Calamity!

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Calamity!

Post by Bilbo on August 2nd 2009, 3:41 pm

The British championships started last week and I entered two tournaments, a weekend 5 rounder which finished today and I'm in the British Graded 100 starting tomorrow.

I played the worst I have ever played in my life and lost EVERY game in the weekend tournament. Mercifully in the 4th round I had no opponent so got a walkover win which spared the humiliation of an 0-5 drubbing but I played 4 and lost 4.

My previous tournament I entered I finised 2nd out of 51 and played great.

This tournament I just played so badly. I blundered my queen in the first game in time trouble and it completely destroyed me. In the next round the next day I was playing a woman with a terribly low grade who normally I would beat in half an hour and I blundered away a piece, and then in trying to win it back lost another and was quickly routed.

The third game I just didn't want to be there, played atrociously, lost a pawn and just resigned as I had no fight in me.

I was hoping to save some pride on the last day but turning up and finding out that because I was dead last and there were an odd number of players that I was forced to sit out (like the fat speccy ashmatic at school) and my confidence just evaporated.

I got a great position in the last game, actually using the ICS Kings Indian set up as white and again blundered a piece and got trounced.

I will put the games up later in the week. I was very pleased with the way I played the first up until the queen debacle, but after that I lost (and I mean COMPETELY LOST) my confidence and couldn't concentrate at all.

I did pull out of tomorrows tournament and got a refund, but a couple hours later actually went and reregistered thinking I shouldn't quit just because I'm losing but now my confidence is shot to pieces and I feel like the worst player ever.

I've only once lost twice in a row before and averaged 3 wins for every loss over the course of the season but now I feel like I cannot play at all.

Not the fault of the ICS guys, my best opening position in the tournament came when I finally got to use one of their reportoire lines but I just played so so badly.

The mistakes I made were unbelievable, just shocking blunders, leaving pieces en prise etc.


So anyway I have to rally again for battle tomorrow. It's a whole new tournament now so hopefully I can erase the horror of the last one, but if I lose the opener I think I will have to go into chess rehab or something Sad

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Re: Calamity!

Post by HangingKing on August 2nd 2009, 4:02 pm

Good luck for the new tournament.
Crash 'em all !

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Re: Calamity!

Post by cofresi on August 2nd 2009, 4:14 pm

So what is the reason then? Too much blitz?
Something must be behind this, and even though it's tough, you have lots of material to go work through. Sit down and catch at least the first impressions of what happened.

I think you should take a hard look and try to identify what has created this bad stretch. Hopefully it will help for the next tourney.

I just played in a tournament last weekend and did rather well. Won three out of four games, and the loss was a fight to the end, when my position collapsed because I simplified into a lost ending with fewer pawns. But almost all players were rated higher than I am.

Good luck with the next tourney!

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Re: Calamity!

Post by hoopy on August 2nd 2009, 7:24 pm

This is interesting. My blitz play has dropped from 1800 to 1350 although I'm now back at 1650) since ICS. My real chess has stabalised at 1850Playchess and 2200 ICC ( except when I play "chess?" I- I just seem determined to get him to 2000!!!

The point is since ICS I have broken every ICS rule including those I did not break before.

Am I upset? NO!!!

Nick Faldo did the same with his golf & then won the Open twice. Rebuilding your technique in any game will mean bad news before good. I still expect in a year to hit 2200 OTB.
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Re: Calamity!

Post by Bilbo on August 3rd 2009, 12:52 pm

Well the new tournament started today, the main one for me the British Graded under 100 and I won my opener which was a relief.

He actually played poorly, lost a pawn early and it was pretty easy to win from there on (although I was still tense throughout and breathed a huge sigh of relief when eventually resigned!).

It was a nice way to get my confidence back but considering he didn't play well I can't gauge whether I'm in better form now or if I will again collapse like a deck of cards against a strong attack or resiliant defence.

Still a win is a win, and I'm joint leading this tournament on 1-0 Smile

Next game tomorrow morning......I'm black.

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Re: Calamity!

Post by HangingKing on August 3rd 2009, 2:40 pm

What does "Graded under 100" means ?
Sorry but i do not know G.B. rating system, i saw on the tournament website i seems to be equivalent to 1400 rating, is that correct, or is it an instant rating calculated during the tournament or qualifications ?

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Re: Calamity!

