Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Fool's Night Punch- Drunk Berserkers

Sick to Death of It

A month into the March Madness chess matches and tournaments with multiple games against multiple  opponents around the world, and tired from the 12-hour Salt Mine work, which a couple times turned into 16
hours, I was heartily sick of it, and my Nemesis interrupted me by saying something is going on, maybe you shouldn't be playing right now.

What? Why not?

Because in my Fatigue, I Was Playing Like a Punch-Drunk Boxer, Like Rocky Trying To Go The Distance

It turns out I had forgotten what I said about a month ago about playing slower and more carefully, and reverted to my bullet-chess speeds or blitz at least, and was throwing away pieces in games that I was winning. Although my opponent was glad, even he could tell something was wrong. I wasn't watching what I was doing, at two in the morning.

I said well, I am sick to death of these games, they are taking over my life. Every time I wake up I am behind in another twenty or thirty games, and nine of them are the tournament. All of them count. It has been nothing but chess, chess, chess, for a month, and I forgot all about my Revolutionary War figures, and the bloody uniform books are due back at the library.

So We Kept Going Another Seven Hours After Discovering That We Had Gone Berserk

It turns out Patti D. was right, when she said 'well that is just insane,' (see comments last week)  but we did it anyway.

The record up to that point was 4 Wins for me, 3 Losses in the Match of 23 Simultaneous Games.
I was winning on the board, and in life, as my Nemesis took two extended time outs and couldn't handle all the pressure. Especially since I won more than he did, when he thought he could win 90 percent. Actually it was about 45 percent him, and 55 percent me I think, out of the first seven. I knew it was wearing him down. But it must have worn me down too. I didn't stop, oh no, I played 32 more moves per game on average, and handed him three of his seven victories that I should have won in the process.

It was even more insane to keep on going at the point of such fatigue as to be beyond caring, but we did. At least three full games that I was winning in at the time turned into lost games, because I was blitzing with just a quick glance for thirty seconds and hitting the first move that came to mind, without being careful.

I threw away Queens, Bishops, and who knows what. Some of it worked, and my Nemesis did it too, once or twice. I actually should have won three of the seven that I think he won after that. The score was 10-6 out of the 23 when I won one more game this morning around 6 am, as the sun started to come up.

That means sixteen down, and only seven left to go. But Now instead of on top, I am down 10-6 out of 23, with only seven left to go, which means I'd have to win all seven to still win the entire match. It's mathematical.

Out of those seven, there are two where if I were playing a Gentleman, I'd have resigned a while back, as they are hopeless positions and really not worth wasting our time on playing them out. However, I am not playing a Gentleman, I am playing against a Pirate, and there can be no quarter given in a fight to the death, with Pirates. If I resign those two games, then he will have won 12, and in a series of 23, 12 is the most. That means he will win the series...if I resign.

He Still Might Stalemate By Mistake
There is another possibility, that he will screw up the technique and on at least one of them there could be a Stalemate. That would be if he leaves me no legal move, but forgot to put me in Check. It could easily happen just when all hope seems lost. I almost did it to him in one game this morning, I think it might be game 10, in which I have the Black pieces. But I was watching for it three moves in advance, and he gets no such luck. I will win that game, in just a few more moves.

I just Queen-Kamikaze'd his last hope pawn who'd just been promoted to Queen, and then in three moves more I will have my pawn promoted to Queen, and then we will clean that board up in short order.

Of the seven left, I will no doubt win two where he should resign, there are two where I should resign, and three others I can't remember but that may still go either way.

The average chess game is only 30 moves, but these titanic struggles are still going at 68, 62, 64, 56, a couple at 41 each and one has only 35 moves done. The reason for the disparity is, he will only prefer to respond in games that he likes because he is winning those, while trying to ignore the games where I am winning as much as possible, and so those ones end up much less further along. It is part of psyching each other out.

All these berserk games are in the 23-game match-Not The Tournament

I was at least careful to stay away from the tournament games until after a twelve-hour sleep to recover some of my senses.

I have only lost one game there out of nine in Round One, and I am committed to play through a second set with the nine guys. One dropped out so I got two tournament wins by default. That leaves anther sixteen of those to go, but 'only' eight at a time.

