CyChess - Sept 27

Oct 20, 2009, 3:33 PM |

Well, I've been busy, and attempted this twice already.  Both times the dumb thing disappeared on me, so if it doesn't save this time I guess I'll just put up the move list and you can get a board and look yourself. 

A few a weeks ago I played in my third OTB tourney, a little 3 rounder with game 40/ 5 sec delay.  I had a solid first game, but gave away the next two.  I learned an actual tournament is very tough mentally, you really need to stay sharp and focused- but also relaxed at the same time.  Its complicated. 

Okay, well my good game was first, against a fellow from the middle east who is a grad student in the states.  It was his first tourney, but I knew he had to be pretty smart, and was going to be a challenge.  So I used my time wisely, and played well.  Lets take a look at it.

A well played game by both sides.  Towards the end black was about two minutes ahead on time, but pretty much the whole clock was used up for white.  As the last game still going, there were more spectators watching- other players waiting for us to finish up.  I found this to be stressful, but managed to use the extra pressure to my advantage I guess, as I made no major mistakes.

And then the wheels fell off....
In the second round I played a young fella, maybe 8 or 9.  I was feeling worn out, as the first game went so long there was only about 5 minutes to rest and get ready for game two.  So I played a little trap, hoping he'd fall for it and get the game over quickly.  Unfortunately, this did not happen and after a long game- most of which I felt for conformtable with- up an exchange and with better position- I managed to blunder away my lead.  And instead of securing a very possible draw, I went ahead and stumbled thru an endgame which was not pretty. 

And after the blunder my notation got sloppy and is unclear.  I do know about ten moves later, all I need to do is shuffle my bishop and its a draw.  However, I was too proud to accept this outcome and played on, eventually getting my king out of position and at the very end his a pawn was able to promote. 

Okay, so after two long games I was needing a break.  But the Cychess Tourney does not offer much there- first game is at 12:45 and the last at about 4 if all games are finished.  I'm a a competitve guy, and I hate to lose.  Losing to an 8 year that I had under control all game, and should have at least drawn really had me furious.  The moral of the story- don't play chess mad.
In the third round my opponent was a retired principal that I had defeated this summer in my last tourney.  I was overconfident and in a bad mood so of course I played just about the worst opening possible, drug it out for a few ugly moves and finally resigned. 

Well, I definitely learned some things at this tourney.  Not much in the way of actual chess though.  There is so much more in the way of mental challenges going on than what takes place on the board.  A chess player needs to remain both incredibly calm and incredibly focused.  And as hard as it is to do, a tournament player really needs to let the previous game go, clear his head and start fresh in the next round.  Win or lose, this game sure can wear a person down.