Friday, November 30, 2007

Amaya-Pearson 11.29.07 0-1

I was grateful to be back in serious tournament action last night at the Reno Chess Club and defeated Mauricio Amaya (1223) with the Black pieces in a Scandinavian Defense--curiously, I've had Black in five of my last six games--three of four in the Western States Open and both the rounds I actually played in the November Swiss.

As I noted here, I'm not studying openings directly (only through complete master games) at all these days, and the interesting thing is that I seem to be doing fine--he played somewhat passively in this game, and after the unfortunate loss of a piece by White on move 12 it was certainly nice to be Black. As pointed out by Norm Wyatt right after the game there were some slightly faster wins, including 24. .Ne2+ which immediately wins the house; I wasn't crying too hard over it though, having seen a simple way to terminate the game. I'm a little sorry I didn't play that move however, it was really decisive and more artistic. See this recent post by Blue Devil Knight for a lot of commentary on a similar position, and issue.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Links and Sidebar Stuff (New and Good!)

My friend Eric Shoemaker is consolidating his stuff on Pale Rider so his deleted blogs are gone. has been Chess Videos TV for awhile; and I need to get over there more often!

Added Chess Tempo to "Chess Improvement."

New and good!---gorckat's Chess Adventures. Rich Dailey's (n8ux) Pawned (formerly Out of the Ether, still great video links)! Big Five Chess. Chess Tyro. Self-Flagellation to the Goddess Caissa (great title!).

That's all we have time for right now, kids--though I know there are some that I noted in my travels and haven't included (it always happens) so please, please if you blog about chess and visit here and I haven't noted your efforts, leave a comment.

A Fine Rant (+Progress Report Week 2)

(WARNING: Probable strong language and scenes of ultraviolence)

The Weekly Report--as far as chess is concerned the week sucked.

I rarely get very personal here, usually writing about chess topics and my chess games and studies. All that has been strongly affected by personal crap lately; since the burglary at my home there have been all kinds of distractions, most of which are taken care of now, all of which have taken away from any kind of consistent concentration and study. So...

Week 2 of The Plan, a grand total of about 2 hours snatched at random intervals for chess study, got in my planned 1 hour of Excelling at Chess Calculation (14 positions), 1 hour of Chess Tempo mostly under poor playing conditions, and I sucked, +28 -20, Standard rating dropped from 1648 to 1563. Instead of my goal of 95 percent that's a whopping 58.3 percent. Several times I played the first 2-3 moves correctly and then won a queen instead of mating or something like that, but they all count.

I'm finally back to playing some serious chess this week at the Reno Chess Club--I've missed almost half the frickin' meetings over the last three months due to visiting family members, sick family members, trips, etc. I had to miss the first two rounds of the Western States Open due to some work bullshit and sick family members. I had previously agreed to take off the December Swiss--I feel like I've taken two months off already.

Hmm, despite all of this I've finally raised my rating from the floor of 1600 up to 1650 and I feel pretty good about my game and prospects for further improvement. Maybe this is just one of those phases when things are tough and the tough get going. It damn well better be, because I've basically given up all of my outside activities besides chess in the last few years; I don't hunt, fish, watch football, play golf, go out and drink with the boys, lounge in the hammock, target shoot, watch movies or much else. If I don't have some hours by myself every week thinking about chess and doing what I want to do (on the board) then I'm just a damn puppet on a string, and I might as well go join the French Fuckin' Foreign Legion, where I understand you at least get some leave time each year.

There, I feel much better now. Regular blogging will resume after these important messages.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And Then There Were Six

Yet another Reno Chess Club blogger! Chessboozer (aka John Clifford) makes the scene with Chess Karma, and his second post is already a LOL--10 Ways to Make Chess More Popular, including:

Bring Back the Cold War, Chess Hooliganism and...Cheerleaders!

Well, I don't know if chess has ever had cheerleaders but if not, then bring 'em on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Progress Report--Week 1

(See The Plan for the outline of the weekly schedule. In brief...)

Most 5-hour weekly blocks to consist of:

1 hour FICS, 2 game@15/5 weekly.

