Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keeping your feet on the ground

Last night I lost my game of chess. This statement would undoubtedly bring a different intensity of emotions to different chess players. I don't expect anyone feels good after losing a game, but I've seen a range of emotions that stretch from magnanimous through to anger, tears, excuse making and ignorantly rude and I'd like to remind people that its just a game we play. Take a look at disasters such as which has just happened on the Eastern coast of North America if you want to get upset about something!

If you give everything of yourself in your game, try your hardest, and just get beaten by the better player on the day that is nothing to be upset about. Luckily I can say that this year all the games I've lost have fallen within this scenario. So, I repeat, last night I lost my game of chess. I was playing IM Guy West and took him out of any preparation on move 1 by playing 1.c4 for the first time in my life! My idea was that Guy is incredibly difficult to prepare for as he can play almost anything. So I decided to just develop, get a fairly level position and then play the game from the middlegame. I wanted to fight for space in the centre and not allow myself to get over run. I was also prepared to take risks to open lines and directly attack his king if the position arose. Well, the game went pretty much to plan, then I gave up a pawn for not quite enough. Guy defended excellently and took the full point in a nervous finale where we played the last 20 moves with less than 5 minutes each, and the final 15 moves using our 30 second increment.
After the game we had a laugh about our lack of preparation for each other, but didn't really analyse much as it was already late when we finished. Guy had been visibly nervous during the game and was visibly relieved after winning the game. It keeps his tournament alive, and he shares first place in the MCC Open with FM Dusan Stojic who beat Richard McCart. Ari Dale moved into third place outright with a win over Jim Papadinis. I didn't see much of this game, which was a bit surprising as they were playing right next to me. However, I thought Jim was an exchange up early on while Ari had a ton of play for it. Jim's body language seemed to indicate he was getting himself untangled, and then the room heard an "Oh God!" which signaled that Jim had miscalculated an exchange and had lost a piece. So Ari is a point behind the 2 leaders and I'm a further point behind in 4th place where I'm joined by Jason Chew, Peter Fry, Richard McCart, David Beaumont and IM Mirko Rujevic.

This was the end of the game between Dusan Stojic and Richard McCart (though I couldn't testify to the exact position). Dusan here played 1.f4 and Richard played 1..e5 looking to create a passed pawn in the centre. Dusan quickly shot out with 2.g5! creating an outside passed h-pawn and winning the game.

The next round is not for 2 weeks as the tournament takes a break for the Cup Weekender. In the meantime I hope Malcolm Pyke recovers as he has had to withdraw from the tournament due to illness (it seems to be that time of the year for illnesses) and that whether you win, lose or draw your next game, you give your all and enjoy your game. :)

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