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The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal) 
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Post The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Hello and welcome. I intend to post here interesting games that I played, regardless of time control or the outcome (expect some hilarious defeats ;) ). I will also use this thread to keep track of my training progress in my selfdesigned cycle with maybe monthly or biweekly updates or so. I encourage you to comment or participate in some other way! The more people posting in this thread, the better! If you just want to laugh about a move I made, be my guest :P . I'm particularly interested in people's opinion on my training method, because I developed it all by myself.

Ok, so where am I at the moment? I'm rated roughly 1400 DWZ (german rating), somewhere between 1500 and 1600 Elo I guess, but I haven't played games in quite some time, because I started going to University and can't attend my club anymore. I haven't had time to search for a new one yet. My FICS stats are the following:
Blitz 1517, Standard 1599 (haven't played standard for a year, Blitz is my best and actually from today)
My CTS rating is 1517 with 16130 tries. I've made huge improvements during the last year, because of my training cycle which I will explain now.
I do 60 minutes of CTS tactics every day. If that's not possible I will try to do at least 15 or 30 minutes. I also bought a book called Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics. This is a book with over a thousand endgame positions and all of them contain a tactic. I did this because I felt CTS is weak on endgame tactics, there are just not enough of them. I set up 2 or 3 positions per day on a real board and give myself 5 minutes to find out as much about the position as possible. I always look at it from the White side, but about half the problems have Black to move. This is supposed to improve my calculation skills and train finding the best move for the opponent, not just for me. I really like this part of training, because often I will find the correct solution, or I will fall into the same trap one of the players fell into, which makes the solution so much easier to understand and absorb (The "Aaah!-effect :wink: ). Basically I went for Van Perlo, because I have a very good memory and I knew all the problems in Silman's Engame course by heart after the second time. I also own Polgar's problem book, but I don't use it regularly. I got stuck somewhere during the mate in 2s.
Openings: Currently I'm on a project: play 200 Blitz games with every important opening.
White: I play e4. I will make the switch to d4 at some time in the future, because Blitz games are ideal for trying out as many openings as possible. So I will play say 1000 Blitz games with d4 and then decide wether I like e4 or d4 better. I don't consider stuff like the English, Reti, Bird, because I feel these can't give me more or different skills e4 and d4 can give me and at the moment it's all about learning and playing as many different positions as possible. At the moment I am playing the Italian Game, with the Evan's Gambit [1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4] and the modern Two Knights [1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.e5]. I have already played the Scotch for 150 Blitz games and roughly 50 Ruy Lopez Worrall games [1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2]. I will play up to 200 games of each of these three and then slowly work my way from the Worral to the Lopez main lines. I will probably continue to play all three, because I love my two Italian lines (I own my opponents :lol: ) and I have discovered a virtually unkown and unplayed line in the Scotch that is very sharp and has netted me crushing wins against several players rated 300-400 points above me. The Lopez of course is the ultimate e4 opening and I should be able to play it from both sides. Against the Sicilian I currently play 2.c3, but at some point in the future I want to try the main line, probably the Sozin complex.
Black: My main opening is the Pirc, but as I said I'm on a project. I already played 200 games with the French. Currently I am on e5, using the two faboulus Marin books. I will do that for 400 games, because after 200 (a week ago) I felt there was more to learn. I guess at the end e5 may become my first or second reply to e4. After that I will start a series of Sicilians. I haven't quite decided which ones I will try, but I want to be as classical as possible, because I find the view that chess development should roughly mirror chess history very appealing. Sicilians I will probably go for are the Accelerated Dragon [1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6] (no real Dragon, because it is too much to learn and the positions aren't that different, i.e. not much more to learn for much more effort), the Scheveningen [1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6] and the Classical Sicilian [1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6]. More candidates are the Taimanov and of course the Najdorf. However I will wait with the Najdorf as long as possible, because it is again a lot to learn. I also haven't decided yet wether I want to play each of these for 200 games or possibly longer/shorter.
Against d4 I currently play the Slav, I will try the QGD (Tartakower probably), then the Nimzo, King's Indian, Grünfeld, Benoni and what have you. Again I'm trying to go from classical to more modern lines (QGD/Slav into Indian defences). I the end I will have played almost all openings and I will have aquired themes and tactics and strategies and plans and manouvers and traps from all of these. Then I will decide upon my final repertoire and be happy :lol: .
My Opening training
I am of the opinion that players like me need close to zero opening theory. So I have developed the folowing routine. Once I start a new opening I will look at the several lines, usually out of books. I choose as many as I need and learn only as many moves as absolutely necessary. In the Evan's Gambit for example I learned 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4. As a rule no more than 5-7 moves. Then I will start to play these variations and develop my own theory by annotating my own games and try to find new plans when something went wrong without looking at the book at all. For example I played 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e4 b5 5.a4 b4 6.Na2 a5 and got hammered. So I'm currently trying a differnt plan there, although it doesn't fare too well. The goal is to really understand the positions I get and in the end I will arrive at something resembling theory. Couldn't I have learned that way faster from a book? Well, no. I can learn book moves, but if I find out why a move is bad on my own I will remember it and understand it much much better. The cost of this is losing blitz rating points, and I don't really care about those. The gain will hopefully be very thorough understanding of a position.
My Goals
World domination :twisted: (Pinky? Come here already!)
My very longterm goal is to aquire a Fide title. Without this extremly longterm goal my training felt aimless. More sensible and more short-term are: complete my opening tour (within the next 2-3 years), do as many problems as possible on CTS and most importantly, do it regularly! Van Perlo: it will take me roughly a year to get through the whole book. Once I am through, do as many Silman chapters as appropriate until I know them by heart and redo Van Perlo.
Stop making easy mistakes!!!!! Most important on my list right now. I have to find a way to stop hanging stuff to ridiculously easy tactics or lose a winning position by one move positional blunders. Especially the tactics outrage me, because I always see them right after I move! It must be possible to make my brain work a few seconds faster and make me see the move before I move. It will not always be possible, but the sheer amount of this happening bugs me.


Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:09 am
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Here are two games I played today. Both opponents are among the best I've ever beaten on FICS.



[WhiteElo "1505"][BlackElo "1757"][TimeControl "300"]

The game starts off as an Alekhine, but I play the four knights against both the Alekhine and the Russian game/Petrov. I can't understand why an Alekhine player would play 2...e5, because he could just switch to the Pirc with 2...d6, which is another hypermodern opening. Maybe because Cox doesn't mention the Pirc in his Starting Out book?

After 4...Bc5 I'm already out of what little theory I know.

5...d6 may be a mistake, because I get his bishop and my pawn back and he has tripled pawns :lol: . Unless I'm missing something here?

I think I should've played 15.h3 immedeatly, because after 15...c4 my position feels a bit funny, but I think I'm still better.

20.Rc1 is not so good, I should play dxc4 Rxc2 b3 probably. That's more solid than the game. But after 22.Rxc6 I'm threatening mate and he has to play h6 and I get a very pleasant position.

25...Nxe3: I was wondering about that move, because I don't know wether 25...Nb4 26.Rxa7 Rxa7 27.Bxa7 Nxa2 is winnable. I can probably try forever to win and it's not so pleasant, but if anyone can explain wether (and how!) I can still win after Nxa2 that'd be great.



[WhiteElo "1504"][BlackElo "1749"][TimeControl "300"]

I have to admit I am fighting with the c3 Sicilian, especially with the Qd5 lines. I'm only slowly getting how to play these, but this game gives me high hopes :D .

Taking early on d4 is not so common I believe, but I've hardly ever played against it. I know not very little here.

If 7...Bxf3 I can win the exchange with 8.Nxd5 Bxd1 9.Nc7+... . But 7...Qe6+ looks odd to me, maybe he should put his Queen on a5, where it pins my Knight, a bit like the Centre Counter. In the game I think the opening of the g-file is nice for me, he is still at least 3 moves away from castling and I'm almost fully developed. That's why I opted for d5, but I don't know wether the move is any good, because it facilitates his development and I can't take anything.

I then played Be3 to unpin my Be2 and maybe play Bb5. But then I realized he'd probably be castled until I can take, because I have to get a lot of stuff off the d-file and guard the pawn at the same time.

12.f4 I like, because it chases his Queen to a less active post. If he goes to f5 I can win more tempi by chasing his Queen.

16...Bb4+ here I almost made a mistake: I thought about taking on c6 after Kf1, but then the Queen guards the bishop. I like Bishops, so I kept them :D. My king should be quite save on f1 and I can use the g-file for attacking purposes, which will decide the game later.

