Wednesday, September 30, 2009
OHMYGOSH!!! A Win Against a 2000 Player!
I still cant believe it.. hey guys, hey guys.. check this out!!

The final position

Just before this, I was playing PnTinh (1823) and I was so bummed because I had the advantage and let it slip away with one careless move. I was really kicking myself. It was such a horrible experience to see crafty give you a sizable advantage then swing it to a large negative after the blunder.

The problem is, I couldn't concentrate nearly long enough. Oh, I start well in the beginning. Analyzing all my opponents threats, but then slowly, slowly, ever so slowly by about move twenty my brain starts to shut down. I drift away into some zone and then there is this little thing where if I stay still for a long while, ants begin crawling all about me. They are in my eyes! in my hands! and I need to get them off! get them off!! by moving a piece.

And so I move and I fail.

To paraphrase Mr Heisman, if you play real chess 80% of the time, and play hope chess 20% of the time, you are actually just playing at 20% your capability. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Anyway, I'm glad that in this game I was able to somewhat maintain concentration. A very satisfying win indeed.

(Although, post-analysis with crafty indicated that we both did some very very bad moves. We were doing the obvious move to say the least, and yet the obvious move led to perdition. I need to remind myself that there are always hidden resources in any given position and that unearthing them and forcing myself to search for the 'subtle' will make me a far better player. There are other squares besides that which I was thinking of after all.)
posted by Nezha at 9:15 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So close.. so close...
{Game 176 (mantakaya vs. Barnaul) Barnaul checkmated} 1-0
Standard rating adjustment: 1790 --> 1799
Standard rank: 773/5098 (up 34)
Standard hrank: 739/5062 (up 34)
You have achieved your best active rating so far.

If it wasn't for that stupid draw the last game, I would already be over my all time high of 1801 right now. Anyway, this game is really satisfying from the point of view that my opponent was an 1800 player. I mean, I will never consider myself an 1800 player if all I do is beat up on 1500 players and gorge on their ratings. No no no.. As I've said before, to be the man you have to defeat the man.

Interestingly enough, I'm pretty sure something changed in my chess playing style. Its not a secret who my favorite chess player is. But you know, my talents are far short of the requirements to play in such a manner. For example, in this game he sacrificed his queen in this position

Who have the guts to play Qxf6?

No matter how I try, I wont be able to play like that. Such a sorry state to be in..

But having realized that - I'm now starting to play in.. in a more unhurried style. Concentrating more on scanning for threats than in creation of my own. Of course that doesn't mean I play passively, only that prophylaxis and strategy has gotten a boost in consideration when choosing moves.

Here is the last game

And some of the critical positions and what my thought was regarding them:

Bf6?! - Two bishop moves at the opening. Wasting time. It would have been better to develop another piece.

'How undemocratic for instance, it would be to let one of your officers go for a long walking tour, while the others kicked their heels together at home and bored themselves horribly.'

1. f4 - The acquisition of space is of prime importance. I now have what Nimzo calls the 'mobile' pawn center. This center will move and crush all! or so I was hoping. He should play to 'restrain' or to 'kill' this pawn center.

'Such a pawn must be executed or put be put under restraint. Accordingly we can condemn the criminal either to death or imprisonment for life. Or we can pleasantly combine the two by first condemning him to death, then commuting his sentence to life imprisonment.'

2. Nd8?! - Although it covers f7, in cramped positions it would be better for the side where space is of a definite lack to exchange pieces so as to give his area 'Air' (Air is not always free in chess). Also the queen should not have been in there. It's getting in the way of the light squared bishop. We must always be mindful on how to coordinate our pieces so they do not hinder their comrades.

For my part here is the strategy -

'Playing on the basis of spatial advantage is in a sense a question of blind faith. You see no targets in the enemy position and no way to force any weakness, but merely attempt to solidify your own position allowing simplification only when absolutely necessary or clearly favorable in the belief that your opponent will sometime feel obliged to make make concrete concessions in terms of pawn weaknesses or outposts in order to avoid suffocation.'

