Friday, November 09, 2007

Quick Report from the Crime Scene

I lost last night's game to Nathaniel Garingo (2173) at the Reno CC November Swiss.

My friends, the bald facts do not fully detail the agony and the ecstasy...make that the ecstasy and the agony of it. Playing a guy rated 500 points higher (and with Black) I had him on the ropes, barely breathing, all those cliches, after 20 moves, but I couldn't find the moves to finish him off (and in the postmortem with several strong players it was amazing how difficult it was to find a decisive finish, if one existed; Black may have been only "much better"). So I overlooked something and he played an impressive counterattack and by move 31 it was over, I was mated.

I did all the right mental tricks as discussed here, had a good attitude and concentrated well for awhile, but I'll admit I was a little emotional after the game, frankly I was pissed off that I'd outplayed the guy to reach such a position and let him off the hook like this, the point is playing well for 20 moves means nothing in chess, it's just another loss, I could comfort myself by saying I played so many cool, awesome moves but that's a load of crap. I've got to become a finisher, a player who is as good or better at the end of the game, when it counts, as at the beginning.

Anyway, the great thing about this game is that it really laid bare my serious and deadly weakness, which is pure calculation-type positions. I'm playing good openings, good positional understanding, open lines weak squares blah blah etc. but that's not going to get me anywhere against the upper ranks. My study program has been made simple--I'm not spending a second in the immediate future on openings, chess psychology or any other miscellaneous, extraneous crap. I'm going to dedicate all my study time to becoming a tactical beast.

Nathan showed up my weakness and I've got to strive to get sharper tactically or I'm liable to blow a lot more "great positions" against the stronger players, and I've decided that is just to painful to allow to happen.

I'll post the game in a day or two when I have some time to really understand it.


ChargingKing said...

Wow I had been keeing an eye on that game and it looked like you had Nathaniel on the absolute ropes. Then when he castled it smelled like King's Gambit Muzio variation.

I was looking over the game with Gafni and Soltani and it looked very difficult but you were "much better"!!

I hear you on the "moral victory" doesn't make you feel any better. When we have the advantage we want to convert it...doesn't matter how well the opening went.

i do however have a feeling that a game like this energizes one to improve as you have stated.

Temposchlucker said...

Anyway, the great thing about this game is that it really laid bare my serious and deadly weakness, which is pure calculation-type positions.

Why does this sound like a such familiar echo? :)

Liquid Egg Product said...

I don't remember where I heard this--maybe someone else remembers so they can give proper credit--but the only reason we use positional factors, opening books, etc. is that we can't calculate far enough ahead. The guy who sees 6 plies accurately has a very large advantage over Mr. 4 ply that positional understanding can't completely cover.

Barring laziness, your idea of hitting tactics hard is a great idea, one that I need to pick up. Looking forward to seeing the game.

victor said...

Hi Robert,
I was watching the game also and was surprised you did not get at least a draw. Hope you post this game as it would be good to analyze. I had a reasonable chance of a draw against Ernie a few months ago and then hung a Knight so I know how it feels. Ernie made me feel much better when he said " I dont know why you did that, you had plenty of time". Anyway at least you had an expert almost master level player in your sights which means pretty soon you will probably have a few such victories. On a lighter note Germany almost had 2 world wars won, managed to loose both, yet went on to become the richest economy in Europe - not quite sure if this has anything to do with chess , Japan's defeat and subsequent economic prosperity is probably more relevant, maybe soon we will all have to compete with the Afghany power house.

Wahrheit said...

Hey Vivtor--can't see your profile; what mysterious Reno CC member are you??? :)

victor said...

Im John,
thought you would have guessed when I mentioned I hung a knight against ernie

chessboozer said...

Hi Robert,
I am setting up a chess blog called Chess Karma, though there is not much on it yet. I am also changing my blogger contact name from Victor to Chessboozer.

Samuraipawn said...

LEP: I think Maichael de la Maza wrote about it in his articles "400 points in 400 days", but he is probably one amongst many others.

Wahrheit: Sounds like you'll be taking some expert rated scalps soon. Sorry about the loss, but at least you identified your main weakness in respect to your game. Now you just got to blast "Eye of the Tiger" on the stereo and pump up those tactical muscles!