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Katar's Komments 
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
One thing i did to promote blindfold visualization is to set as my computer background a 4x4 quadrant. This could be any of the 4x4 quadrants of the board, each comprising 16 squares.

Sample image here: http://www.francopetri.com/articles/CCC24/quad.png

So if i'm bored or whatever, i can see that image and imagine where the pieces would go (ie, common formations) if the quadrant represented a1-d4, then e1-h4, then a5-d8, then e5-h8. From there it is only a small leap to visualize such formations without looking at the quadrant.

The quadrant can also represent the center c3-f6. Also the quadrant can represent the same areas from Black's perspective.

I may even print out copies of the quadrant to post around the house. Who knows.

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Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:48 am
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
Finally "lost" a game and my first feeling was to beat myself up. Played a top-rated 12-year old expert (2000 USCF) who calculates well and has had 4 years of private chess lessons with IM Ambartsoumian (whose game we followed - see PGN below). To his credit he was a good sport after he won. We did a post-mortem. He calculated some lines better than i did.

Maybe i am just spoiled. I looked up my stats: since January 2010 my score was 18.5 / 23.0 which is 16W 5D 2L. Of course what this really means is that i need to play stronger opposition like in weekend money tournaments. Tonight my opponent put up some resistance, at least psychological resistance-- e.g. he appeared very confident about 25.Qg3, and for whatever reason i did not "see" that 25...Re3 26.Qxg7 Qf2 defends my f7-pawn and my king can just hang out on d7 with no more checks. I was only looking at 25...Re3 26.Qxg7 Re1+ 27.Rxe1 Qxe1+ 28.Qg1 and the B/c2 stops the deadly Qe4+ mating in 2. So I was certain that i had ALREADY missed the win by move 25. And burdened by that thought, i actually did miss the win at precisely that moment.

So for a change my opponent didn't crumble and look what happened to me. I lost confidence in myself, in my position, and just mentally collapsed. Pretty humbling, actually, and that is what i needed for a change. My friend said i lost the game because i was "spiritually crushed."

Game in 90 minutes, no increment. Obviously time pressure contributes to sloppiness for both sides.

I spent 19 minutes on 20...Nxg2 and 1 minute on my planned followup, 21...Qf5. So i didn't find the crunching 21...Bf3+!, forcing mate. A real shame since i have studied and played a similar pattern already. See viewtopic.php?p=61126#p61126

I don't believe the final moves are exactly right-- i think 40...Rb1 was played but perhaps i am just flattering myself since that is the correct move. I allowed my flag to fall in order to use those seconds to regain composure and lose gracefully, which i did.



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Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:14 am
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
Played another, even more highly rated and experienced 12-year-old kid, this one with a Grandmaster coach. 2050 USCF and plays lots of weekend money tournaments. Was worse or losing most of the game but was lucky to escape with a DRAW. (karma?)

Not sure if my opponent "prepared for me" with my previous opponent. I decided to follow the same line-- curious to see what had been cooked up, if anything. My opponent improved on the game last week with the strong novelty, 10.Ba4! which seems to be best, and thereafter played virtually flawless chess for the first 25 moves! No more spoilers here b/c i will most likely make a video for this game. Time control G/90 contributes to sloppiness on both sides, naturally. Overall i can say two things:
  • no more long-castles in this variation (unless there's a pawn on h3)! i have no answer to the plan employed in this game. :pirat:
  • i played a couple bad moves that could have lost, but overall i am happy with my mental attitude in this game: although i was losing i didn't beat myself up and still tried to complicate things and put up resistance in our mutual time pressure :rambo:


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Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:27 am
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
A good hard-fought game. Seems like you had resources even if his Ba4 led to some Q-side discomfort.

I don't know if this is "book" or not but in these Italian type positions, I usually prefer Qe7 rather than Qd7 esp. if I intend 0-0-0: It adds more support to the e-pawn; positions the black rook vis-a-vis the white queen in the event of 0-0-0 and "encourages" the enticing pin Bg5 at some point which after ...h6 can be a way to initiate a K-side attack. Also, as I have found from countless Fishing Pole games, the black queen stands more aggressively on e7 (access to h4, g5, f6) than on d7- and incidentally, would have taken the teeth out of 10.Ba4 in this game. Of course, I haven't really analyzed this and I imagine you have so I would be curious as to your thoughts on Qd7 vs Qe7.