3. f5 - The pawns are rolling. Choo choo! - The end is near.

Now before I give the impression that I saw everything and everything went according to plan, I and it, actually did not. What bothers me is that I only see possibilities after moving. It shouldn't have been that way. It should be that, I should see before I move the contours of things which is to come.

But no, mostly I go 'hey wait a minute! I can do this..' when the position is already revealed. Still, at least I found some of the good moves. But things can be better..

Anyway, I hope to get that one point later.. sure would be good not to go on a losing streak right now.. :nervous:
posted by Nezha at 1:59 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, September 28, 2009
Takeback requested
Now, let me just say I totally understand his position. And there are no hard feelings on my part. However, I think blunders are part of the game. I've blundered my fair share and took it in the gut like man.. rawr!

The position

bishopspectre: oops...
bishopspectre: that was a mistake because i play on a real board with this....
mantakaya: a mysterious queen maneuver
bishopspectre: yeah, i'm sure you won't accept a takeback. especially since you were losing.
mantakaya: i did a mistake earlier.. didnt ask for takeback
bishopspectre: yeah, but that was ridiculous
bishopspectre: and yeah, knew you wouldn't
bishopspectre: don't expect it on FICS. it's know the kinda people we get
mantakaya: would you be satisfied if i allowed a takeback?
mantakaya: it is not allowed anywhere
bishopspectre: blundering a queen? oh yes
bishopspectre: well, if you feel cool winning like this.
mantakaya: sure.. blunders are part of the game
bishopspectre: well i don't look at the screen, i look at my board
bishopspectre: whatever
(Draw offer sent, accepted)
bishopspectre: *sigh* thanks...i guess

The game itself
posted by Nezha at 7:06 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
Sunday, September 27, 2009
House is flooded
There is a continuous three day rain here. The result of which is that the whole village was flooded. We are in waist deep water. No kidding. The official measurement is our area is submerged by 6 feet. Wow! (So if I keep getting disconnected, you guys know the reason already)

Ok, so the world is flooded, and what do people like me do when faced with this situation? - I just played 8 hours of chess.. har har..

But, it might be that fortune frowned upon such insensitive behavior so much so that I went on a losing streak. It got so bad that by the end of it, I purposely went for a draw, and on another, I was actually happy I won when my opponent when he forfeited by disconnection.. :(

It wasn't so much as the loses, what gets to me is that I just studied so hard just before playing. I went through entire chapters of 'My System', did some tactical exercises, and basically pumped myself up to play - all to no avail.

In order not to get so down, I just reminded myself that everyone goes through such things and that tis part of learning.

Anyway - it was good that afterward I was able to play this game. This time, I forced myself to go slower. I literally walked away after some moves just so I can restrain my hands from moving the pieces.

And then after that, I played with someone who told me that he is a reader of the blog. Oh hey 'IrishGussy'. Lets play again sometime.

Our game

The critical position

Can I safely take the e-pawn? And which knight?

What I was most afraid of was that after Nfxd5 then Qh5 with fantastic pressure. In the end, after everything, the game went into an endgame which I felt I should win if I just carefully and avoided forks.

Oh, is a queen vs knight ending a draw or a win?

I think whats wrong is that apart from moving too fast - I think I'm moving slow enough and yet FICS timestamp indicates I'm doing just shy of a minute per move, far too fast.. - what's wrong is I am not able to retain what I just studied. I mean all those chapters I read was just a distant echo when I'm already in the board. Wonder how to retain the knowledge better and apply practically.

(fyi - someone aborted a game with me because he said i was too slow. Go figure.)
posted by Nezha at 6:24 AM | Permalink | 1 comments
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
As to tactics, what about your earlier realization that tactics grow on trees? Why try to set them up? Keeping the pieces active should be enough for them to appear regularly. On the other hand, maybe it's different when you really are an attacking player.

