28 September 2014

Playing all Night

Sometimes I play online blitz or bullet all night long. Sometimes this reckless behavior stems from trying to swing my way through a slump.* After I lose several games that I should have won, I keep playing until my performance improves. Other times I play all night because I am angry and cannot sleep, or I cannot sleep because there is trouble in the neighborhood. Maybe sleeplessness stems from my dogs being agitated and noisy, or due to travel or stress.

Last night I had a three hour blitz session relating to care some family responsibilities.

These all night sessions generally produce more losses than wins. My errors are often elementary. These games fill my database with intructive errors that can be used teaching beginners.

On my previous move prior to this position, I could have snatched the pawn.

Black to move

Instead of moving my king, forcing my opponent's king to b5, I played Qb8 and stalemated my adversary.

This position is less elementary.

Black to move

One move gives me an advantage, all others lose. My opponent drew the game with repetitive checks after my Kf7.

In this position from an Exchange French, Nxe5 is simple and correct.

Black to move

I played Nxd4 and quickly found my position hopelessly lost.

Here I had an advantage against a player rated more than 400 Elo above me.

White to move

I considered 42.Kxg5, but played the inferior 42.Kh3. After 42...Re3 43.Kg4  Rxb3 44.Rxa5 Rb2, I stillcoul have taken the g-pawn and been better.

White to move

Instead, things remained balanced with 45.Kf5 Rxh2 46.Ra7+ Ke8 47.d6 Re2 48.Kf6 h3 49.Rh7 h2

White to move

Here 50.a5 is the only move that maintains equality. Alas, the last few moves have been sheer panic after blowing a nice position. I played 50.Kxg5 and resigned a few moves later.

Happily, I won six of the next seven games. The one blemish in that series in the stalemate above.

*A baseball metaphor. See "You just swing through it."

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