Romantic Miniature

Round 2

….or so that is how this one felt like.  I showed Dean improvements he could have made after the game, such as ….Nd7 instead of …Bd7 (and yet I had to convince him as his database said  …Bd7 most often played).  Thinking about this now, I am so glad that I don’t have to rely on a database or a chess-engine as a “surrogate brain”.  It’s funny how I think the database and engine are frequently wrong, and don’t feel the need to consult one, particularly for my own OTB games.

I inadvertently let out a chuckle when he played 21…Ne6, because I knew that to play that move he must have overlooked that after 22.Nxd5 Nxd4 (with the idea of 23.BxNd5 Rd8 skewering) White has 23.Ne7 mate.  The thing is though that Dean takes so much time on his moves that it enables me to see all of this – a luxury which I don’t get against higher-rated players.

Dean resigned before I could play 23.Rhe1 with the idea of 24.RxNe6 and 25.Nc7 (I showed him this as soon as he resigned).  He made his move and resigned immediately, so I didn’t have a chance to play my next move.

So, next week is the “real game”.  I will have Black against a Master, either Brian Wall or Josh Bloomer, or will play Mark McGough, who mated Expert Paul Anderson with a double piece-sac.  And of course, I barely know what to do against 1.d4, so will probably play something conservative, or will perhaps look up some lines of whatever I chose to play (don’t really know how to study against 1.d4).

One thing I’ll say is that studying some tactical puzzles (from Chess Life) did get me back into the swing of firing off with the sharp refuation in this game.  I solved/studied six tactical puzzles from one of Soltis columns, and the next time I solved six puzzles (Nezhmetdinov’s games this time) from his column, it seemed like I got 5/6 in just 10 minutes.  So, definitely do study tactics to sharpen your game!

Here is a blitz game I played on FICS not quite a week ago (notice the times). – opponent disconnected before I could play Bh6+ followed by Qf4, which will mate on either h7 or g7.  Tactics are coming back to me.  If there is one slight downside it’s that when I calculate tactics it’s like my face gets hot and I throw water on it in the restroom.  It’s as if the “computer chip” in my brain is running hot, checking variations, even though I see initial lines right away.

I wish I had taken a chance on that Millionaire Open tournament, but next week will be the real test.


4 thoughts on “Romantic Miniature

  1. Black’s play in the opening was very suspicious.
    Bd7-c8 return doesn’t look good and e6 either.
    Then he underestimated the pin on f6.

    I played yesterday, with that Russian-speaking boy that reached 2200, but now he is back to 2027 and whom I was beating before and did it again recently.
    I had Black, we played Ruy Lopez and I became a victim of his knight sacrifice on f5 (with my pawn on g6). It was almost sound, like -0.25 for him, but only if I sacrifice back an exchange.
    I didn’t see it. Otherwise it is bad for me, as well if I do not accept it and lose a pawn, which I did.
    Then my position deteriorated and I lost.

  2. I commented on your July 15th game, hadn’t noticed it before.

    You are at least IM strength, positionally, or more likely GM. White made a sac on you, and it was -0.25. That means the sac wasn’t really any good unless he was even further behind than that when he made it, as White no less. It’s really very impressive what you have accomplished in chess, particularly concerning the fact that your natural style and skill is just as impressive if not moreso with the Black pieces. It’s the player with the Black pieces that really needs to think and play like a genius.

    You were completely spot-on with your analysis of my game. His …b5 move was creative, and even a played line, but he walked into my attack, particularly with …e6 being his last big mistake. Nobody says this, but I think you have to play even better as Black than as with White, and this is why I get so many miniatures. If they play 1400-like as Black against me, then that is where all of these miniatures come from since I tend to spend too much time and energy in the opening and early middlegame anyways.

    Andy Soltis has this column called “Chess to Enjoy” where he has these combo/attack/problems to solve at the end of each one. I think if you sat down and did some of these, combined with some endgame study just to make sure you were at a really high-leve with this, then I think you are easily playing at IM strenght, on the spot.

    In any kind of rational position, you will find the attack or creative defense as if you were Paul Keres (or Karpov). You remind me most of Paul Keres, though. That’s why I say study some of these crazy positions/problems and you are taking out these Experts/Masters as if it were cake. I struggle with playing Black, but I can see talent, and it’s glowingly obvious with you! 🙂 I notice in “jogging” recently that one can be successful by being very strong or very true. You want to be very true, which is your style in chess. Add some strength through puzzle combos and you will combine the perfect match of trueness with strength. 😉

  3. Getting to 2000 after your comments looks like cakewalk. 🙂
    Thank you for the encouragement, in my age I still manage to play better than before, not worse like other players. As I say at work: “If I would tell you how old I am I will have to kill you.” 🙂
    I noticed, that pretty often I do not estimate right the position arising after a few moves, I kind of cut it off and make a wrong evaluation. Don’t know what to do with it.
    You actually commented before on my July’s game, check it now.

    Regarding Monday’s game, the boy made an intuitive sacrifice, knight for two pawns, but there was a defence that we both didn’t see. Because of that I would be -2 after accepting it as well as I was after declining it. I do not like my positional play in the last two games, though it gets more visible when you play with 2000+ opponents. Still I feel that it is somehow related to the amount of energy you have, though can’t explain why.

  4. You don’t have to tell me, buddy…..(trust me) you don’t have to tell me. 😀 It’s not just energy, it’s also clear-mindedness. I was supposed to go to work today as a “make-up” day, but didn’t, too exhausted to, and plan on leaving it soon, need a break. When I come home from work, I take a nap, can’t really avoid it, then wake up clear-minded. I can tell the difference between “fake awake” = exhausted, but got desired sleep (5-6 hours) plus energy drink, or simply didn’t get sleep plus energy drink (or not) versus “awake” = got a lot of sleep, and doesn’t matter whether got energy drink, or sleepy, or still exhausted because will still be clear-minded, focused, on-task no matter what unless horribly exhausted which is an accumulation from many days worked previously.

    G/90 is like “Mission Impossible” as it is. Throw in a piece-sac for two pawns around a king, and the defender loses most of the time. Like Dean Brown once said in so many words “That’s always a ‘good’ sac.”

    Only way is to pick your candidate line and then practice analyzing it deeply. For example, maybe in a “nothing” position, calculate 7-10 moves deep just to do it, for the practice. Obviously, your intuition will tell you to cut it off after like 2 moves, but if you build a habit during practice problems of looking deeper, then it should be there when the time comes. Cutting off after say 2 moves would indicate rust, not lack of skill. The other things OTB are nerves, which can cause a brain-freeze, or an opponent who never lets you think on their time, or they only spend time in positions where you want to move quickly (the worst type of opponent, but the most common for me as well).

    If either of us made Master we would be oldest ever to make Master. I don’t know what the record for oldest Expert is. 😀 I agree, it’s weird how much stronger you’ve gotten with age, but then again I saw quite a bit of the writing on the wall back when you drew Shirov. 😉 Don’t worry about the recent losses, at least he had to sac something to win it! 🙂

    I will play a Master tonight as Black in all probability. Most likely the test will be whether or not that I can hold an endgame against them, but you never know! 😀

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