1 hour Aagard's Excelling at Chess Calculation, working through each chapter solving the examples from diagrams, then when text completed, the 100 exercises, maximum 10 minutes per exercise then if not solved review answer, until all 100 can be solved on sight (this may extend beyond this current 60-day Plan).

1 hour Chess Tactics Server for solving under clock pressure, but striving for 90 percent accuracy, not rating. Session stats to be recorded and reported here.

1 hour Chess Tempo, non-timed (standard), striving for 95 percent.

1 hour games from The Magic of Mikhail Tal, 2 games a week at 30 min. per, to use real board, find creative and strong tactics, and have fun! Note positions where I don't find Tal's move and put some of them up here for reinforcement and your enjoyment.

Normally I'm from the School of No Excuses, but what with the disappearance of my computer some modification of the schedule was required this week. So, unadorned, here are the chess study activities and grades for Nov. 13-20.

Online play (FICS)--Obtained a new computer Sunday and downloaded new client, spent time setting up, 2 games at 3 3 to test it (violation of no blitz!), +1 -1, FICS blitz rating up to 1272 (1265). No 15/5 games. Time n/a. Grade: D (excused).

Excelling at Chess Calculation (book)--Due to no computer, spent additional time with book. Time 1:45. Positions 33 (practiced finding best continuation, following from diagrams through some long variations; valuable). Grade: A.

Chess Tactics Server: Time 0.0. Grade: F.

Chess Tempo:
Time 45 min. Correct 21, Incorrect 11. 65.6 percent. Rating 1648 (1716P). Grade: D.

Tal Book: Time 0.0. Grade: F.

Total study time this week: +-3.0 hours. Grade: D- (excused to D).

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Chess Carnival

Thanks to Jack Le Moine, the November Carnival is up at Susan Polgar's Chess Discussion Forums. I submitted chessloser and Me, but don't click that--get over to the Carnival and enjoy all of the varied work.

Stupid Criminals and Chess Sets

While I was away at work yesterday my house was robbed, window broken, the usual stuff stolen (mostly electronic devices, including stuff so old and cheap that they'll probably get $5 for it. Unfortunately, my computer was among the missing and so posts are liable to be hit and miss for a few days).

The most interesting thing about the whole sorry affair was the saga of my chess bag (yes, it's all about chess). Some items were dropped in the garage, as if the perps had been startled and left in a hurry (though at this point no one in the area is known to have seen anything. Curious). Anyhoo, there in the garage was my bag, unzipped, with clock and six White pieces lying around nearby. In my bedroom ("tossed" to look for hidden valuables) my game scores were in a compact pile, with other pieces lying around. When we finished tidying everything up, I had a complete set of pieces, clock and score sheets, and even the cashews I keep in the bag for energy during games. Great news.

I figure they looked in the chess bag, opened the compartments to see if anything valuable was hidden, and took it to stuff other items into. Or something. It didn't make much sense, but I'm happy it's all there.

Of course it's a bummer to have your place burglarized, but the good thing is that no one was home and no one was hurt. Well, that's what you're supposed to say. I rather wish that I'd been home alone when they broke that window and snuck in like the little shithead low-brow loser cowards that their kind always are.

I'd really liked to have made their acquaintance.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Plan

And now, after games and benchmarks and this and that, it's time to get my Study Plan for the next 60 days out in public and be accountable to myself and friends (one of the best ways to reach a goal is to make it public). Thanks, dk my blogging friend, for the gentle and consistent encouragement!

Unlike the rapidly rising drunknknite I don't have 15-20 hours a week for study (I'm guessing he's single and childless...) but in my life I carve out 5-6 hours a week for chess studies, plus a serious tournament game at 30/90, G/60 most Thursdays.

As I noted below, it's calculation of variations that I mainly need to improve, and for this 60-day cycle I'm going to be studying almost exclusively calculation and tactics, with practice games at a 15/5 time control. My tournament schedule has me off for December, so probably only 4 or 5 rated games before the next report. I should be able however, during the time off, to study for slightly more time each week. So, until January 14, 2008:

No blitz.

No openings.

Two one-hour endgame refreshers during the month of December on basics like king and pawn, rook and pawn v. rook, queen v. pawn.

Most 5-hour weekly blocks to consist of:

1 hour FICS, 2 game@15/5 weekly.

