Of the two games of chess that I played at Dr M’s on Wednesday 1st August, I played better in the first, as black, playing the Queen’s Gambit.
All was going well until I frittered away my material advantage by faffing around with my Queen and getting her stuck in a tight corner with the Bishop and shut out from defending the King in his moment of need by my two central pawns on K4 and Q5. This gave Dr M an occasion to counterattack. With my King protected by – and trapped by – his two Rooks, the game ended in a draw.
In the second game, I opened with the Giuoco Piano but again wasted a reasonable start and discovered myself in real trouble. Dr M actually missed a chance to achieve Checkmate by placing his Bishop on KR3 (h6). Later on, too, he lost tempo by taking my Rook’s Pawn, which gave me an opportunity to check his King and fork the King and the Rook. Even then, a draw seemed more likely than the most unlikely of wins that I eventually managed to salvage from the game.
Playing The Man, Not The Board…
In the second game, it was very much a case of not giving up when the game appeared to be lost. In such situations at the amateur level, in spite of what you hear about learning to “play the board, not the man,” some calculation of odds that “he might not notice” or that “if I place this piece here on square X it will induce him to move that piece to square Y, which in turn will allow me to gain advantage here…”
In spite of the “official” result of 1 draw and 1 win, I do not feel any sense of satisfaction with my overall performance in these two games.