November 2017 SCL Play: Blunders and Disconnects
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November 2017 SCL Play: Blunders and Disconnects

Dec 2, 2017, 6:08 PM |

    Before we start, let me first give a huge shout-out to the Slow Chess League, a wonderful group which has allowed me and about 3,000 other players to play chess at slow time controls online. It is indeed, as @philidor_position said in a blog post, one of the best things going on here on

    The Slow Chess League had been operational for 5 years when I found it, but what @philidor_position wrote still holds true: there is no better place to get games and play events at slow time controls.

    In this new series, published most months, I chronicle the month's 90 30 play in a blog post.

    November is the worst month. Chessically, of course. Although not much ever happens in November when you think about it, that's hardly the topic of the post, and I would lose followers if I started ranting about November here In November, I play my worst chess, losing to 1250 players in tournaments and finishing 1/3, 1/4 and 2/5 in all kinds of different events.

    Those numbers aren't exact (in fact, the last one is probably a half-point or a round off), but today you'll learn about the first one, and why it should have been 2/3.

    Round 1

    It's important to put together the big picture for me this November: I was burdened by some extra work throughout the month, had been gaming with a friend frequently and suffered a couple of small identity crises over why I was pushing pieces of wood around a board. That's why when pairings were posted, I forgot about them... until 20 minutes past the minimum offer deadline, when I uttered a short PG-13 exclamation and accepted one of my opponent's offers as fast as I could.

    Here's my Round 1 game, a disappointing 5... Bg4 6. h3 h5 Exchange Lopez cut short by a blunder.

    Round 2

    I was paired down this time, playing against an 1150 player I've played a few times before: @peritoncio. Relieved that I had someone I could beat, I made sure to offer my times by the deadline, and playing against an 1150 meant that we were treated to a game where I never had the chance to blunder. When I got my Rossolimo on the board, he did what dozens of online blitz players did against it: played an early ... a6 and ... Nf6. Subtract Black's bishop pair and you get a game where I won two pawns early on and then disconnected just as I reached a won endgame.

    80 rating points. Eighty. That's how much I lost from these two unfortunate games in which I should have scored 1/2. My SCL rating, once so close to breaking another big number, was now back down at 1514. Thankfully, what goes around comes around, and I got a nice karmic gift come Round 3.

    Round 3

    To finish off the month, I was paired not with another 1100 but with the suffering 1450 player @wmakos. In the final round I offered my times late again, but this time @SirIvanhoe noticed and gave me a pass for being 16 minutes past the deadline. The game went as so many of my Black games against 1. d4 go: I got a Nimzo-Indian, my opponent played something generic and inferior and got a bad position, and I grabbed a pawn on move 10 but gave my opponent rather serious compensation for it before the game was cut short by my opponent blundering a piece.

    It's worth noting that my opponent's /ping was awful throughout the game, bouncing around in the 300-700ms area for a few hours, and they had several disconnects during the game. Here it is:

    It really isn't all bad. Once barely above 1500, my SCL rating was bumped to 1535 in this game, and if I get lucky I have a shot at 1600 before the year ends.

    Three games. Three blunders. Roughly one and a half disconnects. November must be a rough month for my opponents, too.

    Thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment and join Blogosphere for updates on all kinds of exciting things going on in the blogging community. I'll see you next week with Concrete Problems #1!