Something Positive

Round 1

Fruit likes 10..e5 a touch more than my 10..e6, but my move gave my opponent more of a chance to go wrong, as in the game continuation.

12.Bd3 (instead of 12.Qd4?!) is the move, and then 12…exd followed by ..c6 gives Black a pleasant equality, and my opponent probably rejected it for this reason.

20…Raf8? A blunder played quickly. Needed to hit the queen immediately with 20..Rf3 instead, but the game continuation transposes.

22…Nd3!? I figured OTB that this was probably not the strongest continuation, and actually 22..e3 is stronger, but I could see that it was winning, and my quick play all of a sudden had caught my lower-rated opponent off-guard.

34…Ra1?! I had seen that simply 34…a5 was winning, and would prevent my opponent’s bind, but this is the part where I get bored and spice things up to make it interesting. This habit tends to backfire badly on FICS, but I felt in control here to the very end. My friend Alex thought I was allowing a draw with my idea to sac the exchange, but I was calculating rapidly at the board and had found the wins when we went over the game afterward, and Fruit agrees. I was sort of “on” at this point because I saw that I could triangulate his king in the endgame, and also found that …h5 to weaken …f5 is a winning idea as well (had it played on me before online, naturally). But I just wanted to point out that 35…b5!! is a beautiful pawn sac here, as Fruit found it, with 36..Ra4 being the follow-up idea.

Anyway, I really wanted a win to cheer us all up from our losing streaks. An Expert lost to Anthea in a silly way, with a silly sac, so that bad play can happen to anyone from time to time. Jason is almost an Expert, and I was able to show Alex that he was winning in his game against Jason, not to fear Jason’s attack. I didn’t study any chess all day before the game, simply wanted to be there the real game. It was a nice day for a chess game. 🙂

The funny thing about this chess game is that before it I saw this video where Boris Becker plays Nigel Short. It’s a Ruy Lopez, but then Short replies with ..f5 rather quickly. Boris plays exf and Short once again quickly replies ..e4. So basically I used that same idea to win this game; now how funny is that? 😀

One neat thing that I pointed out in Alex’s game, I mean Jason was playing awful but Alex couldn’t find a win, I showed Alex that he could sac his extra passed pawn (which he thought was the jewel of the position) in order to trade down into a winning ending (Jason’s center pawns would fall and that Black could (but doesn’t need to) even sac wing pawns because a center-pawn will queen first, comfortably, while attacking the opponent’s king. He also missed another pawn sac to get at opponent’s king when all of Jason’s pieces were horribly tied down the queenside. So Alex gained even more space on the queenside, then couldn’t finish the deal, but could have sacked to go after what should be a winning attack against the king.

All of this is to say “Don’t be greedy!” The important thing in chess is to consume the position, all of what’s there, and not to go after material as an end-goal.


7 thoughts on “Something Positive

  1. You played well, f5 and e4 allowed you to use his clumsy play in the opening.
    Yeah, exchange sac looks risky, good that you calculated it.
    I left comments for your previous posts several days ago.
    I thought I started to play OK, but on Monday I was not in a good physical shape and also got some not very good news from home, so in the game with 1400+ rated boy blundered a piece and lost eventually.
    I was just completely crushed by that, my rating already dropped to 1757 and will go below 1700 after that tourney.
    Now I calmed down and will think what to do.
    Hopefully I’ll get it back the same way how you get back your rating on FICS after dropping it by 100-150 points, you just get into a good shape and start to win.

  2. RollingPawns, thanks!! 🙂

    I just replied to your previous post:

    I had an Expert (he’s always hovering just below Master level) David Harts00k once tell me that you’ll lose rating points if there is something wrong going on with you and your girlfriend, etc.. I know for sure that physical factors play huge, bigtime in G/90. I mean, I witness some really atrocious games played by just under 2000 rated and just over 2000 rated. Heck, just being awake is more important than skill. hehe.

    I really want to win all of the games, mow over everybody on Thursdays at G/90 and win this tournament. I want to win a few tournaments in a row and be the one to beat. I want to make Expert at G/90, and not just because I am not losing to lower-rated players but because I am mostly playing Class A and playing more competitively than the rest of the field. When I only play one game a week, I want to put more into that game, I want to put two games worth into that one game.

    Oh, we won’t be stopping at 1800, we’ll make Expert! 🙂 We just have to focus on tactics. Don’t worry about losing now, play to win. 😉 I had that nervousness back last Thursday, which was awesome! When I am not nervous, lacking that nervous energy, then I lose, and I can’t even blitz or make time-control when I don’t have that sort of late burst of nervous energy.

    Sorry to hear about your rating-points drop recently, RollingPawns, but we will make it back! First of all is getting a break before playing your game. Leave work early, don’t do overtime. Have some coffee when you get there, and some pastries or whatnot to have energy.