Also, did you consider 10...d5? (reaction in the center to a demonstration on the wing)? Probably, you will have answered these questions as a matter of course in the video, which I plan to watch- if so, no need to duplicate
by answering here.

Thanks for sharing- looking forward to the vid!

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Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:21 am
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
kamus wrote:
A good hard-fought game. Seems like you had resources even if his Ba4 led to some Q-side discomfort.

I don't know if this is "book" or not but in these Italian type positions, I usually prefer Qe7 rather than Qd7 esp. if I intend 0-0-0: It adds more support to the e-pawn; positions the black rook vis-a-vis the white queen in the event of 0-0-0 and "encourages" the enticing pin Bg5 at some point which after ...h6 can be a way to initiate a K-side attack. Also, as I have found from countless Fishing Pole games, the black queen stands more aggressively on e7 (access to h4, g5, f6) than on d7- and incidentally, would have taken the teeth out of 10.Ba4 in this game. Of course, I haven't really analyzed this and I imagine you have so I would be curious on your thoughts on Qd7 vs Qe7.

Also, did you consider 10...d5? (reaction in the center to a demonstration on the wing)? Probably, you will have answered these questions as a matter of course in the video, which I plan to watch- if so, no need to duplicate
by answering here.

Thanks for sharing- looking forward to the vid!


Never really considered 0-0-0 with Qe7. Looks odd to my eye b/c my dream is to play Nc6-e7-g6. Also White's rook sits on e1. Honestly i have no idea.

I have concluded that 0-0-0 is unjustifiably risky if White has not played h3. Even then it is not necessary since 0-0 is basically equal for Black (or only marginally worse) in a slow kinda boring position.

The normal plan is Ba7 first and foremost, then 0-0 usually, then Re8 and Be6 challenging White's bishop on b3. We follow up with Qd7 (sometimes Qe7) and after the LS-bishops are exchanged Black's queen sits well on e6. Possibly Black continues with Ne7-g6 and/or plays for d6-d5. Simple chess.

I briefly considered 10...d5 but i had to reckon with 11.Nxe5 Bxd1 12.Nxd7 Bxf2 13.Kxf2 Bxa4 14.Nxf6 IIRC. Complicated position but it seems White gets the better of the exchanges. Will have to investigate further with an engine for the video.

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Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:26 am
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
Thanks for the response- interesting points.

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Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:35 am
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
Played another gritty defensive game. Got into a big mess on the White side of a Nimzo-Indian against a 2080 USCF player who actually had childhood training in Ukraine. So my finest moment of the game came in this position where I am on the brink of losing:
White to play and not lose! For a training exercise, consider this position before viewing the answer:

Image
3rr1k1/p1p2pp1/1p5p/3p1q2/2P1n3/PP2P3/1R2QPPP/2BR2K1

*** (Spoiler Alert! Answer below!) ***

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Then after mass exchanges we agreed a draw in a boringish equal position.

So despite the opening disaster i was tenacious in defending a difficult position. Now if only i could manage to get a good position every once in a while.

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Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:15 am
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
Finished the club tournament with 5.0 / 7 and picked up a few rating points to 2076. Those games are all published here:

I'm actually burned out on competitive chess, but i've gotten a clear picture of where i stand. I am not so good at endgames. Too many choices. I seem to play mainly on intuition rather than calculation. I also enjoy the aesthetic aspects far more than the competition.

I read in Aagaard's Excelling at Chess that GM Adams played GM Rowson a 6-game match, and Adams won 5-1. Afterwards the players confirmed that Adams had calculated only a small fraction of the variations calculated by Rowson. I think that is how chess should be played (simple, intuitive), and this makes chess more like art than a series of calculation exercises.

After spending almost zero time on openings til I got past 1800, I've gone the other extreme by studying 1.d4 2.c4 for White, 1.e4 e5 for Black, and Nimzo/Bogo for Black. This was not wasted time, since i can play those openings for life, but enough is enough, you know.