1 hour Aagard's Excelling at Chess Calculation, working through each chapter solving the examples from diagrams, then when text completed, the 100 exercises, maximum 10 minutes per exercise then if not solved review answer, until all 100 can be solved on sight (this may extend beyond this current 60-day Plan).

1 hour Chess Tactics Server for solving under clock pressure, but striving for 90 percent accuracy, not rating. Session stats to be recorded and reported here.

1 hour Chess Tempo, non-timed (standard), striving for 95 percent.

1 hour games from The Magic of Mikhail Tal, 2 games a week at 30 min. per, to use real board, find creative and strong tactics, and have fun! Note positions where I don't find Tal's move and put some of them up here for reinforcement and your enjoyment.

If I find additional time during a week I'll try some 0 4 at FICS for fun.

Reports to be posted here each Tuesday on results, progress and adherence to the Plan.

Tactical beast, tactical beast, tactical beast...

Garingo-Pearson 11.08.07 1-0 (Redux)

If you look to the post immediately below you'll see my game from last week, and read about the problems with getting annotations to work on Chess Publisher 2. When I pasted my pgn into the blog at (as recommended by Blue Devil Knight) it worked perfectly--see here. (On the other hand I see BDK just posted a Chess Publisher game on his blog).

So my question to readers; if you're interested in seeing one of my games do you prefer to have it directly in front of you or do you mind clicking a link? I must say that the viewer is in color, larger and easier to read. It sure seems easier to work with. But there's something to be said for having the game right here on the blog.

I would really appreciate your feedback!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Garingo-Pearson 11.08.07 1-0

Here's the game I talked about below--a great chance to beat a near-master rated player. Going over the game intensively really taught me a lot. Chess Publisher was giving me some problems with the notes, despite well over an hour of tinkering, so they're separate from the game. Sorry about that.

Before reading them, check out the position after 22. Bxf7 and see what you come up with...

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bc4 Bg4 5. f3 Bf5 { The Master games I searched out that reached this position all went Bc8. I thought 4. Be2 was "book" and I'm on my own from here. } 6. Nc3 c6 { This gambit is familiar from other Scandinavian variations, and it seemed like a good choice against a much higher-rated player. } 7. dxc6 Nxc6 8. d3 e5 { Black has some compensation for the pawn in central control and development, plus White's weakened kingside. } 9. Be3 Bb4 10. a3 Ba5 { A computer might like Bxc3, but trading pieces just to weaken pawns didn't seem worth it, giving him two bishops and strengthening his control of d4. } 11. g4 { !? The kind of move I'm hoping for. Ne2, holding the g4 push in reserve, seems better. } Bg6 12. Ne2 h5 { ?! On 13. g5, I planned Nd4 14. Nxd4 Qxd4, but looking in the cold light of day I think after 15. 0-0 black doesn't have much to show for his pawn. Instead... } 13. Ng3 { ? Allows Black to open lines and complicate, just what he was looking for. } hxg4 14. fxg4 Nd5 15. Bd2 { Bxd4 was safer. } Nf4 16. Bxf4 exf4 17. Qe2+ Kf8 { Now I expected 18. Nf5 Bxf5 19. gxf5 Nd4 and Black may even be a little better. I was stunned by... } 18. O-O { ?? Wow. I don't see a realistic attack on f7 that's worth a piece, and taking the knight seems automatic, but I think my move is even better } Bb6+ 19. Kg2 { In the postmortem with several strong players Qh4 was suggested, but there didn't seem to be a killer follow up. Now I think my next couple of moves are fine--whether "the best", I frankly can't analyze to a definite conclusion. } fxg3 20. hxg3 Nd4 21. Qe5 { ? After Qd2 White has insufficient compensation for the piece but Black would have to play accurately to win. Instead, this move should lose quickly. } Nxc2 { Now if, for example, 22. Nd5 Bd4 and Black wins more material. So... } 22. Bxf7 Bxf7 { ? I didn't think his Bxf7 worked and played this recapture quickly--but Ne3+ wins! If 23. Kf2 or g1 then Nxg4 wins the queen, and if Kf3 Bxf7, so 23. Qxe3 Bxe3 24. Bxg6+ Kg8 might be best, but Black has a winning material advantage. Now things are more complicated... } 23. Rxf7+ Kxf7 24. Rf1+ { ! Not for the move but for the idea beginning with 22. Bxf7. I had just missed that despite my current huge material edge, my queen would have to go. And most important, from now until the end Black played as if dazed, making seemingly forced moves and going down the path of least resistance. I still had 13 min. for 7 moves, but I needed to shake it off and play better than ever. Instead... } Qf6 25. Rxf6+ gxf6 26. Qd5+ Kg6 27. Qe4+ Kf7 28. Qxb7+ Kg6 { Now I thought the game would continue 29. Qe4 Kf7 30. Qb7 with a draw. But... } 29. Ne2 Rae8 { ?? Be3! preventing the check on f4 would probably force the perpetual. I had 8 minutes for the last two moves and had to figure this was a critical time; but I saw Rae8 stopped queen checks and thought I was safe--there was no real quality analysis here, like I was dazed from all the previous calculation. So I lose... } 30. Nf4+ Kg5 { ?? Truly sad--Kh6 loses to Qf7, but this move turns a once interesting game into an embarrassment for me. } 31. Qg7# 1-0