    Second is tactics really, although never losing sight of endgame wins. You methodically build position, strong positions, winning position. Only one thing stands in your way. Once the position is built, don’t build anymore, search for the the original characteristics of the position and find a tactic.

    Building is like making something neat and orderly. Combinations are like finding the chaos in the position, throwing out a tactic into a messy room. Suddenly, every piece of mess in the room has a purpose, the chaotic has purposeful order. That popsicle-stick in the corner becomes a saber. Don’t try and pick up the popsicle stick, it suddenly is there for a reason during a combinative sequence. Finding harmony of attack into the disorder that currently exists is what combinations are all about.

    I know what it feels like to play against you, even if for only one game. You seek order and are Expert to Master level at creating order. Your opponent is like “Omigosh, RollingPawns has sabres lying on floor all beside him, he merely has to pick one up and whack me with it.” But instead, your opponent is let off the hook as you continue to go about seeking order. So it helps you early in the game that you do this, but late in the game you get all sorts of chances, and it goes against you. 😉

    I just purchased “Nezhmetdinov’s Best Games of Chess” on Amazon, so I won’t get it for another two weeks maybe.

  3. I really appreciate your support.
    I agree with your opinion that at some point I have to stop building and need to a find a knockout tactics. It’s like in a boxing match that I want to win by points, but then I get tired or my opponent is on the ropes, but then escapes and I am upset about it and fight worse. Knockout decides the match, that’s it.

  4. I played today with 1630 rated, had a draw with him before.
    I again played Queen’s Indian. So, as you prescribed, I created positionally some order at about +2 , then found (not all, but enough) tactics and the game was over after 29 moves. One of my acquaintances even praised me for final.
    Finally… Thanks for the prescription. 🙂

  5. I missed one important detail, we played with 30 seconds increment. It probably calmed me down and allowed me to play well.

  6. RollingPawns, I wish I could say that I had something to do with your win, but it was all you. 🙂

    The “simple” tactics are really the hardest part of chess for us. If you could lock yourself in a bomb-shelter for 6 months and study nothing but tactics books, you would emerge as an Expert chess player.

    We understand strategy and prophylaxis, it’s the interaction of the pieces tactically that is the real stumper. I look at these tactics later and say “how easy”, but beforehand I am simply blind to the ideas such as queen maneuvers or sacs for queen maneuvers, or queen sacs. When the queen is on the board, lots of sacs are possible, that is part of her power, giving sac opportunities to her forces.

    Here are two of Nezhmetdinov’s games – not very practical for us, but engrossing: (silent)

    This following one is great, if there is one Nezh game to see it may be this one in particular:

    The one comment in the comments is interesting: “Houdini predicts a draw via 14…d6 15.Nd5 Be6 16.Nxf6+…” This is what I had been looking at (would have played as Black) and wouldn’t have wanted to have to find out what happens as Black, but a draw does make the most sense.

    Regarding building, I think it is a gift and also that experience plays into it a lot. Kids without any of this gift or experience can still gain 1,000 rating points in no time flat if they can hit heavy with tactics, but if the tactics aren’t there they can fall like flies, and eventually you will get your tactic in against them, if you can find it. 😉

    I think that the 30 second increment is good for you because it forces you to play an ending, and compared to many kids and only semi-serious players you can eat their lunch in the endgame. Plus, you are both a great blitz player, and an extremely practical player, which only magnifies your strength at rapid chess.

    For me, 30 second increment is horrible because it is enough time to allow me to be lazy and drag out a game while passing up on every decisive opportunity; so, the 5 second delay thing works out well for me. 😀

    I am reading through this book:

    Mine is green, the next edition I guess, and it seems he did the CT-Art program. I keep missing rook sacs and stop to win a pawn or something instead. The funny thing is that the hardest problems I can solve, but I can miss or botch the “simple” mates. The simple mates are the hardest for me. Even at $70 this book would be a good deal. I have done 170 problems out of 1100 or so, and have had this book for well over 10 years.

    Ooop, just missed a mate in 2 queen sac, never considered it. This is how bad I have gotten tactically from just playing and not studying tactics. The “high-end” of my game is still evolving, but the “low-end” of my game is still missing two-mover tactics.

    tactics are exhausting until you get good at them like MDLM. Still, they don’t exhaust me as much as before, and I remember when Pandolfini’s tactics in CL made me think a lot more 3 years ago. Now I can solve like all 6 of those exercises (when I bother to) in maybe one minute.

    I gotta throw in that my new tech-support role is exhausting. It won’t affect my Thursday chess games, but it limits how much I can study chess because I have to deal with so much of this other stuff. I drink an energy drink before my shift and these customers are still able to exhaust me with their seemingly bottomless pit problems.

  7. That second game is just crazy. How much talent you have to have for that idea just to come into your mind, unbelievable. And he won!
    Thanks for the good words and you are right about the tactics.
    I just posted my game.

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