Saturday, November 19, 2011

The End is near!!

After 23 exciting games we are here, at the sunset of the Spanish Torture 2011 Round-Robin Match.
As we all know by now, my game against Jauregui ended in a draw, therefore, he was "eliminated" from the race for first place. He now awaits the result of the last game of the Match, Vela vs. Ramirez to see if he'll end up in second place or will share first, though in this case, he'll actually be the third place by tie-breaks.
The important thing here right now is the last battle of the year that will take place next Monday, November 21st, 2011!!  
So, let's see what the situation is:
Jauregui is temporarily in first place with 8 points. He already played his 16 games, so he's finished. Ramirez and I, Vela are tied in points with 7.5 and I play white versus my Cuban friend.
These are the possibilities based on the 3 results:
Whoever wins the game, will win the Match, finishing with a +1 performance and 8.5 points out of the 16 possibles. The loser will finish the Match with -1, only 1 point behind the Champion, and just 1/2 point behind second place Jauregui. This is clear.
If the game is drawn, all three of us would finished tied in points with 8. And it is now that a special tie-break rule that we all three agreed upon before the beginning of the tournament will take effect. According to that rule, in case that one or both challengers (Ramirez and/or Jauregui) finish the Match equal in points with the current Champion, He will retain the title and the crown. This is called 'draw-odds'.
For a challenger to be crowned as the new Champion, he would have to prove himself superior to the Champion, otherwise he (or they) would only be his equal, but didn't prove to be better, if at least for half a point, therefore, I would keep my title for one more year...
Now, let me assure anyone who reads this post of one thing: I do not...and I repeat: I DO NOT want to finish with a draw, nor in the game, much less in the whole Match. I want to finish with clear first place, just like a Champion should.
The 'draw-odds' rule was implemented (and my idea) a couple of years ago, when Jose and I used to play our matches and decided to change the format, from "The champion will be the first player to reach 6 wins, draws not counting" a la Fischer, to "16 total games per match, with draw odds for the current champion"
Last year, 2010, was the very first time since 1999, when these friendly matches began, that we actually finished tied in points 8-8, and since I had won in 2009, I also retained the title in 2010.
I know that feeling pretty well. And even though it feels good not to lose the match (and the title!) it feels way, way better to actually WIN the whole thing!! It doesn't matter if you're repeating as champion or if you win it as the challenger, the sweetness of Victory has no comparison with anything else!
But we'll see. On paper I have better chances of repeating as the Champion due to the fact that I have the white pieces (this is the least important one, I think) but more than that, I only need a draw and the match is over in my favor. That situation will make Jose even more dangerous than he normally is, because he is coming out for this battle with foam on the lips! He will try to win at all costs and that's when he becomes really dangerous, although he  could also slip more easily under the pressure of having to win by force, and I have to be ready to grab my opportunity with both hands.
I have white and will try to maintain a steady initiative, and a balanced position. He's the one who has to risk his underwear looking for victory.
This is the last battle of the year and the Match.
Strong nerves and psychology are of the essential to prevail here.
I can only wish my opponent a good game and may the force be with you...
Let's fight!!!


Jose Ramirez said...

I will do any thing to win! I will sacrifice my queen for the victory!!! I'm the champion!!

Paco Vela. said...

Let's do this my friend!
Let's fight to the death once again!!
For all the marbles!!

May the best one win it all!!!

Good luck, Jose.

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