Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Got the Blues

Another game down, no win. I'm at ten now without a win: 5 losses, 5 draws. All the games played down against people lower rated. But, I think I've definitely turned the corner in terms of play. I should have won all three of my most recent games - nothing that would really qualify as a blunder in any of them. It's remarkable to me still that I could suffer such a drought without really making any serious blunders along the way...

Anyhow, the endgame practical jokes continued last night. It's getting pretty humiliating. By the time I reach these positions, I am so frustrated with my inability to make something more concrete of the games that I lack the objectivity to be patient and find what's there. None of my games this year have been theoretical endgames so far - maybe with the exception of the two drawn rook endgames that I won (but those came before the drought began). The trouble is more a matter of concrete calculation and my willingness to suspend disbelief and concentrate on seeing if there's anything there.

Up until now, my opponent, who had the white pieces, had put in one heck of a game for someone rated 1490-odd, and he would assuredly have done even better if he hadn't gotten into an ugly time scrape. I scrounged a pawn in the transfer to the endgame and managed to... make very little of it, and the best I could see was this reduction to two pawns versus a bishop, a reduction that I also pointedly misplayed ( I should have been up about 2 tempi on this position, which might well have been enough to win easily. So... here we were. He had just played Kc4 and then extended his hand in a draw offer, and, quite demoralized by this point, I accepted.

It's a draw right, we're all agreed? I mean come on - he munches the b-pawn with his king and then swings the bishop over to guard h1 and that's it...

HA! Take a look at 1...h3 2.Kc3 Kg3 3.Kxb2 Kf4! 4.Ba2 Ke5 0-1. Yeah, that one I found without Fritz. I just set it up on my board at home to sulk, and there it was, gleaming at me with all of the evilness that a couple of hunks of plastic can muster, and I was left to wonder what in the world was wrong with me. So it continues, and I'm left to pout over my own foolishness. Chess can be pretty tough medicine.


Blogger BlunderProne said...

Wow, sorry to hear about your slump. I wrote about the psychological element that gets in the way of consistent application of knowledge.

Remaining objective ( or "Spock"-like) is tough. I have been in your shoes a few times. For every game you enter at this point, the psychological component is heightened because you feel that you "MUST" win... its your time... you are x100's points higher rated than so and so... but these end up being blockers. The 1490 player is a rising scholastic player, the laws of probability are in his favor from an ELO standpoint as well.

Things I ahve done to pull myself out of the "funk" included: Playing UP in an even harder section at the next event. The games are more meaningful, the losses don't hurt as bad and the wins are sweet. AS hard as it is, I practice going into each round with an attitude that i have nothing to lose... more of a game psych up than anything... a sort of self speak/ inner coaching... to offset any psychological factors that are looming.

One final comment, I noticed your early setup in the sicilian against your opponent closely resemble the St.George... I never had much luck with that line ( yes I played it once back in a day... who can't resist an opening named after thier patron saint)as it allowed white too much of the center... especially where he was playing NC3 and closed style. It looked like your game was somewhat cramped. Could you send me the PGN?

8:39 AM  
Blogger transformation said...

forgive my inclusion off topic, but time to time, i have big posts, as you do, and this one today aught not to disappoint. warmly, dk

12:30 PM  

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