Tuesday, August 25, 2009
If he can move again... Part I
I. But first

I got over 1600 today.

For the past two weeks I kept fluctuating inside the 1500 level, like a butterfly trapped in a bottle, beating helplessly against the glass. It didn't help that I dropped five games, and four of them in winning positions at that, due to disconnection.

How does one say it in America - Bummer?

Well, anyway so I've been hard at work analyzing the games contained in the Art of Attack. But I don't want to overdo it (If clutching the book everyday and looking at the position every so often can be called "not overdoing it").

The problem (for me at least) with studying too much is that I tend to think I'm gaining all this chess knowledge and that the next time I play, I'll just use it to crush all competition, leaving a trail of broken tears in my wake.

Of course the very next game, I'll hang a piece and go all depressed and wrathfully declaim "Why do I even bother studying" over the burning embers of the book.

But that is unfair to the book, which after all is very good. No, the fault lies with me and mine. Specifically, in another area of weakness that I think I need to address otherwise I'll forever be stuck in the same place. No matter what I read.

II Blunders: An old friend; an old enemy

The first step on the road to greatness is to eliminate all simple blunders from my game. I'm not talking about things like a three-move combination that I didn't see, or even simple tactical motifs that I just didn't know was present till it was done.

What I'm talking about is the time when immediately after you make a move, you go all "Oh #$%^ what did I just do?".

I'm pretty sure most are familiar with it. After thinking and analyzing and comparing candidate moves, you finally select one and make it OTB. But no sooner was the move made when regret was instantly in the offing.

Maybe it was a hanging piece I just forgot, or something.. anything.. that I know I should have countered and yet did not.

III. Thinking Process: Identify threat

The thing is, I've been trying to remove such things from my game and just could not. I finally just gave up and let things fall where they may.

But now I need must confront the inner demon again. I don't want to be like this forever.

One thing I will not do however, is create a list of things to check and rattle it in me head each move.

I tried it. Didn't work.

I still remember the first list I made. A 35 points monstrosity. Not only did it not help, but I became so distracted trying to think about the list, that I barely had time to think about actual chess instead. Ugh!

But I think I found the perfect description to what I hope will be a solution.

A threat is nothing more than what a player would do if he could make two moves in a row.

Simple, direct to the point. I like it.

This single thing is what I will ask myself after the opponent moves - If he can move again, what can he do?

Just one thing to ask. No more. No less.

What would happen if I just keep it as simple as that? but is it really that simple or am I just deluding myself into a false sense of security.

I'll try it in the next ten games.

Next: What is the result?

posted by Nezha at 5:06 AM | Permalink |