If I lose any more winning positions

….I’m going to have to change my name to Caruana.  ;-p

Round 3

There’s a tendency I’ve suffered from since my 1300 days, and that is to not analyze thoroughly late in games.  Sure enough, the move in question was move 39, a notorious move to blunder on.

On move 39, I had 39.Nxg5! winning.  I saw 39.Nxg5 Nxc4, and told myself I’d come back to this line, but never did (so I never saw 40.Ne6+ in this line).  One thing Kosintseva showed in her video is that you always have to come back and make a second pass of all your lines, and I failed to do this.

Instead, I played 39.d6? figuring on at least a fighting draw out of it.  I expected him to take my bishop instead of my knight, then I decided to give up a pawn for activity.  After the game I said I should not have given up the pawn, but then he beat me from the even material line, anyway.  I think it’s a deadly combination of 1) I get tired, and 2) My endgame skill is not as high as my middle-game skill.  Before this move, I did not feel tired, but looking at lines during this move wore me out a bit.  I collapsed in the endgame.  Not only is the endgame losing, but I blundered with 51.Rd5? in time-pressure, seeing right afterward that I should have played 51.Be2 to defend the g-pawn, although it’s still completely lost.

I often think if I could just force myself to do puzzles from the Volokitin book where you have to look at lots of long lines from a single position, that I would have more endurance and capability OTB to play them.  Most of these wicked complicated positions come after, say, move 28.  You need endurance and legitimate analytical skills to do really well in chess.  I mean, you can blitz chess games up to a point, but then you really have to do a lot of quality analysis in some position, particularly positions later in game where decisions become more concrete because there are less resources to wiggle out from bad decisions.

This marks my 7th consecutive game, OTB, where I had a winning position.  I need to close these games out, as endgames are infinitely more tougher.

I played at ClubChess! Wednesday night.  They have a Wednesday night tournament for at least this month and the next.  Here is my Round 1 game.  Great location, site, and hosts!

15…g5 was winning a move earlier as well, as she is just dropping a piece.

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3 thoughts on “If I lose any more winning positions

  1. Round 3 – you had a better position after 30 moves.
    Yeah, 39. d6 was very unfortunate.
    I think you still had some chances 51. Be2, though it wouldn’t be easy.

  2. Thanks for your comments! It’s sad that I’ve saved my most pathetic play for Paul it seems. If I had looked one play deeper in that Nxg5 line, I would have won. 39.d6 was a disaster, and yes I played it mainly to say that I left no stone un-turned, but it was just a foolish move.

    In Round 1, I remember that Houdini said that 13.Nd5 Re8 was relatively equal because, as I told her after the game, she has 13.h3 getting rid of the pin here. So, for example, 13.h3 NxN+, 14.BxB BxB, 15.QxB Ne5, 16.Qd1 g5, 17.Ne2 (or possibly Nh5). You might be looking at 13.h3 NxNf3+, 14.Kh1!, and now 14…Nf3e5, then 15.hxBg4, and if 14…Bh5, then it’s okay to capture on f3, as h3 doesn’t hang. You are right that 14.BxN Bxh3 appears to lose a pawn, although 15.g4 h5! yes (just thinking to myself). So, during the combination played in the game, I did see this Kh1 idea as I played ….NxNf3, and so it sort of spooked me! I also noticed this g4 follow-up then. Judging from the position and what I remembered at the time, I remembered this idea that I had seen in the previous position, during playing the position I actually played.

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