Friday, November 09, 2007

Quick Report from the Crime Scene

I lost last night's game to Nathaniel Garingo (2173) at the Reno CC November Swiss.

My friends, the bald facts do not fully detail the agony and the ecstasy...make that the ecstasy and the agony of it. Playing a guy rated 500 points higher (and with Black) I had him on the ropes, barely breathing, all those cliches, after 20 moves, but I couldn't find the moves to finish him off (and in the postmortem with several strong players it was amazing how difficult it was to find a decisive finish, if one existed; Black may have been only "much better"). So I overlooked something and he played an impressive counterattack and by move 31 it was over, I was mated.

I did all the right mental tricks as discussed here, had a good attitude and concentrated well for awhile, but I'll admit I was a little emotional after the game, frankly I was pissed off that I'd outplayed the guy to reach such a position and let him off the hook like this, the point is playing well for 20 moves means nothing in chess, it's just another loss, I could comfort myself by saying I played so many cool, awesome moves but that's a load of crap. I've got to become a finisher, a player who is as good or better at the end of the game, when it counts, as at the beginning.

Anyway, the great thing about this game is that it really laid bare my serious and deadly weakness, which is pure calculation-type positions. I'm playing good openings, good positional understanding, open lines weak squares blah blah etc. but that's not going to get me anywhere against the upper ranks. My study program has been made simple--I'm not spending a second in the immediate future on openings, chess psychology or any other miscellaneous, extraneous crap. I'm going to dedicate all my study time to becoming a tactical beast.

Nathan showed up my weakness and I've got to strive to get sharper tactically or I'm liable to blow a lot more "great positions" against the stronger players, and I've decided that is just to painful to allow to happen.

I'll post the game in a day or two when I have some time to really understand it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ze Plan Boss, Ze Plan or, C-SCAMP (Part I)

dk-transformation has made his public.

Soapstone has Training Progress Status Reports.

And now, by popular demand...

Robert Pearson's Chess Status Check and Master Plan (C-SCAMP)!

dk has items on his spreadsheet going up to Jan. 1, 2012; my time frame is more modest, as I plan to present a "where I'm at now" status check and then goals for the next 60 days.

Current Standings:

1. USCF (1650) (Goal for this year was 1700, I'll probably only have three more rated games by Jan. 1 so we will see; but better than still at 1600 floor!).

2. Red Hot Pawn (1743) (as "Newvictorian" - Online correspondence site; 1743 is my highest ever rating and pretty respectable, but I'm winding down my games here as I believe the time spent could be better used on other training exercises. What would really be useful is to analyze and present some of the games here).

3. Chess Tactics Server ("RobertNV" 1499, 73.1%, 1475 tries) (I enjoy using this very much, and I think it's good practice but I try to do everything quick for rating points, and I am adding chesstempo, where one can do problems at "standard" with no timing, or "blitz" like at CTS. I think both can be useful training, and I'll still be visiting CTS and attempting to raise my rating and, especially, percentage correct, in the coming period).

