Swiss 10 - Round 5 - A symphony or "I got knocked down but I got up again!"

Dec 13, 2013, 7:59 PM |

I was not looking forward to this game.  I have a bit of a mental block with this opponent.  In fact, the last time we were paired, he pulled a Sicilian on me and I lost in nine moves after getting my bishop trapped.  That burned pretty bad.  What was worse is that I was actually quite ill when that game took place and I just didn't have the energy to fight back although I'm told I could have. 

Anyway, I did my homework and looked into what the opponent plays and as per usual, my teammates at Art of War were encouraging me although they knew I was really down about it.  Dex did several practice games with me.   We found that Niraj likes to play the Ruy Lopez as white.  I like the Ruy too!  Niraj might know that, however, and may choose to play a d pawn opening so we practiced d pawn openings and we also practiced three games during lunch where I played black.  One was a disaster but I managed to hold up pretty well in the second.  The third was also a disaster for me.  Haha.  Even when Dex tries to play weaker, he's still stronger than I am at times!  

All that prep meant nothing at first.  I was nervous.  I couldn't even keep a straight thought in my head to talk and I kept stuttering.  I turned on some classical music to try to relax. 

It didn't work.  I got developed okay but the minute we transitioned to the middle game, I screwed up.  **sigh**  I was furious with myself.  If I take a long time for a move, it means I'm stuck and almost always, my next move will be a blunder and it happened here as well.  I was trying to see if I could find better squares for my pieces and figured I'd reposition my knight.  It backfired.  Oh cripes.  I changed my music to a more aggressive music style and started my way to a comeback.  Despite being a pawn down, it was actually pretty even for a long time so I guess that's a good thing. 

I did most of the anntotations here myself.  Dex helped me with a few thoughts.  We mention these. 

Anyway, here we go.