I'm Terrible (but not at repeating!): FIDE Invitational Round 1

NM Joseph_Truelson

I'm Terrible. I'm Terrible. I'm Terrible. That would make my English teacher happy for two reasons.

1. I make so much fun of them that they are happy that I finally realize that I'm terrible, and 

2. I just used a literary device! Repetition!

Actually I repeated a lot of things in this event. I repeated losing 4 times, drawing 4 times, and RARed at least a 100 times (as I noted in the event, players that don't RAR in their events do so well, and for some reason when I RAR I do really badly. I wonder why...). I repeated the same joke about drawing by a repetition of draw offers, and many other jokes. I was repeatedly told by people how excited they were to read my next blog on the event and how it better be good, I repeatedly had fun and learned more about a lot of people, and I repeatedly annoyed all of the players playing their games due to my yelling (more on that later)

That was a standard introduction. That was a standard introduc- ok whatever, I'll stop repeating myself. (Ok whatever I'll stop repeating myself).

Actually, I still have a little more to say about that title. The reason I used it to describe this game is because I ran out of better ideas for the title. I'm terrible could be used as a title for any of my blogs (It's my general attitude about my chess play), so I decided to finally use it. That way I'll have to be more creative next time.

But I understand that all of that gibberish is not in any way related to my game that I played on the terrifying evening of August 26, 2016.

On that day of August 26, 2016, I decided I should actually try to prepare openings for my opponents. I figured I'd play a Fantasy Caro Kann vs. Mary Kuhner in the first round, and after wasting an hour studying it, decided I could do better things with my life (even though I couldn't). I asked Sammy for his preparation, but t appears that I'm not too good at persuading people to help me out. I told him to give me all of his books, (no, not borrow, but just let me steal them) but he didn't. I realized there that if you want to steal someone's books you shouldn't ask them if you can. So I was stuck trying to prepare by myself, which wasn't good since I haven't had experience with that. I proceeded to read some boring chess books (Some book on Calculation that has puzzles that I didn't understand), and after I got tired of all that boring stuff, had some fun watching archived Man vs. Machine shows by Daniel Rensch. The evening came, and as usual, I came lateto the round. I thought it started at 7pm, even though it started at 6pm. It wasn't until around 6:10pm that I finally arrived, and the clock was started. And as I sat down, somebody took my picture! (Didn't know anybody wanted that!) Even though I had black, the clock was started for me and my opponent hadn't made a move. Confused, I pressed the clock, and following the advice of one of my recent blogs, Mary played 1.f4.

My opponent Mary Kuhner is a real veteran of chess. She noted that she had a rating of 2170 at her peak, and she had many funny stories to share with me, even though she must have been upset with me for talking so much during the games (Not during our game, but, see below).

Speaking of which, I did talk a lot during and after my game was over. Whenever a person came in the skittles room that I would want to talk to, I always had some crazy introduction, like "Hi little buddy!" or "You're back!" and "Do you want to rar talk with me?". And when they did start talking with me, then the noise broke out (from me and people telling me to be quet) and the TD or a player came in, I was threatened (sometimes to even by forfieted, which may have been a good thing considering how badly I did), and I was quiet. The odd thing was, that someone would have to come in again to shut us up later, but it wouldn't be me who was loud.

One interesting story that Mary had was about one of her first event. Facing a Class C player, she got beaten and then was amazed that he was so good at chess. But the C-player, being very humble unlike me, said how Class B players were better than him, and these guys (Class A) are better than them, and these guys (Expert) are better than those guys! Rather than be discouraged, Mary Kuhner proceeded to get really good at chess. And from personal expierence, she still is really good at chess, even though her openings are seemingly unsound.

The Opening

I won't use engines for this, because I don't know why.


The opening was pretty short there, and now we enter a complicated middlegame.

In fact, I've decided that I won't use an engine at all. Why? I have a few reasons. At this tournament, after one game, a father took his kid to their laptop, pulled out their engine and decided to analyze the game. At one point, the dad said "You should play g6 here!", which was the computer's suggestion. It became pretty obvious to me there that the kid wasn't going to get any better by knowing the computer's top evaluation! So I shouldn't be using an engine either.

Also, at one point, some masters were looking at a complicated position that arose from one of their games. I asked them why didn't they use a computer to analyze it, and they thought that it would be bad for their chess. I replied, "Me and everyone my rating always use engines to analyze our positions. For some reason you guys don't, and you guys are a lot better than us. I wonder why...", which was greeted with laughs. (And then a person from the tournament room telling us to be quiet). But it was also true! And, another story! (not completely relevant, and I need to fill up some space so I might as well...)

