Jorvik Rapidplay Part 2/2

If you haven't read Part 1 of this blog, it's here:

So, we left off with myself having managed a grand total of 0.5/3 from the first 3 games of the tournament. Needless to say, not very impressive! I was feeling slightly angry with myself for playing so poorly, but not at the expense of composure, and so I sat down to play my next game, determined to play the best moves I could. My opponent, graded only 151, was on 1/3 and I had the White pieces, so I was confident.

We swapped off queens early in an Alapin Sicilian, and I got the upper hand in a relatively safe position. I then proceeded to miss a tactic, and then to miss a simple, simple win, letting my opponent off with a draw. Damn this rapid chess. Still, at least I scored something.

I was ok after this game, blissfully unaware that I had choked on a win and generally played inconsistently again. So, 1/4 and the fifth round awaits.

In the fifth round, I was playing one of a couple of chaps who had taken 4 losses so far. To be fair, at 153 he was graded near the very bottom of the section. I thought to myself, if I can't beat this guy, even on poor form, I am not where I thought I was in chess.

The opening was an Evans Gambit, he accepted, but then chose a poor continuation. I was better throughout the whole game, and showed no mercy condemning my opponent to his 5th straight loss, and thereby scoring a much-needed win.

Yes, 2/5! A respectable total has been reached at last, especially for someone playing at the bottom of the section. What, you say this is still a minus score overall? Well, I looked, and there were plenty of people on less, so there Tongue Out.

Anyway, the final round was now upon me, and I sat down next to my opponent, who was also on 2/5. I almost didn't glance at his scorecard, but I did, and immediately wished I hadn't; he was graded 203 (FIDE~2275), although he himself was also on 2/5. Obviously not having the greatest of days.

He surprised me with a weak opening, probably trying to confuse me. I built up a decent advantage, peaking at a chance to win a pawn with 19...e3! which I didn't consider in the game (Always consider pushing a passed pawn, even if it is connected!) After that, I managed to do nothing for long enough for him to catch up on development and gain equality. Then ... I hung a piece to ANOTHER FORK along the a2-g8 diagonal on my king. Ssdfuybvsfdvgfdktfchcjvgcj Yell Yell

Looking back at these games just makes me cringe.

So, I ended up with 2/6. Going on my estimated rating, this is surely about what I should expect - only thing is, I think I can do much, much better than that.

Lessons to learn:

 - Calculate more in 20 minute games, you have more time than you think! I think that lack of experience playing 20 minute time controls meant that I wasn't playing good enough chess moves, wasn't calculating enough or taking enough time. I was constantly afraid I would run out of time, because I found it fairly difficult to read the clock accurately at a glance (get digital clocks, damnit), which was particularly a feature of the second game. I think my quality of play would probably not have decreased at all if the time control had been 5 minutes each instead of 20.

 - Be more consistent; I do think this was just a bad day and will watch out for the signs more in the future.

More - It was peculiar that I managed all 3 losses with Black. I got good positions in two of those games as well, and couldn't find good continuations quickly enough. Meanwhile, as White I didn't lose, although I could have been more enterprising with some of my openings - maybe something to look at. I especially want to start playing Open Sicilians.

I calculated my TPR for the tournament at 155.7 (~1900 FIDE), which is a joke, I don't feel like I played at 1900 FIDE level in this tournament. 900 FIDE, maybe. Still, I know I can do better than that, especially in slower games, so I can take a degree of comfort from that. Maybe?

Anyway, thanks for reading!



  • 3 years ago


    Nice one Lauri!

    semajtenrab, thanks for your thoughts. I'm not sure whether I was dismissive of my opponents - I was trying to be objective about all the moves played by both sides in each game, and was certainly dismissive of myself in many places. Nevertheless, there may well be something in what you say; I was not in the best of moods whilst writing this, and it shows!

    Secondly, digital clocks really are fairly close in price to analogue clocks now, and I really see no other argument that could be made for analogue clocks over digital, quite as I see no argument for descriptive notation over algebraic. I played at the Universities team championship over the weekend, and digital clocks were used there; as a result I felt far more comfortable and able to manage my time.

  • 3 years ago


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