Round 8- disaster strikes

I woke up today not feeling all that great, as I realized I had caught a cold. It could be due to my less than healthy life style. I have not consumed a hot beverage since I have arrived to Barcelona. I have been eating 2 meals a day. Breakfast at 9am, dinner at about 10pm. The stress level is pretty high too.

I am not saying that the cold is the reason for what happened next. There is only me to blame for that. Here is the game.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2010.08.27”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bluvshtein”]
[Black “Perez Mitjans”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A58”]
[PlyCount “114”]
[EventDate “2010.08.20”]
[SourceDate “2010.08.27”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. bxa6 g6 6. Nc3 Bxa6 7. Nf3 d6 8. g3
Bg7 9. Bg2 Nbd7 10. Rb1 Nb6 11. b3 O-O 12. O-O Bb7 13. Nh4 Qd7 14. Bb2 h6 15.
e4 Ba6 16. Re1 Ng4 17. Ne2 Ne5 18. Nc1 Qg4 19. Qc2 Bc8 20. h3 Qh5 21. f4 g5 22.
Bxe5 Bxe5 23. Bf3 g4 24. hxg4 Bxg4 25. Bxg4 Bd4+ 26. Kg2 Qxg4 27. Nf5 Bg7 28.
Nxe7+ Kh8 29. Nd3 c4 30. bxc4 Ra3 31. Rxb6 Rfa8 32. e5 dxe5 33. fxe5 Bf8 34. d6
Rxd3 35. Qxd3 Rxa2+ 36. Kg1 Qh5 37. Re2 Rxe2 38. Qxe2 Qxe2 39. Rb8 Qe3+ 40. Kh2
Qf2+ 41. Kh3 Kg7 42. c5 Qf1+ 43. Kg4 h5+ 44. Kxh5 Qh3+ 45. Kg5 Qxg3+ 46. Kf5
Qf3+ 47. Kg5 f6+ 48. Kh4 Qe4+ 49. Kh3 Qxe5 50. c6 Bxe7 51. c7 Bxd6 52. Rg8+
Kxg8 53. c8=Q+ Kg7 54. Kg2 Qe2+ 55. Kg1 Bg3 56. Qh3 Qf2+ 57. Kh1 Qf3+ 0-1

I am going to keep the game notes short, partially because of my own feeling after it. There is nothing I need to do more than forget about it. But I wasn’t just going to not post because I lost. Being selective about the games that I post and don’t post is not how I am planning to write this blog.

The opening went very smoothly. My opponent chose to benko, which I prepared for very shortly, since my opponent plays three others openings.

18…Qg4 was just brutally bad, since the queen has nothing to do there, especially followed by Bc8. After this I already had a clear advantage. 22…Bxe5 was probably a losing move. Well, it should have been the losing move. 22…dxe5 leaves black with more chances but still just down a pawn after 23.fxg5 hxg5 24.Nf5

I was playing very accurately up to my 31st move. That’s when all went wrong. I was actually up a piece and three pawns at that point! The only threat that my opponent has is Rxd3. I am not sure what I was calculating. 32.Re2 just wins on the spot, deflecting any play black might have in 32…Rc3 33.Qd2 Raa3 34.Rb3. Nf5 is winning just as easily but with the help of some calculations.

It’s just unbelivable. I saw Re2 and I was close to playing it. But then I started calculating variations with e5, I am really not sure why. There is absolutely no necessity for that stuff.

Anyways, its not like that was the losing move, that was still to follow. I should have played 34.Qe2 Qd4 35.Rxh6 Bxh6 Rh1, winning easily.

I actually saw my opponent’s 34…Rxd3 idea. But then I only looked at 36…Qh3, which would still be winning for me because of Re2. After 36…Qh5, I am lost since I have to give up my queen to avoid mate. I tried to keep the fight going but my opponent converted pretty accurately. At least it seemed accurate. I was in a state of shock after letting this game go. I tried to recover and try to keep up the fight, but there was no real fight left in the position.

This is probably the worst game I have played since I became a Grandmaster. Yep, that means a lot. I mean it. To give away the type of an advantage that I had today is inexcusable. I will keep this post rated G without trying to describe how I feel in a more precise way. It was a shameful loss. I just gave my opponent a point for nothing. I should have done better.

Instead of being tied for first with 7/8 I am now somewhere back in the pack with 6/8, a point behind the leaders. I am still missing the right words. It’s hard to explain what happened. I know I became relaxed, it’s hard not to in such a winning position. All I can do now is not let it happen again. Catastrophes happen in chess game.

After the game, Vinay and I went for dinner. I gotta say, Vinay really has a good effect on people. I don’t think I could have been any more cheery I was, largely due to him. The dish he recommended definitely helped my mood. It was very good shrimp ravioli.

What happens after a terrible game like today? Nothing. Life goes on. Tomorrow is another day. I hate losing more than the next guy. Trust me, I really hate losing. But this is the harsh reality. Time to regroup for the next game.

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2 Responses to Round 8- disaster strikes

  1. JD says:

    I watched this game live and for what it’s worth I thought you played brilliantly up to the point things started haywire.

    And if you look on the brightside, you probably did a good service to all the amateur players out there. Now anyone who loses up a piece and three pawns won’t have to feel so bad anymore.

  2. Andrei Botez says:

    Hi Mark,

    I don’t believe I can find anything to say in order to make it easier for you now, we will continue to cheer for you and we wish you all the best!

    Andrei & girls

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