Monday, May 15, 2006

A Foolish Loss

I rather foolishly lost my game against D. Ryba (2007) last Thursday, losing my head and sacking a piece for two pawns other compensation. The calculation I talked about previously wasn't there. This is not the way to defeat higher rated players!

[Event "Reno CC Ch. Qualifyer"]
[Site "Reno, NV"]
[Date "2006.05.11"]
[Round "4"]
[White "David Ryba"]
[Black "Robert Pearson"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2007"]
[BlackElo "1618"]
[ECO "D01"]
[Annotator "R. Pearson"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bg5 Bf5 4. f3 Nbd7 5. Bxf6 Nxf6 6. Qd2 e6 {I think the opening has been a success for Black. White's intention of an early e4 is delayed and Black has a good development. White can shove the kingside pawns forward but I don't think it would be that great for him. However, having got off to such a promising start, I didn't follow the logic of the position through.} 7. e3 c6?! {Why not c5 or Bg4 followed by c5?} 8. a3 Bd6 9. Nge2 b5?! {A difficult situation for both sides has arisen as far as castling is concerned. Black is hesitant to castle kingside right now and give White a target, and where is White's King going? The text move envisions b4 and opening a file whether White castles or not. Perhaps not a bad plan, but Black isn't playing with a sound, coherent strategy.} 10. g4 Nxg4? {Played without the proper calculation of the position three moves later. Perhaps this move is suitable for 5-minute chess, but it's a silly thing to do in a crucial game where Black stands okay at this point.} 11. fxg4 Qh4+ 12. Kd1 Bxg4 13. Qe1 Qg5 14. Qf2 {Of course. Black has just two pawns and no real attack for a piece.} b4 15. axb4 Bxb4 16. Rg1 c5 17. Qg3 h5 18. h3 cxd4 19. exd4 Bxc3 20. bxc3 Bxe2+ 21. Bxe2 Qxg3 22. Rxg3 g6 {White's extra Bishop is simply worth a lot
more than Black's 'passed' pawns. The a-pawn is just a weakling.} 23. c4! {Mobilizes the Rook. Once again I'm in a losing ending against an expert, and despite my determined resistance the outcome is pretty much inevitable. The better players don't usually go wrong in this kind of position. If I want to beat these guys, I need to remember the foolish approach I took in this game and never repeat it!} dxc4 24. Rga3 O-O 25. Bxc4 Rfd8 26. Rd3 Rac8 27. Bb3 Rc7 28. Ra4 Kg7 29. d5 exd5 30. Bxd5 Rc5 31. c4 a5 32. Kc2 g5 33. Kc3 f5 34. Kd4 Rdc8 35. Rda3 f4 36. Rxa5 R5c7 37. Ra7 g4 38. Rxc7+ Rxc7 39. hxg4 hxg4 40. Ke4 f3 41. Kf4 f2 42. Ra1 Re7 43. Rf1 Re2 44. Kxg4 Rc2 45. Kf5 Kf8 46. Ke6 Ke8 47. Kd6 Kd8 48. Rh1 Re2 49. Ra1 1-0

So, the upshot is that I now have a 'game of my life,' to play against E. Reyes (1867) next week, where only a win will do! All he needs is a draw to guarantee his qualification into the play-offs. Also, a win for me would give me a near-1900 performance rating for the tournament and a significant rating increase. So, I will take the hard lessons from this loss and apply them to doing better in the all-important game coming up this Thursday.

1 comment:

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Robert, yep! Pretty foolish. But a good lesson. I might also add that in order to play on both sides of the board, the center has to be made fixed, otherwise an action on either wing will be made with an advance in the center and this is rarely good. An outstanding example of play on both sides occurs in the Ruy Lopez/Main Line Chigorin, where White and Black operate on both sides, but only after the center has been made stable with the moves 12...Nc6 by Black and 13. d5 by White. Hopefully, in the future, there will be no more foolish piece sac's when one already stands much better in the position, which was the case in your game. Ryba had very little to brag about and did not beat you as much as you beat yourself in that game. Somebody should have redid the pairings so that it read: Pearson vs. Pearson! Eric