19.Rc1 to be able to capture the c-pawn after I take on c6 (finally, although I like bishops :) ). My thinking process went "I will keep the darksquared bishop (g7!) and my attacking chances, even if I trade Queens to win the pawn". By this time we were getting quite low on time, too.

22...Ra8?? The g-file! He has to play Bxb2. Even here I keep my outside passed pawn, because after Bxa7 there is no Rb8 and Rd3 is answered by b4. The Rest is his attempt to flag me and my attempt to not get mated or flagged, it ended with a nice mating pattern :D .

I hope these games are an entertaining way to start this off. Overall I am quite proud of my play here. Please feel free to comment and if you can point me to any mistakes or oversights or if you can answer any of my questions, please please do so! Some people seem to think criticism is insulting, I think I desperately need it to improve. Trash my play if you feel it is appropriate!


Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:33 am
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Well I'll give you this... You're thorough. :-)

I'm not entirely sure how much I like the idea of playing EVERY opening. It kind of gives me the "jack of all trades but master of none" feeling. But then again it isn't my training and everyone learns differently and if you think you can learn the most fro this "tour of the openings" please don't let my misgivings stop you.

Anyway, glad to see you've set up some concrete goals for yourself. I would suggest you look into setting some shorter term goals though so you don't get burnt out. Maybe things that can be accomplished every few months or so to help keep you going. The shortest term goal you have right now is 2-3 years. Just an idea.

I look forward to seeing some more of your games.

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"... the French wages outright warfare over the entire board, calls for stronger nerves, and demands a soul that finds joy whenever the lust for battle is stoked. In other words, Watson is right: it’s a damn good opening!" - Jeremy Silman


Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:12 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Well, its not every opening. Just every major one. I'm not going to play the Torre or the Vienna. I will still play e5 and the Slav in tournament games. The idea is that after I learned something from all these openings in Blitz games I will be a much better player overall (an effect I noticed just by switching from the Pirc to the French!) and I will know which of the openings I really like. Then I will learn these really thouroughly and employ them in tournament games, so that in the end I have two replies to both e4 and d4 that I can always play.

You're right about short term goals though. I don't really have one besides consistently do training. The thing is, if I say until September I want CTS rating X I will be under a lot of pressure. My rating goes up in stairs (rise, plateau, rise, plateau) and I can't force these. So it's totally random wether I will be able to achieve that or not. If I say I want to reach rating X but without time restraints, well I guess I will do that anyway by doing consistent training. So consistency it is for the moment.
The only thing I could think about is maybe work through certain books in a certain time really.

I also forgot to mention my try to play through as many master games as possible. I started with Lasker (I played through the Soltis book) and currently I am playing through the collection of all Rubinstein games by McDonald. Older players are easier to understand than say Kasparov or Kramnik, whose games seem like riddles to me. I'm more or less hoping for subconcious assimilation :P . I hope by slowly progressing through time my rising strength will be able to keep up with the development of chess technique in a way and make me understand chess better. Currently I feel like players around 1900 are a perfect fit, because they play symmetrical positions like the Four Knights (of which today's theory says it is drawish) to win! Of course the perceived drawishness mirrors the rise in technique and I hope to benefit from this development by simulating it with playing through these old games.



[WhiteElo "1416"][BlackElo "1502"][TimeControl "300"]

Also played today, I think my escape by a single move is cool, because I had it all worked out. Would've been embarassing if it hadn't worked. :lol:

3.e3 again I'm completely on my own. I just try to develop in normal Slav fashion, e3 doesn't look like the most dangerous variation anyway.

12.f3?? Clearly White needs to capture on g6. I think he played it, because after 12.Nxg6 hxg6 I threaten to capture on g4, but of course he can simply play 13.f3 and I've got no tricks.

16...O-O I'm not so sure about this move. Considering the wall of pawns that's going to hit me shortly, I may do better staying in the centre. Had I done that I probably wouldn't post the game though :P .

17.Rc1 I think White should play a4 at some moment, do destabilize my Queenside pawns.

30.hxg5 around here it's starting to be close. Still, I am a piece up and his king is lined up against my rooks in the middle of the board. I played g6 and around here I already had a pretty good idea of what would later happen.

