GO Swiss Round 1 -- Homework pays off.. until....

Mar 15, 2015, 1:19 PM |

Alright, here we go again.  Round 1, open pairings.  We all know I'm going to get an opponent who is "out of reach" so to speak.  I'm barely expected to even show up.   Nevertheless, I enjoy playing the stronger playres.  I think I actually play better, maybe because I'm not usually having a bunch of unconventional moves thrown at me.

So for my first round opponent, I saw that he has quite a few openings.  I'm white, however, and it does appear that when faced with 1.  e4, my opponent, often plays ...e5.  Phew.   I looked at some more games, and it looked like my opponent plays the Ruy.   That's my best (best being relative, of course) opening as white, so I'm going to work on that this week.   

We arranged for this game to be played on a saturday afternoon.  As many know, I suffer from often debilitating migraines, many of which seem to hit on the weekends, often on Sundays.  This is a mystery that I am currently in the process of trying (desparately!) to solve.   I woke Saturday, happy I didn't have a migraine.

By 10:00 am, I could feel a HINT of a headache coming. Foolishly, I ignored it and figured I needed a dose of caffeine.    I discovered last year that having about a cup and a half of coffee daily decreaed my migraines tremendously.  I chalked up the headache hint to not having my caffeiene early enough and figured I'd have a cup and maybe beat the headache before it had a chance to fully develop.

That was foolish.  ((((sigh))))

I had a small headache at the beginning of this game; however, attempting to concentrate and focus only escalated my  headache (quite rapidly, in fact).  By move 10 or so, my headache was in full force, just splitting.  BUT.... for cripe's sake, I'm alive.  Many times, with stronger opponents, I am DEAD by move 15.... not so this time.   Not only am I alive, it's pretty even.  Doing Ruy homework paid off AGAIN!   I honestly thought, "holy cripes... is it possible I could get a DRAW?????"  The position was quite complicated (at least in my mind it was... stronger players?)   I thought black was cramped and I was trying to stick to some principles I learned when the other player is cramped.  Avoid exchanges, that helps the cramped players.  Lock the center, that makes it difficult for the cramped player as well. 

Later on, I ignored this advice.  And of course.... it bit me. Doesn't it always?   Nevertheless, this goes into the SUCCESS column.   My goals:

1.  Focus as much as possible.  Feel that I am playing my best.   I'm not sure how I rate myself here.  The headache got worse and worse; however, the fact that I seemed to keep up despite  the pain should warrant this goal as being met. 

2.   Do NOT give the opponent an easy win.  Make them work for it.  I believe this goal was met.  Heck, maybe he was disgusted at not killing me in twelve moves.  :P

3.   Survive the opening.  For cripe's sake, make it at least 15 moves.   Yep, I did this.  

So it's a success. 

In the end, I calculated something incorrectly.  I'm told that this game is an example of playing very well and then having a single move kind of ruin everything.  My blunders seem to always be fatal.   But that's okay, in my mind, losing because of an error (or would this be a mistake?) in calculation goes along with the territory in gaining experience.  At least I didn't just downright "donate" any  pieces (*that was for my teammate, Joe, who prefers to say I donated a piece rather than, "that nitwit... she just hung her knight....")

So, let's have a look.   Not having realized my calculation error, I STILL thought it was even (who's counting pieces after all!?) -- then I glanced over and saw, "what the heck?  how did I get down by 2??".  Having seen that, I said, "oh NO WAY.... not with this headache" and resigned.  Apparently, it's possible I may have still had some chances after my dreadful last moves.  It would have taken a bit of a miracle though at my level and with the pain I was in, resignation was probably the smarter way to go.   That said, because there were possibilities and because of the very good learning opportunity, I'm annotating this.  

Are you ready?