The Bloomington Open and Breaking 2 Chess Clocks

For only two years to my knowledge (I moved from Minnesota), Chess Weekend to decided to hold the Bloomington Open, held in, not surprisingly, the city of Bloomintgon (Which has the Mall of America and the Water Park of America). In their first event, held on October 8-10, 2013, I was ready to grab a prize and RAR their system with a steady string of upsets. Of course, I was the one that ended getting upsetted 3 times, and losing over 100 rating points, but that was normal for me (It still is now. I'm not sure how I ever reached 1800 after losing rating points in every tournament!) But it doesn't matter how well I do in the tournament. At least in this event, I was more interested in meeting new people, grabbing the attention with all of my terrible jokes (I've gotten a little bit better at joking since then, 7th grade), and playing bughouse. Actually, the bughouse incidents were quite bad and led me to play horribly in my tournaments. After the second round, me and 3 buddies (I only remember 2 of them now but I can't reveal names) borrowed a clock from a prodigy to play bughouse with. And in one of the games, my team was winning (we won most of the games, since me, at 1300, was better than my 800-1100 buddies), and was about to checkmate. But my teammate's opponent could not bear to lose. So he pushed the clock, which looked like this:

even though it was his turn. But my partner noticed that quickly enough and pushed it back. After a few times of doing this, my partner got fed up with it. So, he stood up, and using both of his hands, pushed the clock down and kept pushing down on the clock. But the opponent thought it was kind of funny, so he tried to do the same thing. Meanwhile, I was complaining to my opponent's partner and telling him to stop, but he was in a world of his own. He started to try to push his side of the clock down, while my partner did the same. The result wasn't pretty. The thing you push down, after being under so much pressure, just broke, and suddenly the clock was completely flat on the top, and unusable! So, what do you do when you've got a broken clock in your hands? Well, the person who owned it wasn't there, and we were evil kids. So we put the clock where his stuff was, and borrowed another clock (luckily that person didn't see the incident!), and pretended that we had never used the clock. When he came back, we ran out of the room, and he was left with a broken clock, which fortuantely was somehow fixed. I'm sorry about the incident! (Of course he's reading this blog and will accept my apology.).

But there is a second part to the story. After the fourth round (We were only good for one round), it happenned again! A nice guy let us borrow his clock, and with roles reversed, my partner cheating, but me not exactly doing anything about it, led to my partner's opponent pushing the clock down also, and after a minute, another broken clock. Now I felt kind of bad about that, since I was the oldest of these kids (They were all 1-4 years younger than me). What was really bad was that I had to play this kid in the last round. Very similar to my story here.

Anyways, he was 800 and I was 1300, but I completely crumbled and lost very quickly, right out of the opening. End of another sad story, but I'll never forget the tournament in which 2 chess clocks were broken! I'm sorry to both of the victims, at least one of them got a good number of rating points off of me.

Anyways, to get more on topic, during that tournament, the same kid that I made cry due to bughouse cheating (see that in the above link) was going over a game with his dad. And it was really funny to see them go over the game. The dad would say something like this: "Rd6, that is only 4th." (He was using Fritz and opened the top 10 options) And I could tell that the kid wasn't getting better at chess by knowing that his move was the 4th, 6th, or even best move in the position! 

Anyways, what does that mean? No engine. Feel free to critisize me, I'll believe every word that you say. In fact, if it's too true, I'll delete your comment and block you so you can't post anymore! Go the 1st Amendment! (Freedom of Speech, to play chess, to RAR, but not the right to critisize me and tell the truth, or BURP or SNORE!)

The REAL Middlegame

Let's take a look at how I mess up when I have less time, less skill, and more importantly, less luck!

"Oops! Oh well, at least it's only the first round!" I thought. I was kind of dissapointed as I was hoping to start off with a win, but I've been trying to make sure that when I lose I don't dwell on my losses, and cause myself to think I'm terrrible. After the game Mary and I went over to analyze it, where I was showed a good number of ideas that I had missed. But I was able to take a few things from the game, which I'll easily forget, but still, I mean it's something!

1. Keep the bishops active! I didn't realize how problematic that this was until later in the tournament, but that was something that I needed to do. Because in this game both of my bishops were bad and her's did a lot more.

2. Keep pieces on the board if you want a draw. This is probably pretty obvious, but I didn't realize it. In the game I went for a trade of rooks, even though I wanted a draw.

3. Don't be afraid of fake threats! I am always afraid of fake threats, and that really hurts my game.

4. Don't blunder: I need to make sure that I never make moves like cxd5?? ever again. I'm 1800, can't I avoid that? Maybe not.

5. Time pressure: As usual, I'm very bad at my time managment. Not sure how to improve. But I'm ok at blitz and bullet at least!

As I said earlier, I was thinking "At least it's only the first round". But if I had known how badly I'd do, I would have been thinking:

"Oh no! It's only the first round!"