A nameless one have left a comment. One which I will attempt to answer -

It is true that tactics grows on trees at my level. However, as one proceeds to play stronger and stronger opponents, more sophisticated tactics is required. 1800 and above players rarely falls for a simple fork. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that the tactic was there all along but I could not see them.

Anyway, rather than waiting for some weak move of the opponent wherein something like a skewer suddenly shows itself, you can also attempt to bring about positions where large scale tactical operations are possible.

For example, the classic bishop sacrifice. A sacrificial attack that has become my personal favorite. It doesn't always succeed so I could not say that its just a simple trick. I've lost quite a few misplaying the attack, but yet, learning it has been one of the things that makes me say I'm a better player now than I was then. If a little slower in calculation.

Did you know that i've played my ipod computer perhaps a hundred times and won just two? One was involving a queenless middlegame, and the other win was with that bishop sac. Its really sweet.

Well, the point is if you've read this far is that by placing the pieces 'just so' you can invite tactical operations to come forth.

Here was the critical position of my last game.

Guess what happened next?

The bishop being placed on d3 was a very deliberate attempt to setup the classical bishop sacrifice.


Well anyway, having said that - things like this is great but I also need some other things too. Its not that I don't want to concentrate on tactics, its just that.. its boring just thinking of the same thing over and over again.

I want my chess to have some logic. To have some strategy, to have some prophylaxis, to have something.. else.
posted by Nezha at 11:20 AM | Permalink | 3 comments
Sunday, September 20, 2009
So confused on what to do next..
I have so many things I want to study.. and yet don't have the time for them all. So I start on one, but another will catch my attention and so I keep going in circles..

1. Opening -
I have 'Starting out: Pirc' and 'Winning with the Scotch'. Not to mention a few resources about the Moeller attack I wanted to read more about. It is perhaps in my nature that I want to end games 'at once' that I continually search for trips and traps. Particularly in the opening phase where such things are common.

2. Tactics -
I have '303 chess puzzles', just ordered 'chess cafe puzzle book' and the seminal 'Art of attack'. The problem with puzzles is that you don't really learn how to play good moves. Sure you recognize things if they were staring you in the face, but setting up tactics requires a more elaborate touch. Although the art of attack kinda teaches you such things. Some of my wins were taken straight out of the book so to speak.

But well, I've been studying tactics all my chess life it seems (Not that I'm good at it). I feel as if it has grown stale. I want something new this time around. Though I just cant neglect this. It is the one thing good in my game.

3. Endgames
Always wanted to study pawn endings. There had been times when I should have won a pawn up game and just didn't know what to do. I also have 'Turning advantage into victory chess'. Just read the first game in it and I learned about how to use the opposition already. Careful study of this book should be good for my chess.

4. Game Collection
Purdy said you need to study master games. It is the 'one' sure thing that will make someone a stronger player. I just ordered Fishers 'My 60 greatest games'. Even 'My system' can be considered to be in this category. Plus, I have chessmaster 10. The game collection in it and the josh games are interesting too. Then I have Tals 'life and works', and Korchnois 'Chess is my life'

5. Art of checkmate
I feel I need to include this. I've been going through this book again and what do you know. I learn something new again. Well, not new but.. I grasp the theory better than when I first read it.

6. Middlegames
A whole gamut of books have I. It is there in the corner even now. I will not list them all. It is miserable to have memories of me poring over them and it not really having an effect on my game. But perhaps I'll make an exception and re-read 'Simple Chess'.

Btw: Hey bahus, are you still playing in Fics? Lets go play training games together :)

Anyway, there it is. A whole lot of things to study and no time to do it all. It would take years just going through my present collection. Not to mention the other books I wanted to order from Amazon.

And also, I'm secretly afraid that even if I did study all of these, that it wont matter a lick. After all, this kind of thing has happened to countless people in ages past. I would not be the first person to plateu. But I sure hope not..

posted by Nezha at 5:26 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Rust.. and..
Due to work I haven't had the time to play lately and when I did, this monstrosity happened.. Really.. 5 moves.. really!?

posted by Nezha at 9:27 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
At last!! - 1706 - Yay!
1. First - The game itself

2. The result

{Game 383 (mantakaya vs. Andrewer) Andrewer forfeits on time} 1-0
Standard rating adjustment: 1697 --> 1706
Standard rank: 1321/5058 (up 71)
Standard hrank: 1286/5017 (up 71)
You have achieved your best active rating so far.

