Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall

So tonight I played the final round of a club tournament against someone rated 1853. 

Normally I spend the week prior to a club game prepping since as you would assume generally I know what the other club members play.  Oddly, even though this was someone I know fairly well it's also someone I had never played against before.  In fact, for all of our conversations about chess we had never discussed anything specific that I can recall.

So I went into this somewhat blind.  All I knew was that he plays 1. d4...but since I had White even that bit of knowledge didn't do me any good.

For some reason I decided that he was probably a classical player so I figured he'd answer 1.e4 with ...e5.  As it turned out I was correct.  So my plan was to play my first even Ruy Lopez Worrall over the board.  Nope, it was a Berlin.

As it turned out it was to be an off night for my opponent.  He dropped a pawn right out of the opening and then thought he had a tactic to win it back but missed an intermezzo and was down a knight for a pawn.  I had six pawns, a knight, a queen, and a rook.  He had seven pawns, a queen, and a rook.  He resigned on move 16.

I won't bother posting the game since I don't really feel there is anything to be learned from it.  It was just a bad loss.

But the be all end all is that according to the ratings estimator I should wind up at 1720 after this is rated, putting me just below my peak rating of 1724.

I didn't get as much study time as I would have liked this week, but I was able to do some puzzles on my iPhone using Shredder Lite each day.  So better than nothing.  Last night I got in a solid hour and a half or so, but other than that I really didn't have much study time at all over the past few days.

Now I feel like I need to have a solid performance in my next tournament to give myself a real shot at making a run at 1800...I just feel like I'm ready for a surge.  This is how I felt when I went over 1600 for the first time and when I went over 1700 for the first time.

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