I had the White pieces against Dean, who is around 1500. I missed one chance to infiltrate into his position, but unfortunately didn’t see it. I was only seeing one plan at a time and needed to see deeper. If I play Bg5 earlier, expecting ..f6, exf6 Bxf6, BxB RxB, then sure, nothing is dropping away, but it finally frees up f4 for my knight without having to worry about …Bh6 retort. Not only that, but then Nf4 can also be leading to Ne6 or even Re6, and I also did not notice that the Ne7 is like a statue right there, it can’t move. So if Re1…Rae8, then Ne6-c7 removes it’s defender. Sheesh, I wish this had been 40/2, G/1 and I think I find that sort of thing because the Ne7 did seem a bit odd and I had even considered Bg5-BxNe7 when he didn’t play …f6 later on. I didn’t really want to play Nc3 so much as Nf4, but all I saw was getting in Ne5 with the other knight, not even noticing that I could gain monster control over the more valuable e6 real-estate – and White is able to do this because Nf4 attacks d5 and e6, forcing the bishop out of the way to c6 to defend d5, and the queen is already totally out of the way on a7. This is usually the opportunity that I miss against Dean, he gives me a chance where a major piece is out of play like that.
At the end of the game, once again I definitely didn’t have time to play out a long game from here, and he had over an hour left on his clock. After he happily agreed to the draw, I said that I was simply going to lock it up as a pawn-fortress with g4-g5, h4, and then trade everything down the c-file. I’m surprised that Crafty gives me a 1.3 advantage here, seems pretty even since if I play g4, gxf5, he can play Nxf5.
I also missed that after …b5, if I take the b-pawn e.p., and very nearly did, that after …Rxb (which is all I saw) I have b5, winning his a-pawn and basically the game as his queen is pinned on a6.
Ahh, another opportunity goes missed. I have to see deeper no matter how much time I spend on moves. Chess is chess and not subject to the whims of our perceived time-limits. need to find the deeper plan next time, as no one is hollaring out “Git ur free pawns! Hot off the grill, free pawns!” Definitely have to work for it more than that in the future.
I should just write down on a stone-tablet somewhere “No one screws up OTB until move 16!” No one drives all that way to a chess game to mess up before move 16, it’s always move 16 and later when the chances start to come down like rain.
Spent plenty of time on move 17, so I can only blame it on not being motivated enough. Need to see/fit plans together as a sequence, rather than as isolated factoids that currently exist on the board. I also strongly felt that …b5 was losing, just couldn’t see the tactic. I played Qh3 instead simply because the clock was suggesting to me that I need to close this thing out somehow, instead of stringing the game along indefinitely.
This is literally how I threw away that win. Internal dialogue “Where should I place the knight, f4 or c3? f4 looks better but can’t right now. I know, I’ll trade the bishops, then I can play Nf4! (looks at clock) Well, I better play Nf4 then. Wait! What am I thinking? Nf4 will block in my bishop and he plays Bh6.” Completely forgetting that the bishops have already been traded first, and my concentration is once again blown by the persistent image of the current position on the board. I call this “analysis fibrillation”. It should be easier to play chess blindfold because the persistent image is not anywhere near as strong. It’s like if you were playing blindfold chess and someone told you there was a naked-lady on the chessboard, you could still concentrate on the chessgame, but if you saw a naked-lady on the chessboard while you were playing, that would be very distracting! That is sort of what the board does, or at least I don’t know how the good players ignore the “persistent image” unless they close their eyes, and I bet many do close their eyes, not just cat-napping.
The only way I could get my head around this position after Crafty showed it to me was actually to analyze what was going on after Bg5 in my head, MUCH easier to get why everything couldn’t be defended in time. It’s almost like when I see the pieces on the board I stop thinking and just start believing only what is there that I can see in a current position, it’s like a brain-vacation. I think this is why blunders happen so easily, you simply start to only trust what you see after a while, not see what is unseen.
I looked at Blunderprone’s blog from a few years back when he started the circles and wondered why he was still missing tactics, but then he also admitted he was only half-heartedly trying to solve them and hoped the answers would magically recall themselves due to the phenomenon of “pattern recognition”. Well, this is why straight pattern-recognition does not work, because as he said he could not recall the patterns. Well, recall is not as important as visualizing the future and reasoning it out; recall is like saying that chess improvement should be recall from the past rather than reasoning something new out going forward.
I analyzed a combo with some others at the club the other day. They were quick to want to know the answer and what the trick was. But that is not what improves your game, what improves your game is to find the answer by visualizing future positions, not by simply “knowing” what it is and “recalling” it later. That doesn’t really work, but that is what wrote learning is, and that is mostly how we have been brought up to expect how to learn to “improve”. Even MDLM’s focus seemed more on spotting all tactical possibilities rather than analysis and planning – there is a sometimes fine, but important line between those two endeavors. Pattern-recognition may be necessary, but by itself is not sufficient IMHO.