3. The final position

Black to Move

I thought I was gonna lose this. My last move - g4 was speculative. I didn't know if I can withstand the attack that will surely follow. e.g. 29. g4 Rxf4 30. Bxf4 Bxf4 31. Qxh7 Bxd3+ 32. Kg2

And here, it turned out that the move I was so afraid of - Rd2+ was not possible as the file was blocked by the bishop.. duh! I'll probably hate myself if I lost this game..

Anyway, so it was unclear to me and I was so afraid of the move.. Yet, I still played the g4 as he just had so little time - I thought to tempt him and make him think.. hehe.. relying on time flag is perhaps not such a novel idea, but in this case at least it worked.. >.<

100 more points and I am back..
posted by Nezha at 10:14 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sept 15 - Annotated Game
Here is a game I annotated. I wrote what I was thinking during the game and the variations that I was able to comprehend. You'll be very surprised I think just how much variation I was considering in a game. It was really.. skimpy to say the least.

The full game is here

1. e4 d6
2. Nf3 Nf6

I'm having trouble meeting d4 with d5. I always seem to get a cramped game and it is not uncommon that the games ends with my light square bishop not moving from its spot.

Plus the fact that I have in my possession - "Starting Out: The Pirc/Modern". The last chess book I bought before I went into my hiatus.

So now I'm starting to use this opening against both e4 and d4. I must say that the character of the games I get is very different from what I'm used to. The black position seems compressed.There are no sudden skirmishes and you have to wait for your chances.

On the other hand, learning all about pawn breaks and how to counter a pawn center with pieces is also something new. It could only improve my chess if I learn these things.

3. e5 Nfd7

I seriously considered Ng4 here. It didn't appeal to me. It seems that he will take the d6 pawn anyway so attacking with the Knight seems just a waste. Although I at least had another 'candidate' move. Often I would only have one - the seemingly obvious move. So finding an alternative is a happy occasion for me.

4. exd6 cxd6
5. Bc4 g6

He is targeting the vulnerable f7. The threat that I saw was Ng5. I can counter that with e6. No problem at this point.

But I also considered Qc7 attacking the bishop. But if the bishop moves to say - b3 then the idea behind Qc7 is lost. Although Qc7 is the normal home for the queen. But I feel that it is needed in the king side.

6. d3 Bg7

How could I miss d3. Defending his bishop and opening the diagonal for the other one. I'm sure glad I didn't do Qc7

7. Ng5 O-O

I considered d6 here. But I was afraid of the sacrificial idea
- 8. Bxd6 fxd6
- 9. Nxd6 - Queen moves
- 10. Nxg7

But truth to tell, I just saw this move now. I didn't saw it during the game :( - I just felt it was
dangerous so I opted to castle instead. Besides, I had a defensive resource up my sleeve which I played the next move.

8. Qf3 Ne5

Ha! I was expecting something like this. Now Ne5 stops him dead cold.

9. Qf4 Nxc4
10. Qxc4 Nc6
11. O-O h6

I don't want that blasted horse perched over my head

12. Nf3 Be6

I wanted to kick the queen out while developing

13. Qh4 g5

GASP!! I didn't see this. Now I'm under pressure - h5 will be lost. Then his knight will come back to g5. Just terrible. The question now is - do I have to save it? The answer is - I felt i must. Otherwise it would have been the height of inconsistency for me to have played g5.

And he wouldn't have the cojones to sac a piece for two pawns and the attack would he?

14. Bxg5 hxg5

He did :(

Mate in h7 is threatened. I admit that I didn't see that coming. I was analyzing what will happen if he sacs the knight. I didn't see any mating threats with queen and bishop so I just played g5. But it turned out he sac'ed the bishop. Now there is a threat of mate.

