Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Sleepy week! Games I should be winning and aren't...

Last week was NOT a good week.  I don’t know if it was just something like a cold- but a spell of tiredness has made for epic Low amounts of time; basically just enough to stave off disaster and default on my Turn-based games…

Besides the big crash of an ambitious plan to study many of my blitz loses, and work through several puzzle books…what I think was worst was a whole week without a game.   I know I needed a course correction after a ridiculous amount of effort to push my pathetic blitz score up—but this is NOT the better alternative.

So the one good thing.   My most active chess club opponent (actually my ONLY active chess club opponent) is now recovering from some hospitalization and we were able to grab a couple games.

He was full of compliments and motivating words about my game; and I played a first game on his turf; the polish.

Basically, it was a solid game of technique where a well time break along the f file; undermined his whole position.   This is a normal strategy for me- a familiar theme in most of more successful French opening games… and it went well.   I played without blunder and won with good technique.

Maybe it was the all the big compliments; and probably it was the culmination of too much laxity in a  very advantageous position, combined with some habitual thinking errors; but the following loss I think is very instructive for Me as it shows some of the my worst flaws.   Flaws, that I think, If  I conquer would truly allow me progress much of as chess player.

Nonetheless, unfortunately, for the moment at least there is not a good record of exactly what happened*, so I will merely have to describe the game as it happened.

So the first thing you should know about this game, is that absolutely I should have won it- as my opponent entered the QGD with a poor take on the opening, most likely brought on by being nearly 2 ½ weeks in the hospital.

In short, he was lucky to be alive and not in the best shape.   It was soon very apparent that his opening had real flaws and after I advanced a pawn, he allowed a queen trade the stranded the King in the center.  Worse I capitalized on it with a rook pin and needed only a little savy to win the a piece.   The tactical issue was that as the epawn moved forward I grabbed a shot at a knight as he grabbed a capture of my LSBishop.

If I had carefully followed the tactics out; I would have realized that the Epawn had time to get to the pinned bishop IF it went to e4.  but I moved it to e3 and the epawn no longer had time to menace a piece before the opp broke the pin.

So this is Instructive Error#1 (that I see in my game all the time!); seeing an advantageous move in a good position; I failed to work through how it Could be better.  In fact, I saw the better move e4 like a few seconds after I made my move.   WHY look for a better move or a downside of the move AFTER my move? 

Of course this move wasn’t so bad.  it was still advantageous- and my opponent was full of compliments.  (I vow never to be swayed by compliments Again).

From this move, the opp found some counterplay with a menacing when he took my knight.   Losing one pawn wasn’t so bad I reasoned and I thought I could hold it at bay with rooks.  I passively maneuvered against the marauding pawns only to walk my Rooks into a major Fork.   Had I seen that the invasion square was in fact a weak pawn?  Sure, but the rimmed knight wasn’t nearly as powerful until I marched the rooks in their.

In short (Error#2);  an assessment against an opponents move isn’t updated when the position is- Thus, the opp make a move I had thought was a mistake.   I suppose in a way their was TWO mistakes both not to see the Obvious geometric problem with the defense, and not to see that the Rimmed knight was no longer a poor move.

So after Two serious mistakes my game against an absolutely awful opening was going pretty well for the opponent and was an exchange and many pawns ahead. I knew now that grinding out the game would be a slow and agonizing death; and minimize any chance of capitalizing on the stuck exposed nature of the king.   After his counterplay there was some weak spaces up their and I hoped to pull off something of a miracle.  As I maneuvered towards the king I could see that opp was clearly fearing a sudden death.

We headed towards an obvious draw- which he didn’t immediately see.   But I still had sights on the king; and clearly needed one more Big Time error to go.   After we nearly draw; I chase him into the last hole.   but then

This was my utter undoing.  In goes the king but where is the last stroke?   Having trimmed the branches, the golden prize doesn’t quite seem to work.   But this creates Big problems for me.  Ironically somethings that are maneuvered are vulnverable-

And what interestingly holds his position together and daunts my headhunting party.   The very bishop I failed to kill in the beginning  of the game.   Now there is Serious thought even as my opponent realizes that I’m probably not going to pull a miraculous Check-mate out of my hat.

So this error is perhaps me biggest and most significant.   I have drilled to death some of these tactics and sometimes prone to bluffing and guessing.   But the truth IS in real chess; you’ve got to get the attack RIGHT from the beginning; and make sure there’s no startling refutes.   In short, the APPEARANCE of winning tactics Isn’t the same as Having totally prepared the winning tactic.   You have to play it out in your head that the opponent makes the very best moves and still everything fails and is hopeless for him Espacially when you’ve made concessions to get there.

if Playing REAL chess is making sure you've considered ALL your opponents threats before you move, Perhaps REAL attacks are those that that work no matter WHAT your opponent replies..

This then was the Game, there was much too many concessions and the opponent had an easy time picking between several easy ways of completely daunting and decimating my faltering attack.   Soon pieces swarmed my position and I Lost!

FROM HERE… So its Time to get back on Track.   More time, More chess games,  Try to keep it varied and balanced.… but even if other things falter, no more skipping playing Chess!  All my self analysis is saying that my last and biggest flaws are all connected to onconsistent thought processes.   That really best fixed by an alternately exposing them; then finding and highlighting them After the game.   and… playing the slowest chess game I can get (which online is G30)…

*as I've said before, poor records are a nearly sure sign that my thinking got chaotic, and disorganized.   we totally need to fight this tendency, and to practice taking good notes and clear thinking.

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