In the game that I did lose, I had a huge Rook and Pawn advantage against the player from the Netherlands who is #3 out of the 100, but he tricked me at the end  and won. Because I was so tired from the sixteen hour work thing previously mentioned.

Empty Fish Hook Trophy
He sent me a Trophy shaped like an empty Fishhook, and thanked me for letting him off the hook, admitting that I had that game. It would have really been something if only I had won, since I was the bottom rung player and he is 3/100. I did hold his attention for about 6 1/2 hours, since if not for that last trap, I was crushing him.

I am actually behind in nine more games now, out of the remaining sixteen that I am still in, out of 29 I think it was, just from looking away.

It is clear that fatigue is a major factor with many of the guys playing, and we must find our own ways to deal with it. The Berserk April Fool's Night cost me this match, almost for sure, and I must try to remember to avoid doing that again like that.

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  1. cool read bro i also love to play chess i played in jail for coffee i was coffee rich anyways thanks for sharing you experiences with us btw speed chess kills kings so careful with that

  2. Yep I guess as usual I find things out the hard way, about 100 or 1000 times before it sinks in deep.

  3. I like your speed chess beserker style, mine is more angry speed chess where I lose more but it's the other guys fault.

  4. It's fun that way, but the trouble is that where we are doing it they keep a permanent record of it so the losses drag down your numbers. These are just the same as ELO official ratings except that they are not 'official,' but only comparative on the site among 300,000 players.

    In 'official' chess there have been at least three 'official' groups as rebels break off FIDE, le federation international des echecs, official language French, and in fact few know that a chess federation actually controls a former Soviet republic in Central Asia.

    I've been in the USCF a couple times but every year they want more money, so I let it lapse. It's always been too much 'pay to play,' so I have always preferred the type games you're talking about, or even like dgrphx was more or less.

    Imagine Michael Jordan paying to play basketball instead of us paying him, well that's how chess is--you pay to be let in. What I'm doing can be free.Just get more benefits if you pay there.

    After losing the first nine out of ten, I was down to 917. Nemesis was around 1465 more or less. When the tournament started I had won some so I got up to 1159 just in time, as they snobbily don't allow 'under 1000's' to even play there.

    By the time I nearly beat the strong Dutch player who is in the 1700s in the tournament I was up to 1368, and would have gained a lot if I had beat him all the way to the end. But no. I am playing the same guy again and it is still in doubt, but not a Rook and Pawn up like that one game last Sunday.

    Now throwing games like a berserk idiot to clear up the docket I find I now need the adrenaline and I miss it now they are done and gone, so we'll have to start some others.

    Last night I got three more wins and two losses, so we seem to have cleared ten games in two days, but now I think he has enough to claim victory in the whole series of 23. But with the losses I fell back into the 1200s till I won some more, and right at this moment got back up to 1355.

    It changes every game. More games will tell if that's my natural level, or what. So far it's almost all against one guy, but soon there will be more results. I'm again beating stronger guys, but need to finish it to get the wins.

    It was funny how as 1159 the 1725 Dutch guy barely paid attention, but when his Queen, Rook and King were in deep kimchee, he suddenly was back every minute, and he paid attention after that for six and a half hours.

  5. Oh that is la federation, perdonnez vous ma francais, s'il vous plait

  6. Hehe, I hate to say this, but; I told you so! this is far too much!

  7. I don't even listen to myself Patti, let alone anybody else.

  8. I think you may need a few early nights to recover. I remember years ago we started a WWII game on a Saturday at 10am and finally finished at 0200 the next morning, at the end of it nobody cared who won or lost the game, except for our pal Surj, who had lost the game at around 1800, but wouldn't give in, we in turn wouldn't order a stop to the game other wise we would lose. My mate's wife locked him out, so he had to sleep in his car, now that's dedication!

  9. Ha, my old ex-wife used to do things like that and probably still does but not to me.

    The important thing is, I still have a chance to beat that Dutch guy back for having beat me two Sundays ago when I was ahead of him, by a Rook.

    We'll keep this up all Spring if we have to. One of my mates has already lost every game but one and is out of the tournament, a week ago.

    I won two (on time control issues), drew one and lost one to the Dutch guy, but all the rest are still up in the air.