35...Ne3+ here I had my narrow escape all worked out. 8)

36.Kf3 If 36.Rhxe3 dxe3 37.Rxe3 I am just much better and a rook up.

36...Rxe5 Very important! if 36...Nxg2 37.Reh1 Rxe5 38.Rxh7 Rf5+ 39.Kxg2 Rxg5+ 40.Kf3 Rh5 41.R1xh5 gxh5 42.Rxh5 I have only two pawns left of what once was a piece.

38.Ke2 This was the more difficult variation to see. Kg3 is easy, because I just play Rxg5+ and Rh5 when I will be up a piece and a pawn and White has no threats anymore.

38...Re8!! My engine tells me 38...Nxg2 39.Rxh7 Nf4+ 40.Kd2 Nh5 is even better, but there was no way I could have seen that. I'm glad I found the other solution at all!

39.Rxh7 Nxg2+ This is the idea I calculated 6 moves earlier! The white king will have to step back to the first rank, when I can exchange one rook with check. If White refuses to step back immedeatly I can force him to with Rf2+. In the end my opponent flags. I find this narrow escape very entertaining, although my engine told me there are a multitude of ways out (it even tells me I was completely save with +5.something at least for all of the critical phase!), this is one of the best and I can savely say I wouldn't have found that 3 month before.


Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:13 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
hitchhiker wrote:
If I say I want to reach rating X but without time restraints, well I guess I will do that anyway by doing consistent training. So consistency it is for the moment.
The only thing I could think about is maybe work through certain books in a certain time really.


That's something I did, is I set a goal (usually to be consistently 100 points where I am now) with no time limit on it and that way I notice improvement.

The idea of having your goal be consistency is a good one. I used to do something similar when I was sword fighting (medieval broadsword stuff) I would tell myself I would do 100 swings for 100 days. So I set a goal (at least 100 swings per day) for a period of time (100 days) and if I missed a day I would have to start over. I don't think I ever made it past 60 days but I was practicing a WHOLE lot either way.

hitchhiker wrote:
The idea is that after I learned something from all these openings in Blitz games I will be a much better player overall (an effect I noticed just by switching from the Pirc to the French!)


I don't think you understand. The effect you noticed was because you went from the Pirc, which is okay, to the French, which is badass. (See my signature) :-P

There are certain good things to be said about how you're doing it, it just doesn't fit my personal style I guess, which is why I'm not doing it. :-)

I still think if you keep up with your training scheme you will improve rather rapidly. How much time per day do you usually spend studying chess?

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"... the French wages outright warfare over the entire board, calls for stronger nerves, and demands a soul that finds joy whenever the lust for battle is stoked. In other words, Watson is right: it’s a damn good opening!" - Jeremy Silman


Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:38 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
If you count all chess stuff I think it's somewhere between 1 and 3 hours. Usually about 1.5 I'd guess.

Quote:
I don't think you understand. The effect you noticed was because you went from the Pirc, which is okay, to the French, which is badass. (See my signature)


While the French is certainly a good opening I promise you'll double your rating in no time with the Pirc ;)


Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:18 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Note to self: Do not play tired and more than 4 games in a row. Too many "tired" games cost me almost 100 rating points today, not a catastrophe, because I will get up again without problems, but it's definitely unnecessary. :(


Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:31 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Looks like a very nice journal you got. Unfortunately I don't have time to read it but I'll definetaly keep an eye on it ;) Keep it up!

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Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:34 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
You're always welcome. :D



[WhiteElo "1408"][BlackElo "1428"][TimeControl "300"]

A nifty attacking game. I always kept the pressure up and at the end is a nice mate.

5.O-O I didn't really know what to do, but castles can't be bad. dxe5 was also something I thought about, but why not simply castle?

8.Bf4 to support a later e5 push. I think round here I must be quite a bit better, I am almost fully developed and ready to start my attack, while his c8-Bishop doesn't know where to go (no knight on f3) and his Bishop on e7 is not active at all. He lacks space, too.

10.Rad1 lining up against the Bishop and Queen, both may be a target after my planned e5 push.

10...a6 I don't think he can do this, he needs to disturb me with something like Nh5, even if it looks strange. Now I just play 11.e5 and he's in trouble!

12.Bxe5 thanks to my rook I am now threatening Bxf6 and Qxd7.
12...c5! A good move. Finally he's starting to disturb me.

