Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Confession #1: I suck at chess

I played in the U1200 section of the World Open last week. I did horribly. I scored 3/9 points. Two wins, two draws, five losses.

I will post more, a lot more, when I have the heart to think about it. Right now, frankly, I am in the mode where I don't know why I bother with this fucking game. I can't believe I lost some of the games. I'm not one of those poseurs who says "I should have won." No. I lost because I played bad moves, so I deserved to lose no matter how much I may have been ahead.

One thing I will say, the U1200 section at the World Open is just brutal. Those fucking kids with hummingbird parents are annoying. I have never done this poorly in an U1200 section. What they say is true. The World Open is just different. For those that like analogies here is one:
World Open : Normal USCF :: Normal USCF : Internet.

Typically U1200 games are won and lost because of stupid simple tactics. These games were different. I have played up before, and this definitely felt like I was playing up, even though I went in rated 1180 or something.

Until the last day, my losses were fine. No dropped pieces, lots to learn, lots of great battles. By the last day, I had overdosed on chess, didn't care any more, was demoralized, burnt out, exhausted. I lost both games that day.

At any rate, I took copious notes while there, and will post more, including some games. But I figured, given the entire point of this blog, it is just bullshit for me to not 'fess up.

I didn't tell anyone because I was so stressed about the tournament. I didn't want to deal with people commenting to tell them how I was doing, to post games, to give my commentary. I wanted to focus on chess, not my blog.

That said, I think every chess enthusiast should do it once in their lifetime. There is nothing like it I have ever experienced in chess. It is like Mecca: do it once, and you will have spiritual fulfillment. Right now I don't feel that way, but overall I objectively see it was fun, I played the best I could (the first seven games anyway), and the losses will therefore be very instructive. I played the best I could, and still got my ass reamed by some of these whippersnappers.

There are at least two games I will post, my best win and my most heartbreaking loss. For the good game I was able to successfully pull off an exchange sacrifice and generate a nice attack against the King. For the tragic game, I had 2 1/2 points (out of four), was one point out of first, and had white. I was up three pawns about 20 moves in, and then played passively and lost. That game changed me. I realized after that game that, one, I wasn't playing your normal slacker U1200 player. Two, my confidence plummeted. I felt I had no idea how I lost, that I played my best, and that I was simply taken to school. That was a turning point, and after that I didn't win any more games. I drew one, and lost all the others.

There will be more, as I get more relaxed and less melodramatic.


Anonymous Rolling Pawns said...

Relax for some time, try to find some distraction or beat a few patzers on FICS - you will feel better. You should also take into account that kids can be underrated or progressing fast, I just played in the tournament where 1400-1500 rated kids beat some 1700+ or drew (like one 1500 with me). There is nothing more useful than these big tournaments where you play a bunch of games, especially as many as 9. The analysis of the games can provide you with the improvement strategy for the next half a year at least. If you publish the games people will comment on them, so you will see where it went wrong.

7/08/2009 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Grandpatzer said...

Being up a lot and then throwing it away is my modus operandi. The last endgame I posted was me drawing a position I should lose, after I had been up +4-5 for a large part of the game. Quit infringing on my copyright!

Actually, in my ICC blitz the last few months I've felt the same way: my opponents seem to play stronger than their rating suggests. And not in a "using computer or book" way (although there's a fair amount of the latter).

I try to ignore ratings and play the board. At tournaments I try not to see my opponent's rating until after the game.

7/08/2009 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous darkhorse said...

You broke a big rule in open tournaments. Never play in your section if your rating is close to the next class. Underrated kids will destroy you and your rating. Far worse, you will go to the tournament overconfident and with a strong hope of winning a prize. That's a recipe for disaster and disappointment. Don't do this to yourself. It is far healthier to play up.

Underrated kids are a fact of life in US chess. They generally play each other, and adult rating leaks to their ranks rather slowly. The rating system is inherently flawed in this regard.

Don't read this as "fear kids", since some will be stronger and some will be weaker that you, but never assume that your average 1200 kid deserves a 1200 rating. S/he is normally about 200 points above that.

There is a good way of addressing this problem. Shallow your pride and play lots of kids. You will learn a lot about how to handle them, and your rating will go down, so you can enter the prize zone for a lower class. There is nothing wrong with this. Most USCF members are kids, so logic dictates that your rating is the one that is inflated by playing adult-biased tournaments.