15. Nxg5 Bf5

One of the things to look for when sacrificing is the presence of the opponents pieces. If there are two or three that can get in the vicinity and participate in the defense then it is usually not a bright idea to do unclear sacrifices.

In this case I had two bishops. A tough nut to crack.

16. g4 Bg6
17. f4 f5

I cant move f5. He will fork, I saw this much. But then looking around I saw I have a check. So I gain valuable tempo. I can do f5 after all. I can't find any other move apart from this. Some other move like Qa5 to do Qd4+ doesn't seem to do anything at all.

18. Ne6 Qb6

The expected fork. The expected check.

19. Kh1 Rf6
20. gxf5 Qa5

The critical position. I found here a simple trap involving Qd5+ and Rg6+ (I need to check with the queen first otherwise him doing Qxe7 is quiet worrying)

In here he could have maybe got material balance like this -
- 21. fxg6 Qd5+
- 22. Kg8 Rxg6+
- 23. Nf5

If he did this, I was intending to sac the exchange just to remove that pesky beast.

21. Nxg7 Kxg7

Nxg7 loses. He just didn't consider why I did Qa5 I think. Judging from how fast he made this
move I didn't think it registered on his consciousness at all.

It is all over now. The rest is of no interest.

22. fxg6 Qd5 23. Kg1 Rxg6 24. Kf2 Qg2 25. Ke1 Re6 26. Kd1 Qxf1 27. Kd2 Re2 28. Kc3 Qe1 29. Qxe1 Rxe1 30. Kd2 Rh1 31. a4 Rxh2 32. Kc3 Rc8 33. Kb3 Nd4 34. Kb4 Nxc2 0-1 {White resigns}


I really have to get better at looking for trouble. I didn't foresee the reasonable replies three times. Reasonable is the keyword here. It would be one thing if it was some deeply laid trap, but its quite another to be blind to moves that in hindsight, I would have done too.

Although me finding another candidate move no matter how simple is good, and there are some variations that I did see.

Wonder how much analysis other players do OTB. Do they really have reems of variation floating in their head crafty-style?
posted by Nezha at 9:20 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, September 11, 2009
A Pretty Finish - Entombment
Hey, check this out:

Two more moves and he would have been

I am starting to be really aware of the role fast development affects a game and how ta few empo loss is usually fatal. For example, in this game that I lost; I shilly shallied and he got extra turns and it was all downhill from there. I thought I could maintain the pin but it was just a mirage.

It was better to lose positional advantages than to lose time!!

This is will be one of my postulates from now on. When deciding on a move, I will ask, among other things, if the move in question represents a loss of time. It is after all, better to let go of an attack and get a draw than to lose the game entirely. (Of course, the role of tempo had been understood well before, but I have had to come to my now conclusion and to experience something before it could be taken as truth.)

And - Can't wait for my book to arrive. I ordered 'My System', Fishers 'My 60 greatest games', 'The art of sacrifice' and 'Chess cafe tactics book'.. I can fell my ELO expanding already from thinking about all the learning I'm about to receive.. - Mwahahahaha!

Oh, and I saw CelticDeath at FICS btw.. Hat tip to CD.. ;)
posted by Nezha at 8:06 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I seem to be losing my battle against blunders
I seem to be losing my battle against blunders.

I just dropped three games in a row against lower rated opponent. The first one, I was a full queen up!!! I just couldn't find the way to mate.. That really tells you my true level as a chess player. (Although playing at 3am in the morning with my eyes barely open doesn't do any wonders for my game. And yet, I feel as if I should retain enough presence of mind not to blunder)

Full queen up - Yuck!!!

And yet, I then turn around and defeat two 1800 players in fine sacrificial style.

Game A - Bishop sacrifice - I blundered twice and yet a win.

The thematic bishop sacrifice at h7/h2 is becoming quite a favorite of mine. I've been able to do it three times now since then. One was the sole win against my i-pod chess computer!