14.Bxf6 Apparently 14.Qg5 wins outright: a5 [I know a5 is a shit move, but just to illustrate what would happen! Black can also play Be6 or Bc6 and we still play Nd5.] 15.Nd5 , because of the mate threats and after everything is exchanged on f6 after 15...Qd8 I win a piece. I didn't see that and tried to weaken his kingside defences by exchanging the Knight. h7 can be weak now and I have Nd5 coming up. Edit: of course taking on b2 nets him a pawn, but I get his Queen with Ne7+. So I have compensation ;). Best would be withdrawing the Bishop to d8 and continue to suffer in a miserable position.

15...Qc6??? huge mistake, now his Kingside is ripped open, the Queen does not defend the Knight, because his bishop is hanging, thanks again to my rook on d1.
16.Nxf6+ gxf6 17.Rd6!! Now his King is under deadly fire once I get my bishop to d3.

18...b5 19.Bd3 c4 He is nice and helps me relocating my Bishop :lol:

20.Bxh7+ I had to think a for a few seconds to make sure it was really mate. I didn't want to throw away such a nice game.
20...Kxh7 21.Qh6+ Kg8 22.Qg5+! 1-0 There's no way to stop Rh6 mate. I'm glad I saw this Queen manouver in advance, although it's probably not hard to find it is still nice to calculate variations like this. :) . Also a nice game to see why development is crucial for attacking games (my Rd1, his lack of space and meaningful development). Way to go me!


Last edited by Hitchhiker on Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:52 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Well done :thumleft:

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Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:05 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Ok, I'm definetly ill at the moment so I'm going to blame my poor play on the illness. Such a good excuse :wink: .



[WhiteElo "1410"][BlackElo "1461"][TimeControl "300"]

12.h4 Ok, here we have a strange situation: a Philidor has led to a kind of Dragon were the e-file is open instead of the c-file. I believe this sould favour White, because Black doesn't have his famous exchange sac on c3.

15...Nxd4 15.Bxd4 Bxd4 16.Qxd4 Clearly a mistake on his part. Now my Queen is on the "mating diagonal" and I threaten to play h6 and just mate.

16...Nc6 17.Qd2 Now I am threatening hxg5 and Qh6.

20.Qxg5 Qxg5+ 21.Rxg5 I wasn't afraid of exchanging the Queens, because I felt my position was just very good. His king will have huge difficulties getting into the game thanks to my h6 pawn.

28.f4 Again I wasn't afraid to exchange, because I have my passed a-pawn and his king will still be stuck.

32.a4 Here I should've played Rg5+ immedeatly.

36...Ke6 his King has a hard time to find something to do, i think he should've gone to the Queenside.

39...c6?? losing

42.Nb4?? I don't even know why I played this, because I saw the fork. It's still winning of course.

52.Kb5 He was blitzing like mad, so I assumed I had only seconds left, I make a point of not looking at the clock as much as possible (This way I won't see my opponents rating and just play the (wo)man and not be intimidated/put to sleep by his rating). I was afraid of variations where I had to think, because I had no time! So I just played it safe at the end.

52...Kb8 53.Kc6 Ka8 54.Kxd6 Kb8 55.e5 Ka8 56.e6 1-0 Here he resigned. I looked at the clocks and saw that we both had more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds!!! I guess sometimes a short glance at the clock can't hurt after all...



[WhiteElo "1439"][BlackElo "1472"][TimeControl "300"]

As of the 4th February I'm now on a 10 game winning streak 8) . One of the 10 games I played today was this. Not a very good game on my part, but I was on the top of my tactics at the decisive moment. I post it here, because my postgame analysis and my feeling during the game were completly different. I never felt I was flatout losing, just in a difficult position. Plus it is an entertaining game. :D I may add the others were way better games on my part, but not very interesting, because my opponents either blundered and I could win easily or I just outplayed them in relatively boring games.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 d5 6.Bb5 Ng4 This is some sort of sideline I saw for the first time. I thought why not take on d4. So I did. But he has this Qh4 move which is kind of unpleasant. Maybe I need to take with the Queen on d4 or just castle or h3. All of these don't allow Qh4.

7.Nxd4 Bd7?? This I am sure is a mistake. Because his Knight on g4 is attacked by my Queen and it's only protection is the light-squared bishop I have overloading themes now.

