Feeling pretty confident off my recent win against Trudy, I quickly moved on to the next opponent "above" Trudy in the ladder - Seb.
The dreaded Seb. I'm 0-2 against him. In the last two games, I seemed to start off ok, only to be tripped up and promptly mated. The third time was no charm; I'm 0-3 now against him.
What surprises me is that Trudy seemed so easy to beat. But Seb seems to go into high gear when the game gets heated and then he just puts the smack-down on me. It seems that I wouldn't so easily lose to Seb when I so easily won against Trudy.
After a little analysis, I found there were at least a few moves that I should have considered a bit more.
The first position was this one. He had just taken my night with 13...cxe5.
I played dxe5 ... opening the diagonal between his queen and my king. I don't know if 14. Bxe5 is any better. In fact, I'm not too sure this is even that critical of a position. But I struggled a bit with this one.
After my actual move dxe5, he played 14...Bh4 and I responded 15. Qe2. Next he attacked my bishop with 15...g5 16. Be3 Qe6 17. Bd4 a6 18. f3.
18. f3 may be another move that I should have considered a bit more. In stead, perhaps 18. h3 would be a bit better. He may have played 18...Nh6 and the pressure would have been relieved a bit. But I played f3 and he ended up taking h2. I took his knight with my king, he advanced 19...g4 20. fxg4 and then he played Qh6 and that was pretty much it.
I blundered big time at this point, but upon further examination, I really had no choices whatsoever. I still fail to see anyway to stop his attack.
So I played Be3, he played Bg5+ 22. Kg3 Qh4+ 23. Kf3 Bxg4#. The game was over.
I don't think I was playing my best chess when I started this game. The first hour or so, I was pretty focused, but then I had to pause the game several time when the kids came home from school and we had dinner and other family events going on. I'd like to try Seb again when I have a full 3 uninterrupted hours against him. I'm not giving excuses ... I think Seb is a difficult player for me and I don't think I'll ever so easily beat him. But I'd like a crack at him with full concentration.
After the G/90 game, I played him a G/10. And this is where I had the thought that he goes in to "high gear" when the game is on the line. I was soundly beating him; and then he had about 2 minutes on his clock and then he started making killer moves. Anyway - I need to crack this nut.
Finally - just a quick update on Chess Tempo ... I've managed to stay above 1700 for a full week now. Although, just today, when I did my 20 tactics, I was served several tactics that were well over 1700 and a few over 1800. I choked on them big time. I started off the session over 1730 and ended the session at 1704. Things just weren't clicking today. So the slide back down has begun.