Since i am on hiatus from competition, there is no point in doing timed exercises. Better to build longterm (non-opening) knowledge. Endgame, in other words. Hmm, i don't care to play any rated games for awhile but I find myself still fascinated by chess anyway.

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:39 pm
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
On hiatus from rated games for the moment. I've switched from "competitor" mode to "student" mode. Meaning that i have time to re-orientate my whole approach or "philosophy" to chess, without any performance pressure. Also i can leisurely read books cover to cover, which i have the luxury to do now b/c i won't be playing rated games. At one point in my chess life i was absorbing book after book, which i've gotten away from for various reasons.

I picked up Aagaard, "Excelling at Chess" and could hardly put it down. Aagaard's basic premise is that humans are not computers. Aagaard concentrates on ideas, intuition, and human factors like self-confidence and self-knowledge. In this regard Aagaard is completely unique among modern authors. I trust Aagaard because his writing rings true to me, and also because Aagaard gained 200+ ELO points and at age 34 acquired the GM title -- so he knows a thing or two about improvement.

I also have some training ideas on learning to play competently "blindfold."

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Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:53 pm
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Post Endgame Study Notes
strategic endgames
1. Capa vs Ragozin http://tinyurl.com/3nn3l4a
2. Capa vs. Reshevsky (move 37) http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1008293

defending rook behind rook-pawn, Draw http://tinyurl.com/3n97olw
  • Aim for KB2 KN3 KR4 structure.
  • If pawn advances to 7th rank, defending rook stays behind except to give check: Perpetual Check.
  • If pawn stops on 6th rank, defending side attacks kingside pawns, sacks rook for passed pawn at last possible moment (before attacking rook gets behind), then stalemate trick on h-file with defending king out in front.

Hidden Text Below - [Show it] - [Hide it Again]


Bacrot vs Robson 2011 (Karsten Muller analysis!) http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7556

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Andersson vs Polugaevsky 1990 (move 30) http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1020703

attacking rook behind rook-pawn, Win
PDF link: http://www.chesscafe.com/text/mueller127.pdf

4 vs 3 on one side
Piket - Kasparov (flipped) http://www.chessvideos.tv/endgame-train ... flipped%29
Piket - Kasparov (analysis) http://tinyurl.com/3fdkkfy

Petrosian - Balashov 1977 (move 29) http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1024412

Capa - Yates 1930 (move 36) http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1284177 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-_6XtqtLi0

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Last edited by katar on Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:10 am, edited 2 times in total.



Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:13 pm
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Post Chronology of game analysis videos
Sometimes i re-watch my own old videos, which can be very illuminating. So i wanted to have a chronological list of my game analysis videos, rated OTB games only (unlike the Wiki which is sorted by opening & includes blitz etc).

I noted from memory the games with interesting sacrifices, and i marked with an asterisk the videos that i consider relatively best.

Mar 07
viewtopic.php?t=2948 (bishop sac)

Feb 08
viewtopic.php?t=3102 (exchange sac)

Feb 09
viewtopic.php?t=4445
viewtopic.php?t=4627
viewtopic.php?t=4675

May 09
viewtopic.php?t=5198 (queen sac)
* viewtopic.php?t=7392
viewtopic.php?t=9497 (pawn/exchange sac)

Jul 09
viewtopic.php?t=7013
* viewtopic.php?t=5607 (pawn sac for N outpost on e6)

Oct 10
viewtopic.php?t=7587
viewtopic.php?t=7622
* viewtopic.php?t=7956 (knight/rook sac)

Sep 11
viewtopic.php?t=9208 (knight sac)
viewtopic.php?t=9228 (pawn sac for N outpost on f4)
* viewtopic.php?t=9271
viewtopic.php?t=9324

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Last edited by katar on Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:39 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:48 pm
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
Epic journal. I agree that the art/aesthetic of chess is really beautiful, dude. Probably the reason it doesn't tire on me.

I can't wait to see your progress on endgame studies.