7/08/2009 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Rolling Pawns: yes, the scholastic players are quite variable. The ones at the World Open are ready--they have had the summer to play, their parents just invested 200+ dollars into the tournament, and you're damn sure most of these parents aren't the standoffish type.

I will publish many of the games, and you are right this is a lot of games I can use to guide my study, focus on my weaknesses for some time to come.

One of my big weaknesses was being a pussy, getting a bit too passive when ahead.

On the plus side, I went 13 tournament games in a row before dropping a piece, and in round 8 of the World Open I dropped a Knight in an endgame where I was a pawn up. I frankly don't feel too bad about it. I was so tired, it's like swimming my technique gets worse as I get tired during a long event.

I have hit a new plateau in my chess of not dropping pieces left and right (surprisingly it has nothing to do with the circles in my opinion). what surprised me was that NOBODY I played dropped a piece. yes, there were some dropped pawns, but no dropped pieces, and no major tactical errors that I saw (I haven't Fritzed yet, though, so I'm sure he will find some).

It will take some time to process this that's for sure.

GP: lol, I'm stealing your chess strategy! I avoided looking at ratings for the most part, didn't even write them in my game notebook. Ratings were just completely useless. There were some people in my section (the guys who came in the top 10) who were just brutally good (compared to the rest of the section).

I was confident going in. I had just won an U1300, I had drawn against a 1900 in another tournament. I thought I was well on my way to my goal of 1400.

Man, talk about getting fed some humble pie.

Darkhorse: That is very interesting advice, and frankly I think I would have had more fun playing up, in the U1400 section. As it was, I had too much pressure on myself.

Good idea to play lots of kids. Funny Nigel Davies has a new CD or DVD out called "how to play kids" lol.

7/08/2009 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Tommyg said...

Hey BDK!

Forgive me if I overstep here and if I do, just tell me to bug off.

I have yet to win more then 2 games in any tournament I have entered and am usually "happy" to win one game. Don't get me wrong I want to is definitely more fun.

What I would suggest is that maybe you spend some of your chess time playing through more master games, and not just for educational purposes. There doesn't have to be a pedagogical reason, you can do it just for fun.

Playing through games of players I like, (even when they are way over my head) is a lot like listening to a good record. I love to get a cup of coffee and play through a couple of Petrosian games! In the best games I often feel taken away to another place. I read the annotations, but only superficially when I am playing through games for fun.

I think that playing through annotated games just to appreciate the game itself can a) Lift our spirits and b) Foster a different sort of enjoyment and appreciation of the game.

Case in point: A few weeks ago I went to a tournament and thought that because I had improved, my score would also be better. I played one good game and got HAMMERED in the rest. I was a bit distraught. Then I decided to read Tal-Botvinnik, 1960 and fell back in love with the game. Who knows if I learned anything from that book at this particular time and quite frankly who cares?? I enjoyed playing through the games and really enjoyed Tal's writing, and that is enough for now!!

We don't always have to play through games for "study" purposes. It is okay(and healthy) just to play through a game of your favorite player(s) just for fun or relaxation. Chess time doesn't always have to be results oriented.

I hope I am not overstepping with this reply, but I really have found that enjoying master level games in this way ALWAYS reinvigorates my love for the game itself.

Heck I have to do this with music from time to time as well! And for that I always go to Aretha Franklin!! (sometimes Coltrane or Beethoven!)

I hope this is helpful and taken with the spirit with which it was given.

7/08/2009 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tommyg: no offense taken that is a very helpful message. I was definitely too results focused as I went into this tournament. I had to do all sorts of tricks to keep myself from focusing on ratings, money, and such (hence my long-winded mathematical analysis of point distributions :)).

Just relaxed enjoyment of some good games sounds fun. I definitely enjoy doing that.

7/08/2009 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

PS Why the is it still OK for scholastics to write their move down before they play it, and why do they allow this practice at the World Open? I never understood why that was allowed in the first place. It is an anachronism.

7/08/2009 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tommyg said...

Is it illegal to write your move down first? I didn't know that!! I have always written my move down first as that is what Heisman and some other people have said to do....

7/08/2009 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tommyg said...

Page 55 of the USCF Rule book states that: "The player make first make the move, and then write it down or vice versa."

So I guess it is okay to do either, at least at USCF tournaments.

WOW, I do have too much free time in the summers when I the colleges are out and I am not teaching! :)

7/08/2009 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger wang said...