Post by Bilbo on August 3rd 2009, 3:08 pm

Yeah its kind of equivilant to 1400 but not really. The old system (being replaced this month) had a negative curve which meant that players with lower ratings were being underated compared to the Elo system, a sort of deflation.

So currently 100 +1400 but now they have revised the deflation problem and 100 now becomes 120 to compensate. So I guess that makes 100 equal to around 1500/1600.

Here's a wiki article on it

Comparison with the Elo rating system

Compared to the 'four-figure' rating system used by FIDE and other national federations, based on the Elo formula, the ECF formula is much less sophisticated. As a result, however, it is quite easy for a player to keep track of their own ECF grade from game to game whereas an Elo is a little more difficult to calculate. Conversion from ECF to Elo traditionally uses the formula:

ECF x 8 + 600 = Elo

This substantially deflates the predicted ELO grades of sub-master strength players compared to observations, so for players graded ECF 215 or below the ECF have issued the formula

ECF x 5 + 1250 = Elo

to replace it. This substantially inflates the Elo grades of much weaker players, but such players are less likely to need an international grade.

The current ECF board prior to their election expressed a desire to move to the Elo system within a few years subject to approval from ECF members.

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Re: Calamity!

Post by Bilbo on August 3rd 2009, 3:10 pm

Incidently the draw for the second round has just been posted online and I'm scheduled to play the winner of the tournament I just came dead last in, and I'm black.

cheers

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Re: Calamity!

Post by Blue Devil Knight on August 4th 2009, 4:58 am

Good luck. I know how it is to have a horrible tournament. Key is to look deep and hard at the blunders, to avoid the temptation to lock them in a closet and never look at them because they are so basic. Our visual system overlooks certain contacts between pieces, it is key to find out which types of contacts.

Keep at it bro'!

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Re: Calamity!

Post by Bilbo on August 4th 2009, 9:04 am

Cheers BDK,

I'm having a much better tournament this time around. I got a draw today with black against the winner of the weekend event and I was better, in fact he offered me a draw three times before I decided to accept it as although I felt I was better (guess we both did) I couldn't take advantage unless I risked opening the position up and I felt a draw against an in form player when I'm coming off of my worst ever run wasn't so bad.

So I'm currently on 1.5 from two games and I've got white tomorrow so can hopefully look forward to a game with good winning chances. I may even benefit by avoiding the big boys on 2-0 in the next round.....

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Re: Calamity!

Post by BobbyBlunder on August 4th 2009, 4:12 pm

Good helpful comments from BDK and Hoopy. So important to anticipate poor performance when breaking and rebuilding your game and remain willing to examine one's losses during the dark times.

I regret the time I did not spend analyzing my zero's instead of screwing them into a paper ball and tossing them into the waste basket.

I also regret the time I spent away from chess after poor results instead of perservering with studying and playing. Eventually it worked out but it cost me 20 years.

Of course it is easy to offer this advice. Dealing with the emotional torment is quite another ...

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Re: Calamity!

Post by Bilbo on August 5th 2009, 12:55 pm

I lost in a terrific game today. He played the Polish Defense, which I had never heard of let alone seen. Basically against my 1.d4 he played ....b5! which came as a shock.

I played the opening so well, I think it was one of the best games I've ever played in my almost one year career and I had a strategically won game but I couldn't see how to break through and win and then after I gave him time to regroup he defended well and I blundered in time trouble allowing a bishop fork of a rook and queen.

We were both in terrible time trouble and played the final 10 moves from 30 to 40 with me having around 14 mins for 10 and him having less than 5!

I couldn't believe how calm he was, I offered him a draw after my 39th move with him having only 10 seconds on his clock but he didn't hesitate and played the winning move.

I'll put it up in the post mortem section later, it was a really fine game and I very proud of the way I played the first 28 or so moves even if I didn't get the winning mate attack.

By the way, the correct way to storm the barricade was brilliant, a proper book example the type of win Tal made routine. When I put the game up I'll just put up to the potential winning move and see if you guys can work it out without a computer.

If I'd have found it over the board I would have been patting myself on the back for days, ah well maybe next time Very Happy

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Re: Calamity!

Post by HangingKing on August 5th 2009, 7:09 pm

Well 14 min is not so terrible time trouble, especially against an opponent who have just 5.

It's maybe because i play 15 0 games in majority, but even though, it's more than 1 min per move, just defend well and it's ok.