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Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:36 pm
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
Haven't done much chess stuff in the last month, other than watching Curtains videos. I looked into some new 1e4 openings. Nothing hardcore, just simple stuff.

Sicilian - 1.e4 2.Nf3 3.Nc3 to delay or omit d2-d4 until getting "a little more information" from Black. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYexhc0MqQQ
French - Settled on the Exchange Winawer. Half the challenge of playing such an opening is psychological: identifying the nature of White's advantage (yes, advantage-- it's not equal) and knowing what to play for. I like what i've seen of it and look forward to a chance to play it. Steinitz variation is good too.
Open game - Spanish Four Knights remains perfect for my purposes. Will keep it as an Anti-Berlin on that fine day when i play 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5!! Nf6 4.Nc3!. New book by Obodchuk.
Caro Kann - I have played the Two-Knights and Panov but these rapidly simplify into standard / known positions. I was very happy to settle on the Advance, Short variation. I only knew the first 5 moves (literally) in my first-ever game with this, and I smashed a 2100-player in OTB blitz at the club. It started 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Nd7 6.O-O c5 7.c4! and Black got destroyed in the center (that's what you get for playing like a robot instead of developing the kingside). Simple, flexible, and Bologan plays it. Hell yeah.
Pirc/Modern - Austrian attack should be like a souped up version of the KingsIndian-FPA (which i learnt) because White got in e2-e4 "for free" and didn't spend a tempo on c2-c4.
Alekhine - Not afraid of this - i have some stuff cooked up.
Scandinavian - Not afraid of this either.

So 1e4 is in order. 1d4 2c4 is OK. I'm comfortable with 1e4 e5 for Black. And i can more or less survive on the Black side of the Nimzo/Bogo. Which is good because the Chigorin is basically refuted in the 1.d4 2.c4 3.Nc3 move order. Article (pdf): http://www.chesscafe.com/text/informant112.pdf

I will be buying some new opening books!
Greet - Beating Unusual Defenses
Obodchuk - Four Knights Game
Emms - Nimzo, move by move
Aagaard - GM Rep, Taaraasch

I know openings are like crack for a chessplayer but it's not like i'm training for the Olympics. :lol:

Anyway i am slowly getting back in the groove of reading the Aagaard "Excelling" books at a leisurely pace. I believe in these books, and I like Jacob's humor. Goin' on a boat tomorrow to see some whales and dolphins, supposedly. Good times.

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Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:31 am
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
katar wrote:
French - Settled on the Exchange Winawer. Half the challenge of playing such an opening is psychological: identifying the nature of White's advantage (yes, advantage-- it's not equal) and knowing what to play for. I like what i've seen of it and look forward to a chance to play it.


Good choice ! It can be quite fun, indeed. Are you aiming for 0-0-0 ?

Quote:
Caro Kann - I have played the Two-Knights and Panov but these rapidly simplify into standard / known positions.


What Panov positions are you referring to ? I've never had a problem with simplification in the Panov, that's why I'm asking. :]

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Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Katar's Komments
Fox wrote:
Good choice ! It can be quite fun, indeed. Are you aiming for 0-0-0 ?
What Panov positions are you referring to ? I've never had a problem with simplification in the Panov, that's why I'm asking. :]

Exchange Winawer: Seems hard to answer the first question in the abstract. If White has to retake bxc3 then castling long is not really an option. E.G., the "mainline" with 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3. I don't want to go Nge2 if it blocks my queen. However, if Black retreats the bishop, then yeah White will probably try to castle long. I think this line is underrated. GM Simon Williams' recommended line leads straight to BB vs NN, where Black can hold but can't really do anything active.

Panov: Well there is the famous Fischer endgame for starters. The IQP positions are good for a person's chess knowledge, but they have been played a billion times and can get kinda robotic. In the Advance-Short variation i like the flexibility with the c-pawn and the queen's-knight, also white can take d4xc5 or let Black capture and retake with c3 or with a piece. White can play on all 3 sectors of the board and risks nothing. Also my first experience in a blitz game was a complete wipeout.

It seems that I spent a year playing legit 1.d4 openings and now I am somehow more sophisticated about playing 1.e4.

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Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:17 pm
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