I can’t believe I did this.

Mar 6, 2012, 4:12 PM |

Hi Players!

I want to share a game with you. The game is OTB, between me (1742) and another player (1435). I lost. It’s been 5 days since then but I still can’t find my balls.

I little bit of history – both of us are going to the same chess club in Burlingame, California. We played 8 times, I won 6 games, 1 draw, 1 loss (in 2008, when my rating was 1300). Last time I played him was over a year ago. He is a dear friend of mine, we go to various tournaments on a regular basis, I play in B section, he tries to dominate 1300-rated kids. Couple of months ago I gave him a book on positional play (“Middlegame Planning” by P.Romanovsky, helped me a lot) which he apparently didn’t read. Just couple of days before the game a much higher rated player than me said that playing against him should be easy – make normal moves and wait until he commits positional suicide. And that I should never lose to him. Sure enough I was paired against him for the next round and I lost.

About the game: Just recently I’ve decided to play e5 against e4 as black. My usual repertoire for black against e4 consists of French defense and Sicilian. With French, after a certain rating barrier (like after 1600) players stop playing advanced variation and play Nd2 on move 3 (1.e4 e6, 2.d4 d5, 3.Nd2) which makes it really hard for black to defend, at least at my level, unless you want to get into really sharp variation with your queen out on move 4 and then the game is extremely tactical for both sides but mistakes are more deadly for black. With Sicilian black is on defensive for too long until there is a chance for a counter play. With e5, I just need to make reasonable moves and not screw up right away and eventually I’ll get a counter play. So I thought I would try it out in this game. It’ll be a good test since I play such a lower rated player, right? On the upside I did well in the opening, the resulting position was really weird but I was clearly better. I decided I have won already. I got destructed by people walking by, watching my game – I was so proud of how my pieces look on the board, I had to hide my stupid smile looking at the floor, hands over my head. How can I pay attention to the board when I’m so busy!? Peacock... Oh, wait! I see a material I can win. A pawn!! I got it!!! Hm, it looks like he has a counter play now. Nah, I can stop it. 5 moves later: #@%#, I can’t believe I did this. When I realized I didn’t have a winning position anymore it was already too late. The sad part is that according to chess engine I blew the game when I went for a pawn, which was like 5 moves before I actually realized I was screwed. After that my position was completely lost.

Here is the game:

What I learned from this game:

  • I can play e5 against e4.
  • It’s not over until it’s over – think hard even when I think I’m winning. After going through my comments for the game for this posting I can say that it goes both ways – think hard even when I think I’m losing. Don’t give up.
  • I have to do something about being destructed when people are paying attention to my game – I feel like a dog at a competition – I need to be cool and staff.
  • My mama will love me no matter what – even if I lose to 1400 rated player.

Have a good game everyone!