Well hopefully what I have to share about my last tournament experience will help cheer you up a bit. In the meantime a few points.

1) 9 rounds is a lot. I often feel beat up after 4 rounds in one day of G60, so yeah that's normal.

2) Dude, winning a chess game is hard. I had opponents who were up an exchange and a pawn against me in a winning position. I made them play very precise chess to win, in fact it took one of them 20moves to prove it, so yeah it is hard.

3) I can also say for myself that after 2 and half years of this stuff, I only know feel like I'm learning how to play chess. Learning, I just now feel that I am actually learning, not getting good, not mastering, just learning.

4) Kids suck! Their minds are far more pliable, and more than likely they don't have jobs and bills to worry about, so they can devote a lot more time to chess. The biggest thing is they see tactics so much more clearly than we do.

Cheer up, and don't do any chess shit for a few days, play some World of Warcraft instead :D

7/08/2009 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tommyg: My understanding is that rule has been changed, but for some reason it allows for the TD to negate the rule.


Wang: Yes, 9 rounds was just brutal, frankly. After seven games I was pretty much done (especially since some of them were over four hours long).

7/08/2009 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Tommyg said...

Hey BDK,

You are absolutely correct! The rule has been changed:

I guess it was changed because of fears of cheating due to the appearance of the Monroi as a score keeping device.

That makes sense. At USCF events the TD can allow people to enter moves onto paper score sheets. Maybe the Monroi should be outlawed?!?

Anyway, now I know that I have been breaking THAT rule at my tournament games. That makes me feel good!

Anyway, all that is besides the point.

What is World of Warcraft anyway??

7/08/2009 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger katar said...

You don't suck at chess. Sounds like you held your own in the early rounds, until fatigue and some discouraging losses. Anyway 9 games is way too much for any normal person to sit thru, and like you said there is a huge gap in playing strength between those "tournament players" and the local "club players". My buddy played at a big tournament, finished poorly, but he missed a win against the tournament winner in Round 1 and his other losses were tense games full of fight. He had played much better than his final result would suggest, and maybe that's the case for you. I do like cake but i wouldn't want to eat nothing else for a week. That's like the World Open. :)

7/09/2009 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Katar: Thanks for the vote of confidence. Time gives some perspective, and I'm starting to not feel as bad. I was glad to participate, not sure I'd do it again, and think 5-6 games of that length is probably my limit for a single tournament.

7/09/2009 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger es_trick said...

Did the moderator disapprove of the comments I posted yesterday?

7/09/2009 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

es_trick I posted your comment but it was on a different post.

7/09/2009 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger es_trick said...

Are you referring to my inquiry re: the US Open?

I posted a somewhat long attempt to console and encourage you yesterday, but can't see it anywhere. Perhaps in got lost in transmission?

7/09/2009 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

es_trick: sorry about that, but I never saw it! I checked my spam box, trash, etc, but somehow it didn't get through for moderation.

7/09/2009 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

briefest hello from an old fellow blogger on hiatus: i have not read comments above, nor have time, still assiduous in job markets. **

But duly note, my faith in your intelligence, ability to improve, and pretty much do whatever you intend to accomplish is palpable.

if you are not 1400 uscf yet or ever, it is because--among other reasons--you decide to feed your major relationships, academic excellent, athleticism, other writing, in short, having a life.

when my rating was peaky, chess was or is 'all that i ever do or did'. you don't advise, as you are smarter than the rest of us.

one tiny question, have you narrowed down your repertoire in a heuristical way, so that the opening tabaya's you are familiar with are very specific to you? just a gentle question, you know all this stuff, but the zoo is vast, and the less to know, the better--hard as it is to 'see' what we think we know :).

warmest, david korn

7/09/2009 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Robinson said...

It was made illlegal in USCF Rule 15c beginning Jan. to write your move down before making your move, however, sometime in 2008, TDs were given the option of allowing prewriting moves, under Rule 15c Variation 1. CCA events operate under this variation, as does my local chess club. Probably because older players grew up under the old rule which allowed pre-recording moves. But it is never legal to pre-enter a move into an electronic scoring device, as those devices display the resulting move on the screen. In FIDE rules, writing your move first constitutes note-taking and remains illegal. (Though it wasn't always, as Tal, and certainly others, would write down their move and allow the opposition to see it, to check their reaction. )

7/09/2009 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger es_trick said...

