Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Underdogs come up trumps

A good eve for the underdog at Melbourne Chess Club. I didn't see much of the games so all I can say is that William Maligin was an exchange up against Voon in and ending, and Carl had the Bishop pair against Jack. Though I'm not sure you can really class either as underdogs in those ties.

Tanya played really well in our game and probably could've got a serious advantage at one point. I have a lot of time for Tanya. She's been coming to the club for ages, even when it had more of a male-dominated atmosphere. Like all of the women at the MCC now, she's not only fiercely competitive but she's very sporting, sociable and nice too. I think there would be a lot fewer women at the club than there are now if it hadn't been for people like Tanya & Sarah Anton (and of course Elizabeth Warren) having those qualities and sticking it out when the atmosphere wasn't as good as it is now.

That said, I think I've pinpointed why I'm not playing better in this tournament: I'm giving 100% concentration and effort to only a few moves per game. In this game the sequence beginning with 22. Bf8 and ending in 29. Ba6 was the only part I worked really hard on, and I think it gives black a decent advantage. My brain-fade of the week came on 16. Rac8? which is almost losing. Like last week, I just 100% missed Bh3.

The end-game was interesting. I was so focussed on "improving my position bit by bit" that I forgot to look at ending as a whole and before I knew it I'd improved the position into a dead draw featuring some lovely isolated doubled pawns, and a King tied to my connected past-ie (all of which were irrelevant! :D)

I think I'll take a break after this tournament and hopefully come back refreshed for the Hjorth Open later in the year. I played quite well at Cup Weekend in 2013 and had that feeling of being concentrated for every move...

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