4. Free Internet Chess Server - FICS ("RLP" I can't access my stats from this computer, but (corrected - thanks dk) 1265 blitz, 1243 lightning (0 4), 1677 standard. I have wasted too much of my chess time playing blitz here, usually squeezing it in late at night [often the only time available] and recently blowing 70 rating points in about 90 minutes. I don't think I'm getting anything out of these games except opening practice, so no more 3 0, etc. I'm intrigued by 0 4 and dk's achievements in that field, so I might indulge occasionally. In future, however, mainly at least 15 5 time controls against best players available for serious practice games).

Well, I've already burned all my blogging time for now and must go prepare for a real live old-fashioned face-to-face game of chess at the Reno Chess Club tonight. Details of next 60-day study plan to follow.

Surprise, Surprise

(For full story and annotations see this post at Eternity Road. Don't click on the link to her blog if you're offended by high heels).

Fetiche recently worked up enough courage -- all right, yes, your Curmudgeon helped chivvy her -- to go to a chess club in Santa Monica for a few face-to-face games.

"I walked in not knowing what to expect, but everyone was very nice. I was the only woman in the room; I got the feeling they weren't accustomed to female company. After a couple of minutes, a nice older man asked if I'd like to play. I said yes.

"'Are you good?" he asked as we set up the pieces.

"'I've only been playing for a year, but I love the game,' I said.

"He smiled. 'Well, let's see if I can amuse you a little,' he said."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another Reno Chess Club Blogger!

Kevin Gafni, an up-and-coming player with a pleasing style, has entered the chess blogging universe with drunknknite. That makes five of our Reno Chess Club members who are blogging; I don't know what the leading chess blogging club in the U.S. or the World might be, but whoever it is watch out because we will catch and pass you!

Kevin has played several riveting games that I've seen parts of (while strolling between moves from my board) and I look forward to seeing some of his efforts on the blog.

How Good (or Lame) is the New USCF Site?

Over at BCC, a post about Jack Le Moine's experiences at the recent USCF Executive Board meeting produces an extended run of comments about how bad the USCF's new website sucks. I noticed the other day that when I tried to link to USCF player pages it didn't work, and now I know why.

Luckily, "Dan" provides a link to the old pages at Hope it lasts, because I loved to link to my and my opponent's tournament records when talking about a game or event, and they managed to screw that feature up by putting it all inside a "wrapper." Otherwise, I don't have anything against the new page, but it doesn't really seem like an improvement, either, so why make the change?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Chess Publisher Version 2

I've noticed this in use at a couple of my favorite blogs now, including dk's Chess Improvement and Liquid Egg Product, and finally got around to working with it.

It looks like a nice upgrade from v. 1 that I used previously, but anyway both are available here. Having the annotations in the same window is a step forward. In order to test it out I put in a game that I'd had trouble getting to work with the older version, and found out that the tricky part is that Blogger removes "unnecessary" spaces, which fouls up the cut-and-paste.

Anyway, let's take it for a test drive...

(Later--well that didn't work out so well, diagram too wide for the column and you cannot edit the post after it's published--a blank screen shows in the editing box. Hmmm. Okay, I'll try changing the height and width in the image!)

(Even Later--no I had to change the dimensions of the main column and sidebar--please tell me in the comments if anything looks wrong to funny, or if the new viewer seems good, bad or indifferent to you)

Friday, November 02, 2007


Having subjected you, the reader, to all kinds of reportage on the 2007 Western States Open held in beautiful Reno, NV October 12-14, let me sum up and move on.

I had my best results in five years (since the 2002 Alaska State Championship) in terms of tournament performance (1800) and general quality of play. After a blunder in the first game, I managed to play three consecutive games against players rated above me and score of 2.5 with (as far as I can tell) no major blunders (I could certainly use any constructive criticism you might care to offer: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4). This represented a definite step forward, and I'm attributing it partly to work on my game, but also I'd like to give some credit to my study of Jonathan Rowson's book Chess for Zebras and its inscrutable Eastern Mysticism...well, not exactly that, but I believe that some of the concepts and ideas I read there in the weeks before the tournament really helped with mental preparation and attitude.

Specifically: "Style? I have no style" (Karpov), I'm just playing good moves as I see them. I used to believe there was usually a "best" move in the position, and sometimes there is, like a mate-in-one, but I normally see that; I now am on board with the concept that chess is just too hard to worry about perfection, so I'm happily imperfect.