So, what I was saying was,

I can relate to how fatigue can affect one’s play in a long tournament. The last time I played in an 8 rounder, I started out 2-2, including an upset over a higher rated player. Finished by going 0-4. And the last time I played in a 6 rounder, I took a ‘strategic bye’ in the 5th round, hoping to conserve strength, and perhaps catch a tired opponent in the last round. I lost anyway.

Last fall I played in a five rounder, and was so out of gas in the last round (having just played a five hour game that ended in defeat in round 4) that I could not think at all. Ended up drawing with a lower rated player whom I had defeated previously in another event. Hence, the majority of tournaments I’ve played in in the past two years have been single day, 3 rounders.

I know how easy it is for discouragement to set in after a couple of tough losses, and though I’ve never done it myself, I understand why some players withdraw from a tournament if they start out poorly, not that you would have wanted to do that in Philly, given the amount of travel, expense, planning & anticipation that went into making the trip.

Anyway, I guess you just have to chalk that one up to experience. It is possible to develop mental and emotional resiliency over time. I think that’s one thing that I may actually be better at than when I played as a kid.


7/09/2009 05:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a serious chess player. What does dropping pieces mean? Is that the same as hanging a piece, i.e. leaving a piece en prise and not seeing that it is attacked? And why is it healthier to play up? It seems you would take even more of a beating. If you were playing Bridge you'd probably be getting beaten by blue haired grannies so you have to pick your poison.

7/09/2009 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Polly said...

Re: rule about notation. USCF rule had been it was up to player as to whether to move first, then write or visa versa. FIDE rules state that player must move first then notate.

When the Mon Roi came out, the rules committee decided that the USCF rule should follow the FIDE rule. This was passed by the delegates in 2006. It was hotly debated, especially by coaches who encourage their students to write the move first.

The rule came up again and the delegates voted to leave it, but to allow the variation that players can write their move down first, and then play it on the board. Players using a Mon Roi have to make the move first, then record it.

Since it's an acceptable variation it does not have to be announced. An organizer could state that the variation was not allowed, and that all players have to move first, then record.

When the rule change first was proposed I was against it since I thought it was good for kids in particular to write the move down first. I felt writing first would help the kid slow down, and think about their move more before making it. After a few incidents with kids writing their move and my move before making their move on the board, I started rethinking my opinion.

I don't mind if the opponent writes the move down first, but when they keep changing the move on their notation, then I think feel like the player is abusing the rule.

In fast controls I think it's a stupid thing to do, because you end out writing your move on your time. I would rather use my opponent's time for notation as much as possible.

If this all makes no sense, you're right, but that's how the rules work sometimes.

BTW: Don't beat yourself up over the tournament. Between the kids, the intensity of the overall tournament, and being near the top of the section it's a lot to deal with.

7/10/2009 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, the pain of a crappy tournament... I feel for you. Random things that came to mind:
A: You may have not deserved to win, but that doesn't mean that you deserved to lose either.
B: You may have played bad moves, but that doesn't mean you weren't unlucky either.
C: You're not alone in feeling nine games is a lot. I've never played a nine-rounder. Personally I find six rounds is enough - by the fifth game I start to wonder what I was thinking when I decided to sit in front of a chessboard for a whole weekend.
D: Despite the title, this blog shouldn't be a confession - after all, it's not as if you're on trial. We're here to commiserate, not persecute.
E: Got too stressed out for a tournament and did miserably - hey, that sounds familiar. Wait, that happened to me once! After it happened I ended up not playing chess for a year. One way of dealing with it, I guess.
F: World Open the Mecca of chess? No way, too pricey!
G: Every single one of those kids you're playing is underrated. Unless you happen to beat one, of course. Then their rating is about right.

7/10/2009 05:19:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Great comments, helpful and informative. At work now, will have to respond later.

7/10/2009 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

It takes quite some time to get battle-hardened in chess. Both psychologically and in stamina. You feel that you are better than your 1180 rating. I'm sure you are right. You know it and you have to stick to what you know. To what you felt before the tournament. Because you aren't misleading yourself.

What happens here is quite well explicable and covered by your rating-win-loss-statistics. Especially when you add fatique to the equation.

One move can change the outcome of a game without us knowing why. I tried to blog about this once from the point of view of the chaos theory. About the butterfly causing a hurricane elsewhere.

Once I had the same opening two weeks in a row. There was only one move different. In the first game I was walking behind the facts all the game and got crushed. In the second game I almost didn't need to think since the game almost played itself and I crushed my opponent.