Each time, it gets easier than before as the lines to calculate takes on a familiarity.

I really recommend the 'Art of Attack' to anyone interested in sacrificial chess. Extreme familiarity thematic attacking patterns and the common defensive and offensive maneuvers that occurs during such attacks could take your chess into heights previously unimagined.

Not to mention sometimes, when you are losing, a sacrifice can help turn the tide. As in this game, I was on dire straights actually. I lost the exchange and well, it was a good thing he fell into the trap, not noticing what I intended till it was too late.

Game B - Kingside attack - A nice calculated attack. I foresaw most of the lines.

This game was nice. I was attempting to implement Nimzowitsch's teaching about development, Namely - loss of time is to avoided at all cost. I henceforth will not back down any of my pieces and avoid exchanges if it means loss of time. I've lost quite a few games because I fell behind in development. I was always trying to gain the bishop pair and would take torturous maneuvers just to preserve them.

No more. Time is of the essence

As Nimzo said - "if chess is like a race how foolish it is to stop and rub your nose while in the middle of it."
posted by Nezha at 9:24 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
Monday, September 07, 2009
I think I will buy "My System" after all
"How undemocratic for instance, it would be to let one of your officers go for a long walking tour, while the others kicked their heels together at home and bored themselves horribly. No, let each officer make one move only, and... dig himself in."
Aron Nimzowitsch

I've previously resisted on buying this book. After all, I have tons of books already on the middlegame. Including what I think is the best of them all - "Simple Chess" by Michael Stean. I mean, what can someone who have long ago turned into dust teach me that more modern authors could not?

But lately, I felt as if I needed something new. To understand positional chess so to speak.

There have been times when I needed to formulate a plan. All is well if the game proceeds along some lines I know well.. e.g. The opponent king is stuck in the center - so open lines now!, etc..

But there are some quiet positions. Positions where I need to improve slowly and I, I just dont know what to do. (But didnt I just said I would'nt study until I master my thinking process? Err.. I might have been too hasty on that account.)

Fortunately, I recently I got a PDF copy of 'My system' and I couldn't stop laughing. Its a very funny book.
The price is worth it just for the style of writing alone. If the man is to be believed, why, he practically invented chess :)

The only real thing I don't like is that people "re-translates" it because it is "too hard" to understand.

It is a very bad thing to do I think. How would you like it if someone put words into your mouth because they couldn't understand what your talking about?

I'm aware the printers of the book try to reach a mass audience, but poor Mr. Nimzo must be rolling on his grave right now.

I mean, would you try to dumb down Shakespeare? Or if you for example, saw a work of art like Picasso's "Jacqueline a Mantille Sur Fond Rouge" would you perhaps add a little bit of color here, a red dash in there, a tiny pink blot somewhere so people can "understand" it better?


Anyway I'm off to search for the edition as close to the original as possible.

posted by Nezha at 8:15 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
Friday, September 04, 2009
The classic bishop sacrifice at last!!!
First: The game.

One of those things that I've always wanted to do.

Ever since I've read the art of attack, I've always wanted to do the classical bishop sacrifice. I've tried it a few weeks ago, but my opponent was able to withstand it and I lost on a piece down ending.

I kept thinking I'll just do it again next time, but the opportunity never came again. The position wherein the classical bishop sacrifice appears is rare so it seems.

Until this game fell out of the sky. I kept thinking 'Nah.. it couldn't be..' then he castled into it 'but but.. it is..'

Although actually, in here the position does not actually conforms to the 'ideal' as there is one element missing - A forward pawn on the e-file..

But I couldn't help myself. What kind of a sacrificer am I if I don't accept the challenge of such situations?

As Spielman said I need 'belief in the position and belief in oneself'

Am I just dreaming?
Aha!! I will offer this sacrifice in honor of Nezhmetdinov.

Although -

The game itself was a procession of botched chances and missed opportunities. I did manage to win in the end, but it was really - how shall I say it.. 'not solid'.. it required the assistance of my opponent to get the win.

