Playing in the Premier section
Last weekend I traveled to downtown Philadelphia to play in the National Chess Congress, a three day chess-fest of peeps, sitting and pushing bishops, rooks, pwns, and horsies (see titled players [noob master cough, cough] can call them horsies too) for too many hours for my tastes. But a few of my chess friends went, so I went too.
From the outside, the hotel looks a the meat refrigerating unit in slaughterhouse five set in a dystopian future. But inside, it looks and was quite promising. And the cost was reasonable. Except if you are in the open section it helps to have a 2600 strength to have a fair chance win anything and a big helping of luck if you don't! Plus they had water in most rounds. And the lighting and the room temperature was A-ok, a bit cool in the first round, but that's cool with me.
Yes, and the people have their charm. Except the mature people in the open section never talk, what a shame. By never, I mean rarely, and by talk, I mean, about anything more substantial than boring life goals (location, occupation, and future (n/r)esting place). There were plenty of munchkins to tease and chess friends to shout out huzzah too (who does that? not me...) so it was juust fine. but alas some of the interesting quiet people neva say a word and fade into the waxwork, oooohhh well. unless if you poke them. then they scream (but that can get unpleasant so don't do that, unless you're charming or female then feel free, in life as in chess...). i guess you can facebook them, but that's so sedentary, passive and boring. violates the prime directive: never be boring. second rule: engage! ;-) third rule: question everything (and everyone).
nevertheless, despite the monotony of sitting and walking and thinking (a lone mind rarely surprises itself), [some advice -- bring some food, especially the healthy stuff, although the reading terminal market ---nice but pric---ayyy, or piracy, $21.45 for a large pepperoni pizza, puh-leeze.]
some of the chess was pretty good. here are a few of my games against players with big numbers associated with them. some comments embedded in the pgns (gamescores).
despite my dismal performance, at least some of my friends did okay or quite splendidly indeed:
there were a few funny moments, i thought the maybe unintended bit of trash talk that a little kid (whose dad looks like GM michael adams) did after beating a master was absolutely hilarious, saying that the master did not seem to know what they were doing and played badly. it happens...
so in sum of my learning experience,
just got back from a tournament in Philly where I had a 2650 and 2440 under pressure with Black after 20 moves, all I had to do after playing well was play a few simple developing moves and my attack is objectively very strong in most lines i tried in analysis, the defenses practically are not easily found by machines to even try for a draw, but instead I got impatient and excited and gambitted a pawn too soon in my games and my opponents found all the simple and forced moves to repel my attack and I missed my endgame chances in practically extremely difficult to play endgames. Interestingly I saw many of their best chances in defense in some the lines behind the scenes ... but my opponents were more pessimistic interestingly... I need to take this into account more, that it's not easy to find everything... that to defend a position for so long is tough to see a full scale attack. And after round 3 having played these two brutal games (knowing I really could have won these games (and knowing what I knew in retrospect I probably would have), seeing things that they didn't --- especially tactically, but also vice versa --- especially positionally on discussing the games with them), I felt too tired to play chess and played really fast my last three games against lower rated players and was more interested in the games of my friends who were doing better although not having had my tough early schedule and so I lost 20+ rating pts but got entertaining games, I know I can make that back very quickly. Oddly, I was out of book by move 7 in all my games, but with a fine but strange position. And I sacrificed material in all my games --- I need to stop doing that so much --- it's partly due to the positions I play, but also there is a time and a place... now I know with confidence that tactically at least I can play against any of these players regardless of rating, just need some patience and knowledge of so much positional stuff would make my playing experience so much easier [and my play that much better]. But playing tactically also a lot of the fun. Still looking for that balance... but at the same time I do the tactical stuff so well at many moments... but against these strong players you just can't give away a pawn without sufficient reason. ugh, having these players with big numbers on the ropes and simply not being patient in putting them away... and then making the same mistakes against 10 year olds 2000+. and yet i still i will have a US 2200+ rating somehow. but the fact i have a few scalps, quite a few online and even so many great opportunities taken and missed, and a few also otb, this is great to look forward in the future and to learn a bit from the past and move on...
so yeah my result hurt a bit, i mean i could get 2/6 playing bullet chess... as i scored at NCC last weekend... and done some things better on intuition and i did on thinking, but there were so many positives too. next year i will try some of the more boring positions too, there is some interest in dry dust sculptures too, [as in symmetrical pawn structures and semi-closed positions with high symmetrical probability - Petroff, Slav, etc]. it's good to know how to play all sorts of positions. because in many games, you will want to change your position as the position requires for best play and not just according to your own preferences.
I'm ever the optimist I guess. Probably my last blog for a long while, just because what's the point. What's in it for you, what's in it for me. Once you've seen a glimpse of tournament chess, it's up to you to see if you want to delve into the rest of it.
Hope you've gained something from this writing. Constructive feedback is appreciated. Unconstructive feedback I don't read anyway. Have a grand-tastic day, night, and life!