8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.Nxc6? Here I missed 9.e6!! If he takes with the f-pawn I can take his Knight, if he takes with the bishop I take on e6 and then take the Knight. So 9...Qh4 probably, threatening mate. But this position is winning for me I think, because I can just play 10.g3 Qh3 11.Qf3 when I am up a piece for a pawn and everything is relatively safe. 11...Re8+ 12.Be3 Ne5 13.Qf5+ and I force an exchange of Queens.

9...Qh4 Here I realized something went wrong. I have to play 10.g3 hope I will find time to get my Knight to safety.

10...Qh3 11.Nd4? I should've played 11.Qxd5, so that my Queen controls the h1-square and protects my rook.

11...Nxh2? Very messy position in a 5 minute Blitz game (and for players of our strength!) and we both give away favours. This selfpin is strange. I think I would've played 11...Bb4+ 12.c3 Bc5 and I think Black's just winning. One point to notice in the position after 11...Nh2 is that Black has no way to win the rook because Nf3+ Qf3 and the Queen protects the rook. So he is just pinned.

12.Bf4? I should have exploited that pin with 12.Nf3 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Qe6 and he is probably still better, because of his superior development, his bishop pair and his Bc6 ideas (threatening Queen and Rook). But it's loads better than the game.

12...Qg2 13.Rxh2 Qxh2 14.Qe2? strange move again

14...Qh1+ 15.Qf1 Qe4+ 16.Ne2 Qxc2 17.Nbc3 Bb4 18.Rc1 Bxc3+?? Had he taken on b2 with his Queen I would've thought about resigning! But here I somehow get pressure against his King. Don't ask me why, because I did nothing to derserve it up to now.

19.Nxc3 Qxb2 20.Nxd5 O-O The following was somewhat of a time-scramble, but somehow I was on top of the tactics and he was not.

21.Rxc7 Be6 22.Ne7+ Kh8 23.Qh1 Qb1+ 24.Bc1 Qb4+ 25.Bd2 Qb6 26.Rc6 Qd8 27.Qh4 Bd7 28.Rd6 I think here Black's position is quite unpleasant to play, although the computer tells me I'm flatout losing I didn't feel like it during the game. Considering we were both short of time by now it's even more challenging to keep this going as Black. Maybe I'm wrong, what do you stronger players think? Timetrouble+position still no problem?

28...Re8 29.Bg5 Qa5+ 30.Kf1 Qxe5 31.Rxd7 after playing this move I realized he could now take my rook with Qb5+ and prepared to resign, but he blundered horribly with 31...f6??? and now he loses his Queen to my Knight fork.

32.Ng6+ Kg8 33.Nxe5 Rxe5 34.Bxf6! Completely ripping open his Kingside.

34...g5 35.Qh6 A mouse slip, here I had only 30 seconds left, he had 12. 35. Qh7+ wins the house and is mate in two of course.

35...Re1+ Here I panicked and thought if I took the rook it would be stalemate after another Re8+ :P . So I took five precious seconds to find the "ingenious" 36.Kg2 which avoids the second rook check.
36...Re7 37.Rxe7 1-0 and here he flagged.

So I have some questions about the second game: I tried to do as much as possible on my own, without engine. Is there anything I overlooked? What do you think about my position+timetrouble reasoning? Am I just mistaken here?


Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:22 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
One more game. Played today, started out as a Russian Defence and then transposed into a Ruy Lopez variation.

Image

[WhiteElo "1412"][BlackElo "1539"][TimeControl "300"]

That was the position after 6 moves and my opponent went down pretty fast:

7.0-0 Be7 8.Nf5 winning one of the Bishops.

8...g6? That makes no sense, because Black will now lose the darksquared Bishop and if he castles kingside his position will be dangerous.

9.Nxe7 Qxe7
Image
10.Bh6? It doesn't make sense to keep Black from castling Kingside! I should've played 10.Bg5 instantly, and if something like 10...O-O 11.Nd5 I am completely winning.

10...O-O-O 11.Bg5 Qe6? Black should play Qe5, so that I can't play Qf3, because the Bishop is hanging.

12.Qf3
Image
Ne5?? Black needed to sacrifice the exchange. 12...Ng4 13.Bxd8 Rxd8 14.h3 and White is much better, but at least Black isn't down a whole piece AND the exchange in a hopeless position.