I could've kicked myself.. I failed to find some strong moves.. moves that could have ended it earlier and would have made the win that much more satisfying.. the blindness again.. it rears its ugly head.

But the good thing is I am seeing the moves I've missed and who knows, maybe next time my attacking technique would be stronger..

I leave you now with a quote on what I think is whats my chess looks like (not that I compare myself with such a strong GM. but its the idea that matters)

No matter how much we have tried to convince Spielmann of the impossibility of surviving on nothing more than developing and attacking moves (and I have tried hardest of all, through my books and our conversations) still he tries, almost as a matter of principle, to avoid the necessity of defence!
posted by Nezha at 10:07 AM | Permalink | 3 comments
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Reassessing my Chess - Part II
Here is a game I played yesterday in which I attempted to apply the thinking process

Some thoughts:

1. Constant checking, looking around, and calculating is tiring

10 Seconds: The Pain Begins. 15 Seconds: You Can't Breathe. 20 Seconds: You Explode.

Looking around the board and casting glances to look for trouble takes a lot of power(?). Although I hesitate to call it power, I am after all just sitting around. But whatever it is, constantly thinking about tactics and the position is draining it.

Somewhere deep in the game, I started to feel this pressure in my cranium. Like a heavy load that settled on my head, I half expected to see blood pouring out of my nose.

So tired..

2. In search for a consistent man

A consistent soul believes in destiny, a capricious one in chance.
Benjamin Disraeli

It is not hard to check for every capture, threats or checks. What is hard is implementing it every move for the entire game. For example, the game was 40/40 and lasted for 28 moves and in my estimation me and my opponent took over 80 minutes to complete the game.

I could not sustain the energy necessary for the checking. I wavered in this position

How to continue the attack?
I couldn't, for the life of me, remember what it was I was supposed to do

And it was a critical juncture of the game too. But I started to slip into a kind of haze and started to miss things. Throwing the game to chance so to speak.

There were a lot of things I missed in here.. seeing them only after I had made several more moves. Of course I was fortunate that my opponent didn't see them too. But I have a feeling that a stronger opponent, say someone in the 1800's wouldn't miss such things.

I won but I really have to play better than this. It is not the same as losing, not quite but close.

But I have an idea - can this actually be a weapon? Can I inflict positions requiring massive calculation on someone hoping they'll crack and start to miss things? This is assuming of course that my own stamina is up to the task.

3. But I do indeed see more

Comparatively, I saw more threats and it did seem as if I prevented a lot of things from happening. For example, the move 11.Bg2 was prophylactic in nature. h3 was weakness that he could attack. Perhaps not immediately but in a move or two, it could have happened.

4. But I didn't see enough

Or as I've said, I saw too late. It was fortunate that my opponent didn't play Nd3, and in combination with maneuvering his other Knight. e.g. Nd7-Ne5 or maybe Nd7-Nc5 my rooks would have been prevented from moving into the D or F file and he would have a nicely posted knight in there. It might have been temporary but in the interim it would have posed me some problems.

Did I see this? Only when it was too late for by then my rook have occupied the files.

Seeing too late is bad enough but much worse is...

5. Blindness

There are particular moves I don't see, a form of 'blindness' I seem to possess.

For example in the diagram below (White to move)

I looked and looked :(

The correct answer was Ng5. But I looked and I looked an all I can come up with is Nd2. Now why is it that I can see Nd2 but the possibility of Ng5 escaped me? I didn't even consider it. It was as if the move was non-existing. A totally alien concept that it didn't event register though I must have looked at this position for close to ten minutes. This move and moves like this seems to reside on a NULL zone of my mind.

Well, at least there was an improvement. Here's to hoping that constant practice will enable me to lengthen the time I can concentrate on the board. Perhaps if I can do an hour of uninterrupted thought, I can be satisfied.

Chess is difficult...

posted by Nezha at 8:21 PM | Permalink | 0 comments