Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Doc Kinne's Story, Part II

Less Powerful Than (Any) Locomotive...

So, 30 July was my first competitive Chess Tournament in 11 years.

My score ended up being 0-4.

But really it was less horrible than it sounds. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

* * *

The July $10 Open was meant simply as a re-injection into competitive chess for me. I'd not overly prepared for it, so I didn't go in with any inflated expectations.

In round 1 I was against a 1571 rated player, 388 points higher than I am. Statistically I stood a 9% chance of winning against him.

I was proud of the game. At the end, both of our clocks had less than one minute remaining left. My opponent was impressed as well.

The 2nd round got away from me. Don't know really what happened yet, but at 1609 I had a 6.5% statistical chance of winning the game. It was more than just statistics this time, though. I didn't like how I played.

My third round opponent was rated 1474 giving me a 15% statistical chance of winning. I fought him down to a Rook-and-Pawn endgame. What killed me were two connected passed pawns on the a and b files, despite me being a pawn up in material. I was proud of this one as well.

The biggest disappointment, of course, was the 4th round. Playing a 1098 I had a 64% statistical chance of beating him. I overplayed a Queenside attack with a Knight that had forking chances against his Queenside Rook and Queen. He managed to squirm out of it, but it left him physically shaking. I wasn't able to recover and he gained an attack in the center that finally won him the game. Both of us remarked that the complications during our attacks overtaxed either of our abilities to comfortably calculate them.

I'm not disappointed. Thirty-three years ago, the beginnings of a wonderful sport for me started out with a 4 round Swiss where I also got a 0-4 score. This tournament was a reboot. Whose to say it won't go the same way this time as well.

--Doc Kinne, USCF: 12186200


Erabin said...

As constructive criticism it seems like you are looking into the statistics too much. Especially with those ratings when the chance for blunders is high, the chance of upsets is much greater. I would just to play your best moves and play to win every game you play.

Doc_Kinne said...

Hey Rabin!

I completely agree with you, everything else being equal! You are very right, obviously, when you say that "with those ratings when the chance for blunders is high, the chance of upsets is much greater."

I have tried to go so far as to not look at the rating of my opponent before the game because it can do great things to psyche me out.

Having said that, while ratings did play a part in my mind, I was, in the end, either proud or not of the games independent of rating.

But, of course, you are so right when you say that you can't use ratings as either a predictor or an excuse. What is is they say? "Past performance does not equal future earnings"? :-)