This kind of extreme effects of a single move we don't understand are quite common. It makes the outcome of games somewhat of a gamble. And that is where normal statistical anomalies kick in. Which we try to explain by describing 'our form of the day'. But 4 such moves in 4 games can result in 4 losses in a row. Without you playing bad.

7/10/2009 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Anonymous,
Yeah dropping a piece = hanging a piece. And I think the original poster meant that by playing up a section you avoid playing all the underrated people in your own rating section. Trouble is then you start losing to the underrated people in the section higher up. Maybe that's psychologically easier to accept since they're higher rated than you already.
Personally I don't really think you should be playing up a section unless you're losing motivation playing the same people over and over again and you're looking for a bigger challenge. Chess players have big egos: they play up because they feel they're better than the other players in their rating class and they don't want to risk their rating points against them. It isn't true - until you can consistently beat players in your own rating section (in which case you would soon move into the next section anyway) you have no business playing up.

"One move can change the outcome of a game without us knowing why." - Temposchlucker
Well, find out then! :-)

7/10/2009 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

First, of all the years I choose NOT to go to the WO, why was it this year? Damn, I would have helped you have some fun. Maybe next time.

Secondly, in addition to all the great things said already, the U1200 section is like the wild wild west. There are a lot of sharks attracted to this section that don't have a rating anywhere close to 1200. Big money attracts them and even though the anti- sandbagging rules are in place, there are those who squeak through. Plus the kids are on a different tradjectory. You are much better off playing up a section.

Thirdly, Almost everyone starts out thinking " This is MY year to win big money." The anxiety is high along with the anticipation. This is a recipe for failure. Beyond the 64 squares, the 32 pieces, and the clock, you have the psychological game to play. This gets taxed when you add teh anxiety of thinking you should win at least something.

Like going to a casino, you have to get in the mindset that you are spending money for your hobby. This is not a bank function. I pay the 300 bucks for the experience, the comraderrie, the characters to meet, blogger fodder, and especially taking the time to sit in "the big room" with the GMs and watch some top notch action.

Come to Sturbridege in August.... have some fun with Blunderprone.

7/11/2009 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Transform: I need to work on my openings for white, definitely. I just switched to 1 d4 about a month ago, and I don't yet feel like I know the positions. That usually takes about six months in my experience, to really feel like I know what's going on in a major new opening that I see a lot (if my switch to the Caro is any indicator, anyway; I still feel like I don't really understand the Slav even though I've been playing it just as long, I rarely see it in practice).

I'm taking some time off from chess until I want to play it again, but one of my first priorities will be getting a handle on how to play d4.

My losses weren't due to such opening issues, though.

Robinson and Polly: It seems really weird to allow TDs to have the call with this rule. Either allow it, or don't. Yes, there are lots of kids told to do it. That needs to stop.

Polly, yes it was intense. If I were to go into it again tomorrow, I would just be in the middle of my section :)

es-trick: If I do the World Open again (and I probably won't), I will take two byes strategically placed to maximize my rest. Nine rounds of such slow games is too much for my brain to handle.

I am usually not that bad at rebounding from losses, though it depends on the loss. If it is a game where I was clearly ahead, then it is particularly painful and for some reason harder to recover from.

Aziridine: good thoughts. I admire those that played the nine full rounds at high performance. Frankly, I think if in the last two rounds I had a chance to redeem myself (e.g., get in top 10) I would have had an easy time motivating myself. As it was, I was just demoralized and had trouble even caring. This is unusual for me, usually I am very competitive. Hence, my hats off to those that stay competitive a full nine rounds. My brain ran out of care.

The thing is, this blog started out when I was truly a beginner. I had no qualms about posting how much I sucked. Now I'm better at chess, and have some pride in my play (yes, I know that is funny given my low rating, but I thought I was getting a lot better with my winning my division a couple of months ago in a tournament, and drawing a couple of much higher-rated players in tournament play). Hence, I develop pride about admitting here when I do poorly.

That is dishonest. This blog is about the honest ups and downs about an adult-onset chess enthusiast who pretty much sucks at chess (relative to the average USCF player), and if I just post when good things happen, I'm painting an inaccurate picture of the adult-onset chess enthusiast. I want people to come here and see themselves, the ups and downs, not just the ups.

