|Abby Blogs on her Win in Springfield|
|By Abby Marshall|
|June 17, 2008|
I drive three hours to Springfield, VA to play in a round robin tourney and I lose the first game Friday night against one of the lowest rated players. Tomorrow is three rounds of master level opponents and more lousy takeout Chinese. I should never go anywhere.|
In a round robin, you don’t get the typical yo-yo pattern where you play way up, lose, then play way down a couple times only to get smashed again, and finally play someone around your strength in the last round. So I was kinda excited about this event because it was the first round robin I’d played in (not counting in elementary school where the average rating was 900) and I was one of the weakest players in a field of eight with an average rating of 2250 or so. There is something to be said about consistently playing people at your level or stronger; it may cause you to rise to the level of your opponents.
I honestly feared the goose egg. I just took it one game at a time and tried not to think about the cumulative result (i.e. imagining the huge humiliation of losing every single time). Also, I prepared for my opponents, which has two benefits: I wasn’t surprised by the opening and I tried harder at the board since I had already invested effort into the game beforehand and I wanted it to pay off. After three rounds I had 1/3 (two draws and a loss) and was feeling ok. This game turned it around for me.
Abby Marshall (2074) - Daniel Miller (2321) [C32]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 Nf6 5.dxe4 Nxe4 6.Nf3 Bc5 7.Qe2 Bf5 8.Nc3 Qe7 9.Be3 Bxe3 10.Qxe3 Nxc3 11.Qxe7+ Kxe7 12.bxc3 Be4 13.Ng5 Bxd5 14.0–0–0 c6 15.c4 All theory up to this point. Normal is 15.Re1+ but I forgot the moves. 15...h6?! [15...Be6 After the game, Daniel told me that he should have played this, where Fritz gives White a +.31 and I said I thought White has a small advantage. Andrew Samuelson said +.33 is +/=. Um, yeah, so can we agree that it's probably manageable for Black? :)] 16.cxd5 hxg5 17.d6+! Kf6 Oh wow, can he really do this? [17...Kd8 18.fxg5 Nd7 What I expected. 19.h4 Nc5 20.Bc4 Rf8 21.Rhe1 Yeah maybe what he did is best, otherwise White will squeeze Black to death.] 18.fxg5+ Kxg5 19.Bc4 Nd7! [19...f6 20.Rhe1 b5 21.Bb3 Na6 22.Re7 Black can't allow the rook to reach the seventh rank.] 20.Bxf7 Rad8 21.h3 Ne5?! This lets me get organized. Better is [21...Rhf8 22.Bb3 Rf2 23.g3 Nc5 24.Rhe1 Kf6] 22.Bb3 Rhf8 23.Rhe1 Ng6 24.Rd4 I thought for a while on this move. I think the best approach is to take it slow. I want to get to the seventh rank and eventually push my kingside pawns. 24...Rf4?! I don't like this for him because I get the seventh rank. Maybe my advantage is not as large but it is easier to handle. 25.Rxf4 Nxf4 26.Re7 g6 27.Rxb7 [27.g3 Nxh3 28.Be6 Ng1 29.d7 Ne2+ 30.Kd2 Nd4] 27...Rxd6 28.Rxa7 Nxg2 29.a4 Ne3 [29...Nf4 30.Rh7 Rd8 31.Kb2 Kf5 32.Kc3 g5 33.Kb4 Ra8 34.Kc5 Kg6 35.Rc7 Nxh3 Probably White is winning, but suddenly the position is a little more wild. It was Black's best shot to go after the h-pawn with the knight.] 30.a5 Rd1+ 31.Kb2 Rh1 32.Rh7 Nd1+ 33.Ka3 Ne3 34.Kb4 Ra1 35.Rc7! Rh1 36.Rxc6 Rxh3 37.a6 Rh4+ 38.Kb5 Nf5 39.a7 Nd4+ 40.Kb6 Nxc6 41.a8Q?! [41.Kxc6 Rh8 42.Bd5 Kf4 43.Kc5 Is simpler.] 41...Nd4 42.Qd8+ Kh5 43.Qh8+ Kg5 44.Qd8+ Kh5 45.Bf7 Rf4 46.Qh8+ Kg5 47.Qe5+ Rf5 48.Qg3+ Kf6 49.Qxg6+ Ke7 Here I almost died. I thought I would lose the bishop or have to fight a bishop +pawn vs. knight endgame. I don't know why I thought this. Chess makes me paranoid. 50.Qg4 Rf6+ 51.Kb7 Nxc2 52.Bb3 Rd6 53.Qg7+ Black resigned. 1-0
Rodion Rubenchik (2336) - Abby Marshall (2074)
Larry Larkins (2115) - Abby Marshall (2074) [C65]
So I got 4.5/7 points and tied for first. And I got first place on tiebreaks (ok, it’s just an impossible formula no one can understand, but it was a nice plaque). In at least three of the games I was definitely worse and I could easily have lost the last one, and the game against Daniel had its ups and downs.
I’m sure whatever momentum I was playing with here will evaporate when I go away for a month to a summer program, so I’ll try to enjoy this moment of feeling good about myself :)
Springfield Invitational FIDE Rating Tournament- Access Crosstable here.
1-3. Abby Marshall, Andrew Samuelson and Rodion Rubenchik- 4.5
4-5. Adithya Basurbramanian, and Peter Minear- 4
6-7. Daniel Miller and Larry Larkins- 3
8.Adam Weissbarth -0.5