Wednesday round 1

In this game I had Black against a 1400 level player (as if a rating were something permanent). He played the English opening and I replied …e5, not wanting to test out my scant experience with the Four Knights defense.

It felt …Be7 would have been more solid and I have more experience with that, but as you know each new game is an adventure.

Well, basically it’s almost like I was playing to hang on in this game, missed two huge combinations, one a mate in three ending on f2. I think the three things of the clock, trying to figure out what to do positionally and what to do tactically make it harder to find tactics OTB than in a “tactics book” where all you care about is the tactic.

At the end of the game, his knight is trapped so he resigns.

The most interesting result was that my friend Alex 1480 beat Richard, the Expert that I lost to a week ago. He had to leave earlier than usual but wants to train with me some more, go over games. That’s the thing about rating, anything can happen for any given game. All I heard was at one point Richard said “Darn, how did I miss that!” hehe. Alex finds lots of tricky tactics all game long.

This game was a pleasure to go over with Crafty afterwards. What I’ve learned from this game is that I need to try harder to allow more time for moments when I sense combinations could/should be there in order to wrest the initiative away from my opponent. One may only get a couple of those of those moments over a long series of moves, don’t let them go to waste. Yeah, they win material and are winning, but the key virtue seems to be grabbing the initiative by using all of the resources in the position. After that winning moves almost find themselves since there is more than one way to win the won game usually.

The missed combinations are as follows:
15…Rxe3, 16. RxR Qh4 mates on either f2 or h2.
21…NxB followed by either
22. NxN f4 (deflects the knight from defending d4, plus f4 undermines d4 by attacking the e3 pawn – Bxd4 threat forks king and rook.
22. RxN allows Black to either fork the rooks or win the e-pawn. For example 22…Na5, 23. Qd3 c6, 24. Nc3 Nb3 forks rooks on d2 and a1.


4 thoughts on “Wednesday round 1

  1. I wouldn’t call it “playing to hang on”, you were better all the time.
    Then he went down after 29. Ng5.

    These missed combinations are not very easy, especially 15… Rxe3, but, yeah, we should learn how to spot this stuff.

  2. On the second combo, the rook recapture looked goofy to me, but I did not suspect that I could undermine d4 like that – I failed to realize that I had two ways to possibly undermine d4.

    I’ve decided to study endgames when I am in my chess-den at the board. There are benefits. First off all, it serves well to have square and diagonal colors memorized. Second, it’s easier to visualize the board in a blindfold sort of way with fewer pieces on the board. It’s also nicer to have the board in the starting position because not only are there fewer pieces to setup, but also having made a lot of moves from the initial position is not as distracting. Lastly, studying middlegame positions all the time is like a brain-fry.

    How often do we even get the same middlegame positions as we study? I only maybe do, if I am lucky, of positions that I myself have played previously.

    Charming observation time: This last Canadian Open that was played in Montreal featured 5 American masters who had their USCF rating affected by their results. Not sure if that’s just Masters that can play for their USCF rating in Canada or not.

  3. Playing to hang on?? Geeze, how much must you be winning to say you where better?

    Your opponent kept making small mistakes which (not always) exploited while your opponent kinda was only reacting on your moves. So in the end a well deserved win.

  4. Thanks, Chesstiger! I need to keep playing more and more G/90 games until I can get to the point where I stop freaking-out, especially when I’m not even losing. 😉

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