Anyway the tournament not finish, good luck for tommorow, and don't panic because of the time, play quiet moves.

I searched in my database, i found only 1 "recent" game of mine with or against polish (it was 1500 when i played it)
Sure it's not common...

1. d4 b5 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 a6 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 b4 6. Nbd2 bxc3 7. bxc3 Rb8 8.
Rb1 Nf6 9. Rxb8 Nxb8 10. O-O Be7 11. Re1 O-O 12. e4 Nc6 13. e5 Nd5 14. Qc2
g6 15. Nb3 d6 16. Ba3 Nf4 17. exd6 cxd6 18. Be4 d5 19. Bxe7 Nxe7 20. Bd3
Nxd3 21. Qxd3 Nf5 22. Nc5 a5 23. Qb5 Nd6 24. Qa4 Nc4 25. Rb1 Qc7 26. Ne5
Nxe5 27. Nxe6 fxe6 28. dxe5 Qxc3 {White resigns} 0-1

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Re: Calamity!

Post by Bilbo on August 5th 2009, 7:28 pm

I see you adopted the same opening setup as me. I was wary of taking the centre with 2.e4 also as I figured he'd be well prepared to play what I presumed would be the main line in an opening I've never seen before.

I actually got a great position out of the opening and really should have won. IF ONLY I WOULD HAVE STUDIED MONTH TWO OF ICS!!!

My positional play and understanding of basic opening ideas was great, I got a winning position but didn't know how to break through.

I am somewhat heartened that you also lost against it, we can't win em all I guess........

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Re: Calamity!

Post by HangingKing on August 5th 2009, 8:00 pm

I was black...
But till 26.Ne5 which is a blunder, the game is pretty much balanced, and would normally had finished in a draw.

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Re: Calamity!

Post by HangingKing on September 6th 2009, 4:35 pm

Just came back from holidays, after a good break from chess. I have played some chess games again these latest days and it is also a calamity !
I made one blunder per square centimeter of the board, like giving free queen or rook...

I'm upset with myself of such inconsistency.
Hope it won't last.

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Re: Calamity!

Post by HangingKing on March 2nd 2010, 5:12 pm

After having made good progress the last few months, reaching 1840 elo and having regular performance around 1750 i suffer this month from massive failure and don't know why ?!

I mean i'm not particularly tired or unattentive, and i have the feeling i play like usual, but i'm stuck in the 1450-1550 pond ! I do unusual blunders even if i try to concentrate.

Did you experienced such calamity on month 10 ? Maybe it is the too much exercise effect, i don't know, but i'm quite upset right now. Seems like i do not know how to play chess anymore...

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Re: Calamity!

Post by Blue Devil Knight on March 3rd 2010, 2:03 pm

You might be approaching a new growth spurt! Often growth is jostling around of ideas that need to settle, and there is a dip before a jump. Patience maybe? If it isn't that could you be getting soft on tactics as you emphasize strategy so much in this course?

This game can be so frustrating all the effort and then a stupid mistake(s) and it's like "Why the hell do I bother playing?"

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Re: Calamity!

Post by hoopy on March 3rd 2010, 5:12 pm

Blue Devil Knight wrote:You might be approaching a new growth spurt! Often growth is jostling around of ideas that need to settle, and there is a dip before a jump. Patience maybe? If it isn't that could you be getting soft on tactics as you emphasize strategy so much in this course?

This game can be so frustrating all the effort and then a stupid mistake(s) and it's like "Why the hell do I bother playing?"

I reckon you are right. That is exactly what happened to me. Tactics is the most important thing.If you calculate wrong then strategy won't help. But it does come back in a couple of weeks.
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Re: Calamity!

Post by chesstiger on March 3rd 2010, 5:38 pm

HangingKing wrote:After having made good progress the last few months, reaching 1840 elo and having regular performance around 1750 i suffer this month from massive failure and don't know why ?!

I mean i'm not particularly tired or unattentive, and i have the feeling i play like usual, but i'm stuck in the 1450-1550 pond ! I do unusual blunders even if i try to concentrate.

Did you experienced such calamity on month 10 ? Maybe it is the too much exercise effect, i don't know, but i'm quite upset right now. Seems like i do not know how to play chess anymore...

