Friday, March 23, 2007

Pearson-Kesti, Game 6: A Win for Your Host

Although Steve Kesti had clinched the Reno CC Class B Ch. with his victory last week he was kind enough to play Game 6 (the usual practice at our club) last night, and the result was a win for me, in rather strange fashion.

I opened with 1. e4 this time; I'm back to playing it occasionally and since this game was just for fun, glory and rating points I pulled it out. And with what a result! He chose the Pirc Defense and I unveiled the Mad Dog variation, and by move 10 he was in desperate trouble, down material...and then of course I had to castle O-O-O, in the spirit of things, and it got more interesting as he threw everything he had at my King. I think I had it under control until move 30, when on the last move before the first time control I took an attacking Bishop off, which I figured would quell the attack. Unfortunately, this wasn't really calculated, it was, as I say, figured (heh) and I soon realized he would win back the Exchange and a pawn he was down.

But okay, not getting down on myself, not panicking, I saw that I could go into a better Rook ending where he had weak pawns, and indeed win one of his pawns within a few moves. Fine--I feel good that I was still trying to find the best move instead of worrying about the way things might have been. And lo and behold, he immediately offered to trade Rooks into a lost Pawn ending, which I played accurately enough.

I'm sure it was difficult for my opponent to play his best when the match wasn't on the line, but I had the motivation of estimating before the game that a win would gain me around 9 rating points, to 1609, inching a little closer to my goal of 1700 by the end of the year. Plus I'm having a lot of fun playing again.

As is customary here, I'm putting down my day-after impressions while still fresh, and will do my best to post the game and annotations late tonight, or if not then, in the next couple of days.


Ryan Emmett said...

Hi - I just discovered your blog and wanted to wish you all the best in your quest to reach 1700. I don't have an official rating but I think I'm somewhere around 1600ish as well.

Whether I get there or not, I plan to enjoy the journey!

Michael Goeller said...

Go "Mad Dog"! I'll have to write the second and third parts of that some day. I look forward to seeing your game.