Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Good Loss?

Is there such a thing as a 'good loss' in chess? If there is, I suppose that my loss to E. Hong (2028) on Thusday in the Reno CC Championship qualifier was one such. I played well for most of the first 29 moves, then at move 30 overlooked a tactic in complications when a safe retreat would have left the game fairly level. In a Rook and Knight versus Rook ending, I made things as hard for him as humanly possible for 32 more moves, never giving up on the position; and I think he may have had five or more chances to play an obvious or superficial move in the ending and lose all or part of his advantage, but he found moves good enough to win, which is the sign of an expert.

It was a very invigorating game, in terms of evaluating my progress so far. Coming back into tournament chess four months ago, I was rather rusty, but now feel that I've gotten to where I can give anyone at the club a good game. Winning against the players above 1800 is going to take one more step up, however. And that is excellent motivation to make every effort to keep improving.

The game was posted in the Archives over at the Reno CC site, but I will have my own comments here in a day or so.


Last week's game.

[Event "Reno CC Ch. Qualifier"] [Site "Reno, NV"] [Date "2006.04.27"] [Round "2"] [White "Ernest Hong"] [Black "Robert Pearson"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2028"] [BlackElo "1618"] [ECO "A20"] [Annotator "R. Pearson"] 1. c4 e5 2. g3 d6 3. Bg2 f5 4. d3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. e4 fxe4 7. dxe4 O-O 8. Nge2 c6 {Perhaps Be6 is more accurate. Having gone Nge2, White won't be able to harass it there. But c6 keeps a very solid position. } 9. O-O Na6 10. b3 Nc7 11. Bb2 Bg4 {Hoping to provoke some pawn moves in front of his King. } 12. h3 {And it works! } Be6 13. f4 exf4 14. Nxf4 Bf7 15. Qe2 Qe8 16. Rad1 Rd8 17. Rfe1 Nh5 {I like Black's position a bit better. } 18. Nxh5 Bxh5 19. g4 Bg6 20. Rd3! d5! {Now Bc5+ followed by Rf2 would be deadly, but thanks to his last move White has it covered.} 21. Rf3 Rxf3 22. Bxf3 dxe4?! {d4 was stronger, but during the game I thought that opening up the position would lead to an advantage. Ernie Hong said he thinks White's in trouble after d4} 23. Nxe4 Ne6 24. Nf2 Ng5 25. Bg2 Bc5 26. h4 Qxe2 27. Rxe2 Rd1+ 28. Kh2 Bd6+? {Overlooking an important tactical point. 28. ...Bxf2 29. Rxf2 was correct, and Black is okay. But now... } 29. Be5 Bxe5+? {Nf7. I completely missed that the Knight wouldn't be able to retreat to f7 next move without allowing a surprise mate! } 30. Rxe5 Rd2 31. Kg3 Kf8 32. Rxg5 Rxa2 33. Bf3 Bc2 {For the next 30 moves or so Black does everything he can to place obstacles in White's way. White has several chances to make superficial moves and lose his advantage, but he shows his class by avoiding all shoals... } 34. Bd1 Bxd1 35. Nxd1 Rd2 36. Nf2 Rb2 37. Rf5+ Ke7 38. Rf3 a5 39. c5 Rc2 40. Ne4 a4 41. bxa4 Rc4 42. Kf4 Ke6 43. Ra3 Kd5 44. Rd3+ Ke6 45. Kf3 Rxa4 46. Ng5+ Ke5 47. Nxh7 Rc4 48. Ng5 Rxc5 49. Re3+ Kd5 50. Ne6 Rc1 51. Nxg7 Rf1+ 52. Ke2 Rf4 53. Rg3 b5 54. h5 c5 55. Nf5 c4 56. h6 Re4+ 57. Kd2 b4 58. Re3 Rxg4 59. h7 Rg2+ 60. Re2 c3+ 61. Kd3 Rxe2 62. Kxe2 c2 63. Kd2 1-0

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