"...a Chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Taichung Tournament

I played in my second real life tournament this last weekend.  I took the train down to Taichung which on the slow train I took is 3 hours away.  There's a high speed line but its a bit pricey.  I had a good time and am glad I went but played super crappy chess.  Well, I went 2-2, this time so I broke even again.  The first game I dropped a piece in the opening to a simple pawn fork.  Last tournament my friend advised me not to resign in rapid games like these just down a piece so I played on.  The opponent is an older fellow who is of similar strength to me, but his son is quite strong.  Anyway, I was trying to develop something or other and at one point it looked like I might win my piece back, but then I realized he had a mate threat he could use to get out of it.  I threatened his queen with my pawn (also answering the mate threat) while his knight was still hanging to try to keep up the little pressure I had going, and he just totally blundered and let me take his queen with the pawn.  He played on for a bit, but it was too easy for me then and I soon won his knight anyway and he resigned.  When he blundered there were literally several moves, shown to us by a stronger player that got him out of that little pressure I had.

The second game was much better.  I played a reasonable game and he kept trading pieces till we ended up in an end game and I won a pawn and soon my extra pawn was passed.  Still, I still had work to do and could easily have blown it but I was in a good situation.  Simply put he dropped his queen to, moving it to a square controlled by my pawn and I took it.  He too played on for awhile but again, it is just too easy to win with an extra queen.

The third game was a reasonable one too.  He played the Scandinavian and I traded bishops opening up the h-file with his rook controlling it leading directly to my castled king position.  I kind of neglected to take that into my calculations and he sacced a bishop for an attack and was basically winning from there on out.  I held on and forced him to go to an endgame but he was always in control of the game and there was never any real doubt about what would eventually be the result.  Still, I felt happy that I did as well as I did defending against a stronger player.

Fourth game I lost in within 10 moves in a Ruy Lopez exchange.  I left my e-pawn hanging to develop my g-knight thinking I could just take his if he took mine and at worst he would get a check.  Unfortunately I missed the fact that the check could come simultaneously with an attack on my queen, and I resigned, not wanting to play a queen down.  So, basically I felt I played the two middle games at a reasonable level, and the first and fourth games shamefully.

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