I've gotten better at just playing the position in front of me and pretty much forgetting what has gone before; errors earlier in the game don't sap my confidence as much. Another interesting note is that I used to think about winning many times during a game, but the beautiful paradox of chess is that thinking about winning less leads to more wins. Just try to play decent moves and let their resignation come almost as a surprise! Also, be surprised when they play a bad move--I'm getting better at looking for the opponent's good moves rather than the ones that allow me to realize my plans.

Finally, I've always been a player who tried to do something "constructive" with every move, going forward, attacking something, gaining space etc etc. I think I'm getting a little better at knowing when defensive, consolidating, prophylactic, "little," even "nothing" moves are called for. "Holding" the position, "tacking" and so forth have their place--but that doesn't mean I won't go for the throat when called for, either.

I'm not trying to overdo it here, as I well realize I have plenty of flaws and weak spots as a chess player, and one good tournament doesn't make me a psychological chess guru or anything close to that! I'm going to have losses and disappointments in the future, no doubt.

Yet, I feel like I'm going to be enjoying chess more than ever, and that's really the point of it all.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Western States Open, Game 4 (Rd. 6)

A draw with a 1753-rated guy from Texas finished up a very good tournament for me.

[Event "Western States Open (B)"]
[Site "Reno, NV"]
[Date "2007.10.14"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Anderson, Bradley "]
[Black "Pearson, Robert"]
[Result "*"]
[WhiteElo "1753"]
[BlackElo "1607"]
[ECO "A48"]
[Annotator "RLP"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 { Aiming for the King's Indian } 3. Nc3 { I haven't seen this move for a long time; now 3. ... d6 4. e4 and I'm playing the Pirc, which I'm all right with, but given the opportunity why not d5? } d5 4. Bf4 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Be2 { Okay, we're in the "Barry Attack" but I didn't remember the name at the time. There was a guy who played this against me in a couple of Alaska tournaments so I wasn't really shocked by it. } Bg4 { In Beating the Anti-King's Indians Joe Gallagher recommends c5, breaking up White's center with a temporary pawn sacrifice. But I'm out of "book" now and Bg4 seemed very natural--it's been played by masters many times in this position. } 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Bxf3 c6 9. h4 { Okay, NOW I get it. Well, a King's Indian player can't be too afraid of this move, I've seen this before...keep the kingside closed and you'll be fine. } h5 10. Qe2 Nbd7 11. O-O-O Qa5 { ?! With the idea of b5, b4 and Qxa2, keeping him busy on the queenside. All my other pieces are where I want them in anticipation of his g4 push. But more precise was b5, keeping the queen flexible. } 12. g4 hxg4 13. Bxg4 Nxg4 14. Qxg4 Nf6 15. Qg2 { I don't think Qg5 is anything special for him either; my plan is still to play Nh5 and push the b-pawn, with a roughly level game. } Nh5 16. Be5 b5 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Ne2 { ?! Daring me to take the pawn! After 10 minutes thought I couldn't see a clear refuatation of it, but decided to "play it safe." however, 18. ... Qxa2 19. c3 Rab8 20. Ng3 Nxg3 21. Qxg3 b4 seems good for Black. I don't know why that should be beyond my horizon, but anyway... } Qc7 19. f4 e6 20. Rdg1 Rh8 { I don't know if any individual move of mine in this game deserves a (! ) but I think I did have a good plan to meet his unusual and aggressive set-up. } 21. Qg5 Kf8 { To free the queen from guarding e7, but a5 was more conducive to trying for an advanatage. } 22. Ng3 Qe7 { Rc8 winding up for c5 would again have been more assertive. } 23. Qg4 Nxg3 24. Rxg3 Rh5 25. Rgh3 { He offered a draw. I spent a few minutes looking at c5 as a winning attempt, but thought any edge I'd get was pretty small. Objectively, it's worth playing on for Black, though. Kg7 and Rah8 ties him to the weak h-pawn, then Black can probe the queenside. To be honest, I was a little worn from the events of the previous few days, I was satisfied with my play in the game so far and a draw with a player 150 points above me would complete a very good result; so... } 1/2-1/2