Tralee Classic Games – Rd8
Some losses are more annoying than others and this was easily the most annoying for me in this tournament. I have never beaten Gavin, as it happens, (we have played only a handful of times ever) and despite usually outplaying him in the opening and getting good, or even a winning position, I manage to screw things up, then draw or lose.
The last time we played was in a rapid when I lost in a winning position, with only seconds left, by not noticing that I was in check so automatically lost. Before that it had been 2011 in another IM norm all play all event in Dublin, since we played, and after a rather nice game, in which I again got a winning position from just sensible play, I missed two forced wins. The first was the moment below:
The second position was more amazing and seemed to underscore my experience playing Gavin, when despite being a whole rook up at the end, I could not keep it, or a winning advantage, which I could have had by not going a rook up when I did. The game is as usual viewable by clicking on the diagram below:
Back to this game on what was the last day of a tournament that had gone badly wrong for me. Well, I have to admit that I was caught off guard with a clever choice of opening and went into a line and type of position which I soon regretted and was outplayed for the first time in the tournament.
Though equal for a long time out of the opening, I did not like the position and feel it is more awkward than equal. I went astray yet again by being frustrated with wanting to create complex play with winning chances. However White had no weaknesses and played soundly and strongly throughout, and when I did go wrong my position went downhill quickly. The position below seems to be the start of the drift into a passive position:
A win would have allowed me go for 5/9 and not lose too many rating points, while a draw assured a rating loss and losing even more so. A jaded feeling perhaps best describes this game. As is also in evidence by the diagram below:
A game best forgotten as one of the worst I have played in a while.