Sunday, March 3, 2013

Two Steps Up, One step back

I had been very optimistic about my chess recently.  In addition to feeling I was playing better OTB, my online blitz rating had broken through the 2000 barrier, my CFC rating reached a new high of 1916, and I am on the verge of getting an official FIDE rating that will likely be somewhere between 1925 and 2025, depending on my next FIDE rated game.  Ivan Wijetunge has an interesting blog called “Getting to 2000”, about his struggle to achieve this milestone as an adult player.  It has also been one of my goals since I started playing rated chess as a teenager many, many years ago.  I originally hoped to achieve it by the year 1988, which happened to be my cfc#, but It was impossible to do on PEI at the time when my average opponent was only 1600.  The way I have been playing recently, I was beginning to think it might actually happen this year.   

Then I went into Edmonton last weekend and played in the University Battle of Alberta.  The tournament was an unrated ten round active tournament over two days.  There were teams from U of Alberta, U of Calgary, and U of Lethbridge, but it was also open to all non-university players.  The time control was game/ 25 min with 5 second increments.  I thought it would be a good chance to get 6 games in on Saturday and I was hoping for a good result. I’ll post some positions and and let the reader decide for themselves what my level of play was.
Game 1 was against an unrated player.  After 29...c5 I played 30. Rf5? missing that cxb5 31 Rxb4 cxb3+ 32.Kxc3 axb5 loses a pawn.  I was still able to win the game,

Game 2 I was paired against 14 year old IM and future GM Richard Wang (2475).  Richard gave me a chance when he didn't take my Knight before sacking his bishop with 15. Bxh5.  I should have played Nd3+ and then taken on b2 but I thought my N would get trapped.  Instead I played 15...f4 and forced 16.Bxc5 and after that Richard continued his attack and won as expected.
Game 3 was against unrated Login McLeod who played 16.Nxg4?  I replied 17.Ndf3? which loses.  17.Ndf5! wins because it doesn't block the Q from getting to h5 and after Nxf2 creating threats for white.  I don't blame myself too much for this move though because it is not that easy to see.

Game 4 was against David Yao.  I played 13...e4! (diagram) and after 14.fxg6 I played 14...hxg6? instead of 14...exf3!  I was still able to win the game.

Game 5 was against Armine Arzumanyan (1600).  I had the game under control when she played 30...Rxc1.  I should have played 31.Qxc1 and won easily but instead I played 31.Rxc1? which loses to 31...Re2! 32.Qb4 Rxg2+ 33.Kxg2 Qxd5.

Game 6 was against an unrated player ? Zhang.  After he played 10...Nxe4 I played 11.Bxa8? instead of 11.fxe4!  The game was full of blunder on both sides.  I made the last blunder when I lost a piece with 10 sec left on my clock but won when he misshit his clock with 2 seconds left and his time ran out.

After game 6 I drove back to Lloyd.  I had told the TD that I wouldn't play rounds 7-10 before the tournament started.  I probably played at a 1500 ??

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