During this round at some point I figured I'd end up losing the game, and I was already thinking about various titles for this blog based on the word "sorrow" because the "Benoni" opening means "Son of Sorrow" and this opening has caused me so much sorrow over the years. However, I was not upset that I was going to lose; I thought it was an interesting game! So even though I eventually won it, I'm counting that as another success in the realm of equanimity in the face of defeat.
Also, I kept trying pretty hard in a hard-fought, close, and gritty game. So I think I made some progress on my patience/focus goal as well. Now, not perfectly, because I admit I was so exhausted that at one point I took a 20 minute stroll while my opponent made a critical decision. I knew I needed to just zone out and conserve my energy for after he played. It turned out to be the absolutely right decision, because he did something I had not really considered, so I would have been wasting my energy on a long endgame calculation that would have been irrelevant.
Here's the game with some of my game-time thoughts:
As you can tell, Kostya finished his game before I could finish annotating this. He and Kayden drew a long and balanced Catalan, that apparently did include one notable hiccup: Kostya hung a pawn, and then Kayden hung it back. Of note: Kostya has had the longest game in each of the three rounds. As we left the building Zhanibek Amanov joked: "we need to get a new driver! this one is no good, he's always the last one." Since I'm getting a little tired from the event, I will add: I hope I don't have to play this guy, I don't want such a long game tomorrow!
One other funny thing, in the car, Zhanibek asked who Kostya was playing tomorrow; his answer: David in the morning, Zhanibek in the evening. Zhanibek and I were both surprised to find out . I will look up my round 5 opponent as well before I go to bed tonight.
We went home, had a very nice meal, and now it's time to do some work work!
In tomorrow's round 4, I'll be playing my host, Kostya. I'm white, and so far black has scored 3/3 in my games (unusual for me, I'm much better with white). I should try not to over-press, not to get too crazy. It should be possible to get a draw with white. This is an important thing to work on, trying to play a game with white where I have low losing chances, and that's what I want to do tomorrow.