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Some thoughts on my Deathmatch

Since I've finished finals at UTD and gone back to Kansas now, I am finally going to write a blog about the chess.com deathmatch. I played it on April 28 against Eric Hansen, a fellow member of the UTD chess team. After a couple of weeks the games had become only a dim memory, but I was able to refresh it by looking on a page called Game Archive.
The match was divided into three segments. The first time control was 5 1. 5-minute is my favorite time control, so I  hoped to do well in that one. But I didn't manage to get more than an even score. I kept losing what seemed like promising positions against the Gruenfeld. I had to make up for that by winning some games in the French. Looking back at the games, it seems like I had the most problems with time trouble in the 5 1, despite it being the longest time control. 
 In the next time control (3 1) I scored +2. The most memorable game was one where I had to defend rook vs. rook and bishop for 50 moves on the 1-second increment. I've always thought that this endgame looked really tough to defend, but it was not as difficult as I expected. I did get a lost position right away at the beginning though. At one point I could have been mated in 2 moves. But then I escaped from the corner with a stalemate trick and never had any more problems.
I was most worried about the final time control because I don't play 1-minute very often, while Eric does and is highly rated in it. Fortunately for me, the time control was not actually 1-minute; instead it was 1 1, which turned out to be much slower. Eric moved very quickly as for a 1 0 game, but was unable to flag me due to the pesky increment. This resulted in too many unnecessary mistakes for him, and I scored +3 in the final third of the match.
I am going to focus on another game from the 3 1:
Black lost a knight with 21...Nxe5 after which the game ended very quickly. But instead of taking e5, he could have taken on f3. White can then sacrifice a rook to destroy black's kingside, with attacking chances For this blog I decided to try studying this one position without using a computer. I haven't tried analyzing without a computer very much before, because it's too easy to get tired after a couple of minutes and turn on the engine to find out the correct evaluation. I am posting the analysis below, but I wouldn't recommend trying to look at it. It is a big mess and probably almost impossible to navigate. 
After I was done analyzing I turned on the engine. Since it was a tactically complicated position, I expected to have a lot of mistakes in my lines even though I spent several hours on them. Indeed, there were many errors. Of the two main lines I studied, 23. fxg7 and 23. Bh7+, I reached a completely wrong conclusion in one of them. Bh7+ I correctly evaluated as being lost for white. But while I thought best play after fxg7 would lead to a repetition draw, it is in fact no better than Bh7+ and totally lost for white. I changed a few lines below to reflect some of the more serious corrections which were pointed out by the engine. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to delete any of the nonsensical lines, so it is an even bigger mess than before.
The biggest surprise from the computer was not in the lines I analyzed, but in the game continuation. It turns out that black is still winning even after the "blunder" 21...Nxe5, in two different ways, no less. I hadn't even thought about checking that position. 
I'm looking forward to my next tournament which starts in nine days: the Chicago Open. It will be a good opportunity to meet some guys from chess.com, plus I have good memories of getting my first GM norm there last year.

Comments


  • 23 months ago

    ForUbaby

    zakaryah hahahahah I  think that u are kidding or trolling me IT is not possible bro! you are drunK! The unique mate that he had was  in 75 move.

     

    But what dretch was saying IS , he saved ur game with a tatical stamalate position . do u know what is this????? Probably it is your difficulty, the basic. He saved ur positon in move 94 , moving ur rook to  Rg5+ anyone move he would mated with  Rh8++ or then with Rh7++ ( in the case of he play Rg8). Did u GET????!!!!!please , say me that you got. i m not believing .

     

    ps : congratulation for ur 94 move was very cool ;) Dretch Embarassed

  • 23 months ago

    corewhynot

    Thanks for the link, Mr. Holt.

  • 23 months ago

    GM dretch

    It looks like there is a page for the video now http://www.chess.com/article/view/chesscom-death-matches

  • 23 months ago

    zakaryah

    Uh, the mate in two is on move 79, as you pointed out, except you made a minor mistake - it should be 79. Rh8+ Rg8 80. Rxg8#.  This is the mate in two which Holt mentioned, and which you tried to point out in your first post, to which I then responded.  I am not at all sure what is your point about move 95?  In fact I have no idea what you are saying, except confirming what Holt said about the stalemate trick he used to escape.  Show me, where is the mate in one?  Perhaps you are the one who needs to analyze more carefully...

  • 23 months ago

    ForUbaby

    zakaryah  You are totally wrong . You need pay atention in the analize of the games and analyze for ur account all moves!!! Only this way you will improve!

     He never mentionated this mate in one

    what he said was : ''At one point I could have been mated in 2 moves. But then I escaped from the corner with a stalemate trick and never had any more problems. '' You need take care whe u are reading and looking the games this position corresponds to  move 95. Rg5 +!! do you think about what are u reading? This type of position ( if king take rook in this case ) is draw for stalemate... the opponent dont have lagal moves without mate.

  • 23 months ago

    zakaryah

    Yeah ForUBaby, he mentioned the mate in 2 in the post.  I imagine there was VERY little time left at that point, since the position had gotten quite complex by move 10... I'd like to say thanks for the analysis of these games, which highlight the crazy positions which can be reached in good blitz chess.  Especially the second game - the computer analysis seems to confirm that the flash decisions made during a blitz game can agree with more thorough human analysis, even when both are in fact wrong!  Psychology plays a big role at short time controls, and this article was an interesting analysis.  Thanks, and congrats!

  • 23 months ago

    ForUbaby

    U defended very awfully ur first game. In the endgame ur lucky is that Erick  Hasen is Blind! He has mate with 79. Rh8# . Buuuut he is erick Tongue out and it is ur luck Cool

  • 23 months ago

    corewhynot

    Do you know if the Death Match will be posted so that it could be rewatchable on chess.com/tv? I wasn't able to catch the whole thing due to time conflicts, but really enjoyed what I saw.

  • 23 months ago

    Corvidae_Rok

    Rootin for ya in Chi town bro!

  • 23 months ago

    Lawdoginator

    Good luck in Chicago, GM-elect Holt. 

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