Monday, March 30, 2009

Reykjavik Open 2009 Rd. 7

Well, what had so far been a dismal tournament has now officially sunk below anything I ever imagined in my worst chess nightmares. Sorry, I have nothing positive to say on this, because that is the truth. Besides shedding a boatload of rating points, I feel as if my opponents play as perfectly as computers and there is little I can do about it. Today I faced the lowest rated opponent I have faced in ages, only 1660 ELO. I am more than 400 points higher rated, so my statistical chances are supposed to be about 99%, if I recall correctly. Well, this opponent played as mistake-free as any of the much higher rated opponents I have faced. I kept finding devious little ways of trying to win in the endgame, but she never fell for a single one, though in my past experience 1600 level players would have fallen for at least one of them. I know it's just how I feel right now, but I feel like I should give up chess. If I were prone to that sort of thing, I would weep.

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2009"]
[Site "Reykjavik, Iceland"]
[Date "2009.03.30"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Cross, Ted"]
[Black "Finnbogadottir, Tinna"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B34"]
[WhiteElo "2076"]
[BlackElo "1660"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6
Ah, of course. Every game I saw in the database had her playing consistently with 2...e6, so naturally she varies now. It's what I thought I should do yesterday, but didn't and paid the price.
3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Be3 Nf6 6. f3
I am sure she didn't know this, but this was a perfect opening choice against me, because I do not allow the normal dragon, yet she got me into it. Now I have to play an opening I don't know.
6...Bg7 7. Nc3 O-O 8.Qd2 d5 9. exd5?!
This shows my lack of knowledge of this version of the dragon.
9...Nxd5 10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. c3 Rb8 13. b3?
A terrible move (see, I am the only one who makes mistakes these days!). I could have had a slight edge with 13. Qxd5 cxd5 14. O-O-O
13...Qa5 14. b4 Qe5
Better is 14...Qa3! 15. Rc1 Bf5 16. Bc5 Rfd8 17. Qe3 Qb2! 18. Be2 Bd3! 19. Kf2 Bxe2 20. Rb1 Qxa2 21. Ra1 Qb2 22.Rab1 Qxc3 23. Qxc3 Bxc3 24. Kxe2 and black should win this.
15. Rc1 Bf5 16. Bc4 Bh6 17. Kf2 Rfd8 18. Qe2 Bxe3+ 19. Qxe3 Qxe3+ 20. Kxe3
You see, even with a less than stellar opening, I have fought back to a slightly better endgame. If my opponent only played like a normal 1600 player, I could expect to win this!
20...Rd6 21. Rhd1 Rbd8 22. Bb3
I played this because in my past experience, this level of player, more often than not, likes to trade down, and this looks like a very plausible plan here, though in fact I would likely win if she did. So, naturally she doesn't.
Of course. If 22...Rxd1 23. Rxd1 Rxd1 24. Bxd1 I am pretty sure I could win this given my centralized king.
23. Rxd6 exd6 24. Rd1 Re8 25. Bxe6
The computer likes 25. Kf4 better, but it just leads to equality after 25...Bxb3 26. axb3 d5 27. Rd2 Re1 28. b5 cxb5 29. Rxd5 a6 30. h4 Rb1 31. b4 =.
25...Rxe6+ 26. Kd3 Kf8 27. c4 Ke7 28. a4 Kd7 29. Rd2 Kc7 30. Re2 Kb6
Of course she doesn't trade rooks like a normal 1600 player often would.
31. a5+ Ka6 32. Rb2
My move isn't really a mistake, but easier to play would be 32. Re4 c5 33. Kc3 Rxe4 34. fxe4 h5 35. g3 cxb4+ 36. Kxb4 f6 37. Ka4 Kb7 38. Kb5 a6+ 39. Kb4 Kc6 40. Kb3 Kc5 41. Kc3 f5 42. exf5 gxf5 43. h3 d5 44. cxd5 Kxd5 45. Kd3 Kc5 46. Ke3 Kb4 47. Kf4 Kxa5 48. Kxf5 Kb4 49. g4 =
32...f5 33. Kd4 Re5 34. h4?!
I keep making my life harder than it needs to be. Better is 34. Rd2.
34...f4 35. Rd2 c5+ 36. bxc5 Rxc5 37. Kc3 Kxa5 38. Rxd6 Rh5 39. Rd5+??
Strange. I looked at this move first and thought it didn't work. Then I looked at the correct move, 39. Rd4 and wasn't sure if it quite worked or not. When I looked at my current terrible move again, I thought I saw something better. I just miscalculated. Drawing would be 39. Rd4 Rxh4 40. g4 g5 41. Rd5+ Kb6 42. Rxg5 Rh3 43. Rb5+ Kc6 44. Kd4 Rxf3 45. Rf5 Rf1 46. Rf6+ Kc7 47. Rf7+ Kc6 =.
39...Rxd5 40. cxd5 Kb6 41. Kd4 Kc7 42. Ke5 Kd7?
The first and only mistake that she makes in the entire game! Flat out winning is 42...a5 43. h5 a4 44. hxg6 hxg6 45. Kd4 Kd6.
43. Kxf4 a5 44. Ke4 a4 45. Kd4 Kd6 46. g3??
I blow it. I could have held the draw with 46. Kc4 a3 47. Kb3 Kxd5 48. Kxa3 Ke5 49. Kb3 Kf4 50. Kc4 Kg3 51. Kd4 Kxg2 (51...Kxh4 52. Ke5 Kg3 53. Kf6 Kxg2 54. f4 Kg3 55. Kg5 h5 56. Kxg6 =) 52. f4 Kg3 53. Ke5 h5 (53...Kxh4 54. f5 gxf5 55. Kxf5 =) (53...Kg4 54. h5 =) 54. f5 gxf5 55. Kxf5 =).
46...a3 47. Kc3 Kxd5 48. h5 a2 49. Kb2 Kd4 50. Kxa2 Ke3 51. f4 Kf3 52. Kb3 Kxg3 53. hxg6 hxg6 54. f5 gxf5 55. Kc3 f4 56. Kd2 Kg2 0-1
Of course, playing the stellar way that she did, she deserves the win. I just don't understand how a 1600 player plays like this. I know she did it on her own, because she rarely left the board, so congratulations to her, and massive frustration for me.

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