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 |


  • At 12:03 AM, Anonymous Chunky Rook

    I particularly enjoyed the last game. At least at a cursory glance, Nde3 looks like a strong attacking idea, and after exd4 the unfolding attack looks very well-executed.

    As for the first game: yes, there were many blunders, but I don't think your endgame qualifies as a blunder proper. Queen versus pawn on the seventh rank positions are tricky and are in fact "officially" drawn if your king's far away from the action and you're dealing with a rook or bishop pawn, which gives Black stale-mate tactics White can do nothing against.

    In this case, however, I think the endgame is winning for White because White's king's already closing in. But it's still tricky: After 54. ... h2 (which I think is the correct move) 55. g8Q (also correct) Kf2 (what else?) White misses the winning shot 56. Kf4! If (A) 56. ... h1Q 57. Qa2+ Kf1 58. Kg3! and it's either mate or losing the queen for Black. And if (B) 56. ... Kf1 57. Kg3! h1Q 58. Qc4+! or 57. ... Kg1 58. Kh3+! (once again the king move wins; if the queen moves, Black has some annoying defenses by promoting his pawn to a knight) Kf1 59. Qg2+ Game over.

    Now this was my morning coffee analysis and I can't say for certain whether it's 100% sound. Long story short: queen versus pawn on the seventh positions are not that easy, and often officially drawn.

  • At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Chunky Rook

    I was inspired by this little endgame to post a gif illustrating the idea at my blog. Hope you don't mind. Cheerio!

  • At 2:35 AM, Blogger chesstiger

    For what it is worth i doubt that you can win the endgame in your game one. Your king is to far away to come and help the Queen from preventing to promote his pawn or standing stalemate. Therefor you always have to give check with your queen and we all know you cannot mate with only one piece.

    I guess you are unlucky that his pawn is a h pawn (with a pawn its the same) so that the stalemate trick is in the position otherwise you could have made a pawn move each time you chased his king in front of his own pawn.

  • At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    The endgame in game 1 is tough. a/h and c/f pawns can usually draw against the queen. I think in this case you still may win if you play 61.Kg4 h1Q 62.Kg3 when black can't avoid mate or loss of queen. It's the same idea Chunky Rook mentioned only at a later point.
    I wouldn't call that a blunder, it's difficult enough to see when it's not 3 am! One problem with seeing it is that you have to allow black to get a queen and to have the move in order to win, which is pretty counter-intuitive.

  • At 5:09 PM, Blogger Nezha

    Thanks for the comments.

    1. The second blunder was on move 37. .. h6 - I had a better move Qe5+ and the rook is lost.

    2. I was up the entire time on the queen up game. Then lost concentration and almost was defeated. Then I got the queen - it reminded me of a similar game between capablanca and alekhine.

    And yeah, the moves to mate was pretty hard to conceptualize. It would take cajones of steel to allow black a queen - or previous knowledge of the position. Both things I lack apparently..

    Although the good thing is - i learned something that day..

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