Hey, I saw your game. 🙂

I wanted to provide some comments on your game, and also point out that that Boris Spassky had some really nice wins with the Marshall Attack.
Look here, and search the page for ‘Marshall’:

A lot of them resemble your game, like the ones against Novopashin and Stein – they are the first two that pop-up if you search.

Here is my impression of the game that you played. You played “human” looking moves all game. I thought you played well, and I didn’t see that your move was a blunder at the end, either. If you look at Spassky’s game or the computer suggestions, none of them popped out at me, but sure they look somewhat obvious in retrospect. IOW, they are hard to find moves.

Heck, if it were me playing, I would probably have tried something like …Nf6 followed by …Bf5 once I had seen the Qd3 move, not realizing that …Re6 is the way to handle it. Half of me would be thinking “I am already a pawn down, how can I draw this thing?!”

That is a very difficult opening to play at G/90, particularly if you are not totally psyched from the word ‘go’.

I think that you should let your time go down, when defending. Your blitz rating on FICS is far stronger than mine, you should be the one to feel comfortable in time-pressure. I saw a game on the internet where a Master lost but had 1 second on his clock for the last 15 moves. That is nuts, his game was lost, but I think you have an ability there and could pick up some wins where people blitz in your time-pressure.

I know what you mean about “the other guy was moving quick so I had to as well.” That is what happened to me last Thursday, he started blitzing out his moves and since I was getting way behind on the clock, I reciprocated. Very bad strategy looking back, and my last unused 20 minutes were worthless anyway. But I stopped playing chess and started playing a game called “being nervous while getting attacked on board and clock.”

The gambit opening is strange in a way because it intensifies the time-pressure element (those GMs often played at 40/ 2hrs.30 minutes back in that day when they created all of this theory that we look back upon nowadays). So, he is using that element against you right off the bat, White only needs to hold. Also, some of the computer suggestions are not what a person would play. there is that one line at the end with g4, looking for a moment as if it traps the Bh3. A person looking ahead may see the trap and simply play a4, trying to get the a1 rook into the game and hold on the kingside, knowing that they are already up a pawn. Like I’ve said before somewhere, this is why I stopped playing the Benko, “Why should I give them a free pawn?”

The computer lines are interesting, but seem difficult to find OTB at G/90.

I am relatively eager to gambit a pawn, however (big caveat), as _White_. Still, I don’t see anything in that game to be ashamed of. You played it better than I would have, as I looked through it a quicker than OTB pace. I miss some simple tactics as well, it is a danger. It’s easier to handle these crazy attacks as White, not that I don’t try them as Black, but losing with the Black pieces due to some tactical miscue is part of chess. This is why for the longest time, I have stressed trying to get points back with the White pieces, and just play who cares whatever as Black. Dont’ be too hard on yourself for losing with Black. 😉

I’ve been studying Dvoretsky’s “Technique for the tournament player” a little, it’s a book on endgames. There are some cool techniques for pulling out a win from what a normal human common-sense move would draw, or draw the hard to draw position. The more I think about it, the more I realize that endgames for ratings points stability seems like the way to go. Knowledge there can win (same tricks), again and again, whereas finding tactics is always a one-shot deal. Some tactics do come up a lot, though, like pins, forks, and maybe even ‘removing the defender’ – even though that’s what happened in your game, on a practical level that is also the tactic that has lost me more games than any other at G/90.


7 thoughts on “RollingPawns

  1. Thanks for devoting the whole post to my poor game :). As I just mentioned in reply on my blog and as you say, those are moves are hard to find. Spassky of course finds them because of what he is. And you are right about G/90, maybe it’s a worst format for Marshall, because in blitz I played with it more than 100 games and almost never had such problems and something like 2/40, SD/1 can give you enough time to find/calculate that fine move. You right again about the time, 36 minutes was plenty of time to count that possible queen exchange, after which it’s an endgame, where even by my standards 30 minutes is enough. Maybe I panicked a bit after Re5, feeling that it kills any hope for a win leaving me to fight for the draw. By the way from this point I ran a shootout and there were 2 draws! So it wasn’t lost even after Re5. Endgames are good, but you to reach them first :), I don’t even remember when I played the last one.

  2. I felt that same thing when I looked over the game, that in blitz White does not have time, but in G/90 White has time but now Black really doesn’t!

    Yeah, this is one of those times where one has to “insult” their opponent by using up all the time on their clock. It’s like “Yes, I am losing, but your butt is going to be parked in that chair for the next 35 minutes, buddy, because I am not giving up!” But if one get’s self-conscious about their position, it’s easy to want to make quick moves so that the other guy doesn’t think you are a complete moron. haha. I’ve been there too. In practical terms, I agree, you still have a chance to hold the ending, if you play that out.

    Who would find Spassky’s moves? Actually, I had the book analysis of that combo against Novopashin, and it was quite lengthy, why White couldn’t take back on f4, which was definitely losing. The combo was elaborate, more like postal chess, and I believe the combo was actually part of Spassky’s pre-game analysis with one of his trainers. In any case, he used the exact same reasoning from that combo in a similar position against someone else. I seem to recall that it won him two games, although I only see that one listed offhand.

    Do remember the quote from Petrosian about how he liked to let his opponents come up with ideas at the board, because they were sure to be bad? In the Marshall, Black has to come up with the idea and White can sit around a bit. Even in my Sicilian game as White, the last one against Anthea, of course my Kh1 move was really flaky and a blow-it move. Right before that I heard her talking to someone else where she said something like “Don’t worry, sometimes people take a long time and make weird moves.” Which is exactly what I did. hehe. She simply didn’t find the correct defense of Qe2 after nibbling on my pawns, for one thing. Also, her ..Bd7-c6 reply looked natural, but allowed my Nf5 move. IOW, it’s “easier” to counter your opponents bad moves than to come up with good ones.