13.Qxf6 Qxf6 14.Bxf6 Bxb5 15.Nxb5 a6 16.Nc3
Image
completely winning, although it took me 68 moves to win, partly because my opponent insisted on getting mated by 2 Queens. :x


Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:55 am
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)


[WhiteElo "1440"][BlackElo "1389"][TimeControl "300"]

1...d6 My opponent plays the Pirc!

4.g3 This is my pet system. I met it so rarely as a Pirc player that I decided to play it, because I was beaten a lot with it when it came up. It's a dagnerous system if Black doesn't pay attention.
5...c6?! 5...O-O 6.Nge2 e5 7.h3 is the normal line. Black players also often play a Sicilian structure with Nbd7 and c5. After c6 Black can't bring his Knight to c6, where it puts pressure on White's centre and playing c5 will cost him two tempi now.

9.Be3 Basically White just develops and will then commence a slow but dangerous Kingside attack with g4, Ng3, f4 etc.

Rd8!? This doesn't do too much. Black should develop more pieces, with Nb6 for example.

11.Ng3 b5 The goal of this push is to play b4 and destabilize White's centre. Here the g2 Bishop guards e4 and it doesn't do much.

12.a3 I wanted to have the possibility of b4 if needed.

15...g5? By "closing" the Kingside Black actually gives me a lever with h4 to open it!

16...h6? Further time wasting.

17.dxe5?! taking on g7 at once was more straightforward. If Black ever takes on d4 he would help me with my piece placement, which should be my goal.

20.h4 Maybe I should've brought my Knight to d5 instead. I get a slight pull, but I feel there should be something more here and Nd5 could be it.

25.Rh1 Here I still think I'm slightly better, but Black's position is much better than a few moves earlier.

29...c3? Now I win a pawn and Black can't really attack my doubled pawns after the Queen trade.

36...Rd8?
( 36...Na4 37.Rb4 Nxc3 ( 37...Rxc3 38.Rxa4 Rg3 39.Rxa6 Rxg2+ I will lose the g4 pawn here, but my passed d-pawn should count for something. Especially in a 5 minute game. )
38.d6 Na4 39.c4 Nb6 40.cxb5 )

37.Rb4 e4? just two strange moves he played there. I get to keep my pawn now and his e4 pawn is weak.

42...Rc5 Here I'm easily winning, because his King is cut off. It can never take part in the action.

48.Kb4 1-0 Here he "lost connection" and I was awarded the win instantly, apparently he's was on the abuser list already.

Overall I feel I played a good game here and his position was almost always under pressure. I should probably stick my Knight on d5 instead of playing h4, but everything else I like. The game also has a positional feel to it, contrary to my more usual aggressive style.

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Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:05 am
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
quick bump for my edited post above.


Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:56 pm
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Post Re: The Chess Web (Hitchhiker's training journal)
Anecdote time! I just had one of the strangest Blitz sessions of my life. First I was playing a 1300 player and quickly lost two pawns in a Slav defence but got counterplay against his queen. Somehow I kept him busy until time trouble began and he sacrificed a Bishop for a third pawn to distract me, but it didn't work and he lost on time, although he was much better for the whole game.
Then I played a 1200 player and got a very good position out of the opening but blundered a piece! We traded into a R+B vs R+2B endgame and he continued to pressure me. Then he somehow decided sacrificing a Bishop for a pawn was a good move. He got h and g file passed pawns for it and we reached this position:
Image
After 1.Bf4 Black can play Rh7 and it's even, I don't see a way for Black to make progress. Black decided to "save" his pawn with 1...c6 and resigned after 2.Be5+, winning the rook. So I went from a piece down and a lost position to a drawn position a pawn down to a winning position a rook up in roughly 15 moves in a static position :shock: .
The third game was against a 1400 player, I played a Ruy from the Black side. We reached this position:
Image
I played Nc6, to get pawn and fork on d4. He overlooked my second threat and his Be3 doesn't even defend anything. A rook down, he took a whole second for his next move.
Image
He played Na3 and resigned , two rooks down after I took on f1.
All of these games involved horrible blunders, but somehow i got lucky and won them all 8) .


I also started to work on a Pirc series for players new to the Pirc. Hopefully the first episode will be up by the end of the week.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:38 am
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