Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Raid Week 6/12-6/18

Got a few things this week.  My Hunter's pulled ahead of my Shaman again (395 to 393), but it cost me 10k to do it. *laugh*

Dust: LFR: Healer Legs
Jab2: LFR:  Vial of Shadows.  GDKP Run: Tier Helm for 4k, Kiril for 13k.  Got 7.5k back at the end.
Amashan: Nada.
Token alliance character:  Ok, this was frustrating.  I got into a 10-man DS PuG, blasted through it smoothly (only 1 wipe), and not a single Protector token dropped.  Didn't get anything out of it at all.  (Other than her Destroyer's End title, which was nice).

I think HWNN is doing Firelands this week instead of DS, so I'll take Dustweaver through the GDKP run instead of Jabarii this time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

John Palermo Game #4

Another game, another loss.  This one I played very poorly, other than the opening.

This was a King's Indian, which is probably the opening I know the best of my d4/c4 repertoire.  (The other one that I see a lot of is the QGA, so I'm very comfortable there as well.)  He played the opening quite poorly, and I have a completely won game on move 14.

Of course, I blew it.  Multiple times.

Not much to say about this one, it's definitely the worst of the four that I played.  Black's moves weren't any great shakes, either, but good enough to win.

John Palermo Game #3

Here's the third game.  This started as a QGD orthodox, and ended up as a draw with an interesting material balance.

I was correct to trade my queen for his rooks, but then messed up the tactics a bit and held on to my king by the skin of my teeth - he then made a mistake to give up a very strong passed pawn, but I didn't see how I could make progress and it ended up a perpetual check (mostly by choice).

Interesting game, for sure.

- Analyze the position after 17. Nd2.  I thought I had to be better, computer disagrees.  Interested to see what other people think, and why.
- Any good resources with a bunch of sample Q vs 2R endings?  That's the second time in two tournaments I've gotten that imbalance (had the Rooks both times) - drew this one, lost the previous one.

Opening analysis per Palliser's "Play 1.d4!"

John Palermo Game #2

This is game #2 from the tourney.  White plays the Grand Prix against my Sicilian, but we get "out of book" really, really quickly.  Again I get a good position, but I can't figure out how to break through on the queenside and I get into major time trouble.  There were a couple of times I could have broken through, but I missed them both times (well, I looked at the first one and rejected it for some reason).

Specific questions
- I really wasn't worried about my king at all this game.  Does that seem reasonable?
- Move 9 suggestions?
- Any other breakthrough ideas other than the ones found by Shredder (in the notes)?
- I used a HUGE amount of time between moves 12 and 18 - nearly 30 minutes of my 55.  Most of it was on moves 16 and 17.  Any tips to try to find candidate moves more quickly?
- I kept looking at breaking with f6 at various points - is that even a good idea, and when should I have done it?  I ended up deciding against it as it would have let his bishop back into the game.

Opening analysis according to "Experts on the Anti-Sicilian", by Aagaard, Shaw, and others.

John Palermo Game #1

Here is the first game from the tournament (G/55, 5 sec delay).  I had White, and it went into a Benoni.  I misplaced a couple pieces in the opening, but still ended up with a decent position.

At the end, I had all his pieces cramped up on the queenside, and I started dreaming of a kingside attack (roll the pawns, swing the rooks over).  Problem is that I missed that his Qc7 cleared the b6 square for his knight to come in and his queenside pawns just ran me down.  If I play b3 there, I'm totally fine.

Questions (other thoughts welcome of course!):
- After 12 ... a6, pros/cons for immediately reacting with 13. a4?
- Anything better than liquidating the minor pieces after 17 ... Ne5?
- Shredder didn't like my 24. Qc4.  I was worried that he was going to sac a pawn with 24 ... c4 in order to get that beautiful c5 square for his knight, and he'd probably control the c-file as well.  Was that really a "threat", and what should I have done there?
- What should the plan be after I go back in time and play 26. b3 like I should have?

I'm not too disappointed in this game, really.  I got a decent position against a player 250 points higher than me, from a totally unfamiliar opening (I don't study openings hardly at all, and almost never see the Benoni).  Going over it afterward, he didn't seem particularly happy with his position until I screwed up with g4, so that's comforting at least.

Opening notes from Richard Palliser's "Play 1. d4!".

Tournament Results 6/16

Reasonable play (or so I thought), poor results.

Ended up in the U2000 (which was the top section), and only got a half-point out of 4 games (and that's with 3 Whites, to boot!) I'll post the games when I get a chance, hopefully later today.  I haven't gone over them with Shredder yet, but I think that I was probably clearly winning two of them, was even in one until a bad strategic oversight, and would have been fine in the fourth except I took too much time to pick a poor middlegame plan.

My USCF rating dropped from 1678 to 1649.  Bleh.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Oh yeah, my Hunter finally lucked out in LFR - Vial of Shadows is mine!

That thing is totally ridiculous - it dropped from Zon'ozz, and on the final two fights there it was doing nearly 8% of my (personal) damage, so probably about 5% when including the pet.  That's crazy.