    Especially if you want to beat a 1700 level player. It’s okay to play aggressively and play whatever opening you feel like as Black, whether you know it beforehand or not, but sacking a pawn in a known line is sort of like asking for trouble.

    You are right that the Benko is a little different, more of a positional sac, but it also means that Black still has to play brilliantly against weak players. And sometimes White plays an anti-system and simply gains that pawn, Black being left without the typical play. I noticed that in one of Blunderprone’s games, he could have simply taken the pawn, having gotten in a nice ‘anti-system’, and had what looked for me to be an easy win.

    I realize that playing the Marshall may be fun for you, and I don’t want to take that away, but I’ve noticed that sometimes there are easier ways. For example, some play a sort of Colle against me and let me get in Bd6 and I get in all kinds of dangerous complex chances as Black without sacrificing anything. Probably, Black aims to get in a lot of dynamic play in the QGA as well. Even if some of the play is bad for Black in those openings, at least the other guy isn’t somehow reassured that maybe your play is bad because you are down a pawn already.

    You are welcome for the post! hehe. Thanks for playing another exciting game. 🙂 Your games seem more exciting post-mortem than mine. I get quite a few dud-looking wins and losses where there is not much more to say, and don’t get into as many endgames as I should.

  3. In Marshall good guys like Aronian find the way to keep fire. Ivanchuk recently almost beat Anand, he played not only f5, but h5!
    Yeah, there are easier ways. One 1900+ guy in the club beat my opponent with Black in Ruy in Keres variation half a year ago (he was 1600+ then), both missed tactics where Black was winning about move 25, then they went into same-colored bishops endgame where difference in the class quickly showed.
    So, since I like Ruy, I am thinking about playing it, not Keres, but Zaitsev variation. I am OK for now in one correspondence game.

  4. Maybe he gave up on the idea of realistic improvement.

    Speaking of wuss, my latest idea is this:
    1) Figure out some safe opening lines, like not play the French as Black, not let them get in Bc4,Ng5 attack against …e5. Know an equalizing line against the Vienna.
    2) Study tactics
    3) Save the cheesy lines for internet play.

    Then, the next day, one doesn’t feel compelled to blog about their boring win/loss. hehe.

    So many have given up chess-blogging. Three years ago it seemed to be having a renaissance, a nice hobby, nowadays people are realistic and think about what puts food on the table rather than hobbies, IMHO. A sign of the times?

    The ChessLoser blog seems to have been deleted. That is the new cool thing to do, delete your blog. I have considered deleting this blog as well, but knowing me I’d rather have others delete theirs first and be the domino that gets knocked down by the other domino, but perhaps it’s all the same.

    The book I am reading now is Alburt’s “Chess Tactics for the Tournament Player”, doing that and looking at some openings lines. I think that this is what I am going to be doing for quite some time. My goal all along was to get rid of the other “strategy-type” books so that I could study tactics.

    I have played 1900 plus players before. What I am afraid to tell the other players at the club is that they would get tactically slaughtered by them. 1900+ doesn’t necessarily have an abundance of common-sense, experience, or even defense, but they are most of the time tactical monsters. Endgames, give me a break, maybe here in Colorado there is an unusual skew of 1900+ players who are mostly strong endgame players, but that tells me more about how long they have been playing chess – quick talent gets there by tactics, not endgames. Endgamers are like me, they’ve simply been around for a very long time.

    People get attracted to chess by tactics, like moths to a flame, but tactics are the cold reality of chess, IMHO. Tactics are like the witty infidel triumphing over otherwise sound reason, and getting away with it, and occasionally getting burned by that same flame. Hero and fool, two sides of the same coin.

  5. It is sad what happened to chessloser. First he stopped to post, then resumed some posting, but it was like from a different person, almost all just about online chess. And then the blog was deleted. His blog was the best by the huge margin, I personally started my blog only because of it.
    On a different note my rating got a big hit, dropped to 1866. I played only 3 games since big tournament in the beginning of July. A new chess club opened in downtown, 5 km from me. Annual entry fee 1.5 times higher than in my current club and it’s also not every week, 32 rated games (90/G) per year, with breaks between tournaments for lectures, etc.. They posted results of the 1st round – 3 – “C” class, 1 – “B”, 2 – “A” and 2 experts. I will wait, maybe will go to take a look.

  6. There are only two ways to gain rating points consistently:
    1) Play high-rated players, play them conservatively and find any counter-shots.
    2) Become the best tactical player that one can be against lower-rated players. Don’t be afraid to sac a pawn where needed, but try avoiding intentional pawn-sac openings.

    You had Black 2 out of 3 times in that tournament. Probably have to dig digger into the clock as Black. It’s dangerous, but somewhat of a necessity.

    That other club sounds like a good ratings distribution, so I would encourage you to go there, if you can.

    You are still less than 140 points from an Expert’s rating. The tactics come hard against these 1700 and up players. Pawns don’t fall as often and pieces rarely do. It mostly becomes about finding aggressive sacs/attacks/tactics, IMHO. I think about weaknesses, but I still don’t think about the pieces nearly enough, their development and what they can and can’t do tactically. Just as hard to do is counter all of their tactics, but should this happen, their positions can fall apart positionally, and many high-rated players are so strong tactically that they don’t notice the positional falling-apart because it rarely comes to that anyway, so you will most likely still see a steady-diet of crap positional moves here and there, but can’t let those opportunities slip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s