Correspondence Chess - 2014 Electronic Knights - My First Round Games

Sep 16, 2014, 8:34 AM |

As detailed in my previous posting on correspondence chess, two of my six first round games of the 2014 Electronic Knights tournament were forfeited by my opponents within the first few moves. These two games are not presented here. However, the remainder of my games are presented below.

Game 1:

My first game to be finished was against the second ranked player. It was a fairly short excursion into the Sicilian Defense and ended abruptly when my opponent misread a move I sent him.

Game 2:

My second game to finish was against one of the unrated players in my section.

Game 3:

My third game to finish was against the third ranked player. Even though I was ranked only one below him, he had more than a 300 rating point advantage over me at the start of the tournament. He tended to reply very quickly (within a day at the most, sometimes quicker), which I think was one of the reasons he ended up losing the game.

Game 4:

My last game to finish was against the top ranked player in my section. Starting out at slightly more than 600 rating points below him, I didn't have high expectations. Rather, I resolved to take my time and try and find the best move possible. I figured if I could get through the game without making any serious blunders, then I would be happy. 

Overall results for the section:
One of the things that I'm noticing while analyzing my games is that I sometimes have trouble maintaining an advantage once I have it. While running my games through computer analysis, I see large changes (greater than or equal to a pawn) in the score which indicate I'm making mistakes and not taking enough time to choose the best move. I also notice that occasionally I'll get a decent advantage, but over the course of a number of moves, it gradually disappears. 
For example, here are the score graphs from the games presented above. I've circled the locations where I'm giving away large portions of the advantage.
In the above game, you can see where after move 5, and not taking into account the mistakes circled, I gradually give back the advantage to my opponent.
Going into the second round of this tournament, I'm up against much stronger opponents (I'm the lowest rated player in the section). That being said, I'm going to try to do my best, take my time on each (non-book) move, and hopefully win a few games.