Symphony from START to FINISH (or what happens when you Play the PLAYER and not the RATING!)
Of note: This annotation took me over two hours. I put a lot of thought into it. :)
The slump is horrendous. I can't do diddly squat lately. Another player very kindly allowed me to do a practice game. Unrated, no points at stake and hopefully no pressure - other than the pressure I put on myself.
Lovely person, my opponent was. I'm jealous though. He's working in RESEARCH.... Maybe that gave me the drive. :)
Anyway, I have no idea regarding the capabilities of my opponent. He's relatively new to the site - no rating at all yet. This means I can't be intimidated. I am forced to play the BOARD and NOT the rating. Look at the position, try to make a judgement and then do it. I did NOT get any outside assistance at ALL other than a few opening moves from the explorer (very few -- we got out of the book quickly). I did also use the analysis board. But I didn't turn to any book or any outside help at all. I wanted to do this ON MY OWN.
Many who know me are aware that I have kind people who have helped to mentor me. They have endless patience and they have more confidence in me than I have. I do have training games often with them where I am helped on moves in one way or another. I do sometimes have those games -- and I'll always let my opponent know if I'm getting help (and I will ONLY do that upon our mutual agreement and ONLY if it is unrated). I never asked here though. I wanted to prove to myself that I could get back on the horse despite being thrown so often lately.
This is dedicated to those who have tried to keep my spirits up during my slump. They would not allow me to have any negative thoughts. They nipped those right in the bud QUICKLY. They believed in me even when I didn't. I'll never be able to come up with the words to describe my heartfelt thanks for that. Never. No words can describe it.
As many know, my habit of late has been to run an analysis with Houdini but I just take a look at the basic analysis and I do NOT LOOK at any of the variations suggested (and I don't cheat... I really don't look). I do this just to get an idea because sometimes I really don't know if a move I have is foolish. There is a move towards the end that I questioned in particular. It was another one of those, "I'm either doing something VERY smart or VERY dumb". I've had a few of those -- thus far, they've always been blunders. This time, however, not only was it the right thing to do, it got a ! notation from Houdini. I'm glad I found that out -- because I was not at all confident in the game itself. I was afraid I was throwing it away.
Worth noting, I also spotted a tactic! A few of them actually.
It's been pointed out to me (Thank you, Dexter!) that while I do think through some moves in my calculations, my thought process stops too fast and I don't consider ALL the responses the opponent has to a move. That also happened. I'll point these instances out in the annotation.
Here we go. It's a symphony by me for once. Not one wrong note! According to Houdini, I did not have even ONE mistake OR blunder. I had some inaccuracies -- acceptable at my level at this point, I think. I must crawl before I can walk. This is definitely a step in the right direction.
Here we go.