November 2017 SCL Play: Blunders and Disconnects
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 Chess.com.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Three games. Three blunders. Roughly one and a half disconnects. November must be a rough month for my opponents, too.
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