That is what happened to me aswel some weeks ago for about a month. No big blunders but my opponent always had one shot to kill me. After stopping previously after month two of the ICS course i just recently started with month one again. I must admit i dont know everything discussed in this month one but the theory is somewhere spooking in my head. This maked that recently i am again playing stronger, in my eyes stronger then in the past. In the proces also thinking longer, dont know if that has to do with all this new chess knowlegde or just because of the fact i am getting older or just seeing more on the chessboard.
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Re: Calamity!

Post by HangingKing on March 3rd 2010, 6:09 pm

Glad to ear i'm not alone, and that's should be temporary.

After some look at my games i think it is because i'm taking more risks than before, especially on attacking the castle or liquidating tense position in the center, unfortunately this lead to catastrophic result when the opponent play a move i had not foresee.

I am not able (yet) to calculate so deep that i can be sure my course of action will succeed in all ways, but on the other side i feel it right strategically to do so (attacking).
This is a kind of dilemma between being to conservative, draw everytime, and take risks. Till now it has resulted in a major drawback in ELO ranking...

Also, when i tactically succeed in my attacks, i do blunder short after (big ones, back rank mated, put a piece on a guarded square, etc...), the tension is released so somehow i do not pay attention, play quick and faulty.

This is a little weird because i keep loosing games, which were not so badly engaged. A drop of 300 elo is quite large, i let you imagine the number of wasted games recently !

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Re: Calamity!

Post by chesstiger on March 4th 2010, 4:55 am

HangingKing wrote:Glad to ear i'm not alone, and that's should be temporary.

If it's not temporarily, lasting for longer then three months then something is definetly wrong, either in your thoughtproces or in the new style of play you are adopting. Time to evaluate both.

HangingKing wrote:After some look at my games i think it is because i'm taking more risks than before, especially on attacking the castle or liquidating tense position in the center, unfortunately this lead to catastrophic result when the opponent play a move i had not foresee.

I am not able (yet) to calculate so deep that i can be sure my course of action will succeed in all ways, but on the other side i feel it right strategically to do so (attacking).
This is a kind of dilemma between being to conservative, draw everytime, and take risks. Till now it has resulted in a major drawback in ELO ranking...


Also, when i tactically succeed in my attacks, i do blunder short after (big ones, back rank mated, put a piece on a guarded square, etc...), the tension is released so somehow i do not pay attention, play quick and faulty.

This is a little weird because i keep loosing games, which were not so badly engaged. A drop of 300 elo is quite large, i let you imagine the number of wasted games recently !

This has all to do with calculation and concentration. Exercise is the keyword here i guess, especially in the calculation department. Chess isn't a guessing game. With this i mean that one has to calculate to a certain point (x moves further) which one want to reach. The more moves x stands for the more difficult it becomes, certain when it involves piece taking and/or sacrifices. The best thing to do is after each move played to check if your analysis still holds strong. If not then you know your plan was the wrong one.

About concentration, a game is only done when a result (win, draw, loss) is know. Which means that before this point is reached concentration must be as high as possible (even when there is sitting a half naked blonde on the other side of the board Very Happy Razz ).

My fault in the past was playing to quickly and bad concentration. By thinking longer, sometimes even double checking my analysis, i noticed that my playing strenght went up the last month. I dont say my concentration is perfect now but atleast silly blunders because of lack of concentration are (hopefully) past tense. My current blunders come only by calculation mistakes. Either by fatigue or just by overlooking (not seeing) something in my calculation. Yes, i still have to work hard in the calculation department aswell.
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Re: Calamity!

Post by hoopy on March 4th 2010, 2:26 pm

"About concentration, a game is only done when a result (win, draw, loss) is know. Which means that before this point is reached concentration must be as high as possible (even when there is sitting a half naked blonde on the other side of the board Very Happy Razz )."

?? Even Kasparov would not be wasting his time playing chess in these circumstances. it's not chess lessons you need!!
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Re: Calamity!

Post by HangingKing on March 8th 2010, 6:23 pm

Well, came back to 1700 with some nice games at least, but there is still room for progress, i'm not entirely satisfied with my choices.

I noticed i'm better against human players, but i got much difficulties to manage SlowMoe (1600-1700 bot), which means i still miss some key moves. I should beat this bot easily, it is not playing that good, but somehow my style of play seems to be destroyed easily by the bot.

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Re: Calamity!

Post by Blue Devil Knight on March 9th 2010, 3:10 pm

Egads I would never use those bots as a measure. If you are doing better with humans, that's the key.

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