Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The End of the Match

Well today the championship match is finished. Really it was over after the champion went up three wins without losing but the players continued to play on until the finish. A couple of poor games in the middle of the match did the challenger in. You might be thinking that I am discussing Anands victory today in the Anands-Kramnik world championship, but actually I’m talking about the slightly less prestigious Gluckie-Chaisson Match .

Going into the match I had planned out my goals and opening strategy for each game. Since I haven’t beaten anyone over 2000 in a rated game yet, my main goal was to win one of the games, secondly to try some new openings, and finally to try to get 1.5/4 points. Before the match Jamin and I agreed that the loser would pay the rating fee and that he had to get 3 points to claim the win. Here is a summary of my pre-match plans and how they worked out.

Game 1 – I expected to go into my new favorite French Defence line but Jamin spoiled my plans by playing the Sicilian. I feel comfortably in most Sicilian lines and aside from a couple of lapses I played fairly well but eventually succumbed in a pawn down endgame.

Game 2 – I planned to surprise Jamin with the Dutch, but I didn’t know the opening well enough to play a good game when he strayed from my studied line.

Game 3 – I originally planned to play a Kings Indian Attack against his French, but after he had played the Sicilian in game 1, I had to prepare for that again. When he played the French, I went back to what I had prepared for game 1, but I couldn’t remember the correct move order and lost a piece in the opening.

Game 4 – Was supposed to be either a Benko Gambit if I needed to win or a Queen’s gambit Accepted if I was hoping for a draw. When I found out Jamin played the Benko as black I decided that I shouldn’t play that opening, but I still needed a win, so I tried the King’s Indian. Here’s game 4 for you viewing pleasure.

Game 4

Going into the final game, I felt I had nothing to lose, so I planned on playing for a win at all costs. Before the game I went for a couple of after work drinks with co-workers and managed to get a few warm-up games in. One of my fellow engineers from Calgary had been talking about playing a game against me since he found out I played chess, so I laid my board on the table and promptly beat him four games in a row while munching on wings, ribs and beer. I left him there to drown his sorrows and headed over to Jamin’s house full of confidence, to finish our epic battle/masacre.

Gluckie,Jamin (2054) - Chaisson,Terry (1807) [E81]
Match Lloydminster (4), 28.10.2008

2008-10-28 Gluckie-Chaisson.pgn

Overall I have to say I'm very disapointed with this result. Before the match started I would have said the chance that I would lose all 4 games was very slim. Even though if you do the calculations based on our rating difference it works out to a 25-40% chance of a 4-0 shut-out, I honestly felt that if I played to the best of my ability there was no way I would lose every game. In fact, in my last 6 games against expert rated players I have only 1 loss and 5 draws! Two draws against Roy Yearwood (2158 & 2098), one draw each against Anastasia Kazakevich (2156), Sardul Purewal (2094), and Jamin Gluckie (2114) and the lone loss against Keith MacKinnon (2058). The performance rating for just those games is an impressive 2054. I expected to score somewhere between 0.5-1.5/4. But when you throw away a couple of the games the chances of a shut-out rapidly increases. The good thing about playing someone that much higher though is that you are not risking alot of points and I will will only drop maybe 24 points.

Another of my goals for this match was to try new openings, especially as black. The Dutch I played in game 2 was a flop and I didn't learn anything other than don't play what you don't know. In game four I did try out a new stratagy for me in the KID and I think I did learn something from that game.

This was the first time I have ever played a match. Would I play another----Yes, but hopefully perform better.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jamin Gluckie Match Part 2

Or I like to call it now the "Massacre at the Border" (MATB for short)

Jamin has come to the board each time better prepared than me and has definitely won the psychological battle.

Game 3

2008-10-03 Chaisson-Gluckie French.pgn

One Game left, where I will have black.

Game 4: To Follow