Yes, that is sort of egotistical of me to think anybody even gives a fuck, but I give a fuck so I guess that is what matters most. :)

7/13/2009 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: excellent points, especially about one move having a butterfly effect on a position that I don't understand until later.

I can imagine that the World Open is the closest I'll ever get to what your experience is like in Corus.

Blunderprone: Great stuff. I definitely need to treat it as a vacation expenditure, and that is what I tried very hard to do in my mind. However, no matter how hard I tried, I still built up expectations, fantasies about coming home with the 5000 dollar first-place prize.

After one loss that I felt fine with (the guy just outplayed me and I was fine with that), he was like 'I've only played 15 games so I can't win more than 1500 bucks, but I am much better than my rating.'

His honesty was refreshing, and he ended up with just five out of nine points. I was sure he would come in first, but at the top of the section people were frankly kick ass, and I think many of them would have won at an U1400 section at a normal tournament.

Describing it as the Wild West is just perfect. I'm glad I was there.

One thing is people say MDLM burnt out doing the Circles. My hunch is this is partly true, but he won the U2000 section at the World Open. I bet that contributed in a big way to his burnout. To actually focus with the intensity required to do that is amazing.

He took clear first, 8/9 points. I now appreciate just how amazing that performance was.

I still don't even want to look at a chessboard and it has been a week. My hunch is it will be a month or so.

7/13/2009 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger es_trick said...

I was so disgusted with myself after going 2-6 in the event mentioned above, that I didn't even look at a chess board for a month.

Amazing thing was, my loss in the last round of that event was to a 900, the lowest rated player I ever lost to, (though he was probably 1300 strength).

After a full month away from the game, I came back and in the first round scored the biggest upset of my life, beating someone rated 650 points higher! Almost pulled off another upset of someone rated 450 points higher in round two, before falling back to my fishy ways. Have never come close to repeating that feat.

I wish I had some bio-rhythm read-outs for those two days.

7/13/2009 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger From the patzer said...

BDK your rating is falling in a difficult class. Beginners who still have plenty of room of improvement, people who just played some games at the start of their chess carreer and after that started to learn chess. ...

So dont feel bad losing against these guys and girls since just like you they are working on their chess. Maybe it's indeed better to play a class up next time.

7/15/2009 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Constructive criticism follows. Please dont consider me a troll.

Maybe its your training program holding you back and not your level of talent.

8/02/2009 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger es_trick said...

Just got done playing in the US Open. Played 8 of the 9 rounds, with a strategic bye in the 7th round when the 4, 6, & 9 day versions merged. Lost five, won three. Scored no upsets (got paired up three times against Experts) but got upset by Class D players twice (I'm currently in Class B).

(Remind me to make sure I have some very good reasons before I play in another long tournament.)
I took the plunge this time because the event was held in my hometown, so I got to visit with family on the side, and save on hotel expenses, too. Also met Polly Wright and some other nice people, and reconnected with a few old chess buddies and adversaries from years ago.

8/10/2009 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I don't know from experience, but the I've heard many stories about rampant sandbagging at these bigger events. The problem is prize money invites swine. Also I would expect that in a major tournament like this the U1200 section is were the unrated end up. Unrated players can be of a wide variety of strengths. Its also not unheard of for a foriegn rated player to come play in a US rated tournament and claim no rating when obtaining USCF membership.

As for writing moves down before playing them... I once posted a long article on this when I was blogging. I simply fail to see why anyone cares what someone else is doing at the board. Writing down moves, lines, variations during a game, either before or after played if not being aided by a computer or outside entity should in my mind be completely legal. The clock is there, use your time as you like.

8/21/2009 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Robinson said...

If I were allowed to take notes during the game, I would definitely be writing down all the candidates each turn and ticking them off as they're rejected, etc. This would definitely change the nature of the game. A whole new genre of chess books -- about efficient note-taking at the board -- would evolve. Then rules involving the use of electronic note-taking devices would be put in place, until it all escalates to the point of "let's see if my computer can beat your computer."

I don't care if my opponent plays his move first or writes his move first -- as long as it doesn't escalate to note-taking. But let's not pretend that there's not a reason for the rules and that note-taking would be okay for the game.

8/24/2009 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger companyman said...

There's a great proverb in Go (if you haven't heard of the game yet, try it!).

"If you lose, you play to learn. If you win, you play to teach."

Just something that came to my mind when reading about being too results oriented.

9/13/2009 08:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/18/2010 12:21:00 PM  

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