up a move number.

    In the diagrammed position, Black must have just played 100. ... Ke6-f7. White's immediately preceding move must have been 100. Rh7-h8. If, instead, White had played 100. Kh6-g6, he would have threatened 101. Rh7-h8, winning.

  7. Let's give Ivan a break on the time trouble issue. Even GMs have issues with time. And not all of us are kids weaned on ICC blitz for whom 5 minutes is a llllllongggg time. :)

  8. Even then, in an OTB game it's harder to control time. Not because you can't blitz just as easily as an online game, but because those online games often suck from a strategic perspective, which is how most OTB wins seem to occur.

  9. I would have played for the win.. when all looks lost you can always give your opponent a rope to tie himself with.

    Kg5.. Rg7..
    Kh7. etc.

    and you can make your queen.

    I would give it at least a 20% chance against a 1700 player, and the worst that happens is you agree to a draw a few moves later.