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WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom 
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 WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
Hi everyone. I'm finally starting my training journal. There are two reasons: 1) I'm trying to get better really fast so I can visit the various Boston chess clubs and see if I can beat anyone here. I probably can't, because these people are nuts. Anyway, the second reason is that my wife has been watching me play and enjoying it (surprisingly), and I always go over the games with her afterward and explain to her why I made certain decisions - I thought it was just another step to provide that commentary here, especially since I can't seem to record my voice for a video. I'm going to be showing mostly wins right now because I want to remember them, and also because I've been winning a lot lately, and haven't saved any of my losses - I will start doing that and posting them here.

For my first game, I played a nice Sicilian against this guy. Here's the pgn. I'll have my thoughts on the moves afterward.

[Event "rated blitz match"]
[Site "Free Internet Chess Server"]
[Date "2009.05.24"]
[Round "?"]
[White "WolfgangSenff"]
[Black "ycliu"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1442"]
[BlackElo "1390"]
[ECO "B80"]
[TimeControl "300"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Qd2 Nbd7 8.
O-O-O a6 9. Kb1 O-O 10. f4 Qc7 11. f5 e5 12. Nf3 b5 13. a3 Bb7 14. Bd3 Rac8
15. h4 Nc5 16. Rde1 Nxd3 17. cxd3 b4 18. axb4 Qb6 19. h5 Qxb4 20. h6 a5 21.
hxg7 Rfd8 22. Rxh7 Nxh7 (22. ... Kxh7 23. Rh1+ Kxg7 (23. ... Kg8 24. Rh8+
Kxg7 25. Bxf6+ Bxf6 26. Qh6# ) 24. Bh6+ Kh7 25. Bf8+ Kg8 26. Qh6 (26. Qg5+
Kxf8 27. Rh8+ Ng8 28. Qxg8# ) ) 23. Bxe7 Rd7 24. f6 a4 25. Rh1 Rxe7 26. Qh6
Nxf6 27. Qh8# {ycliu resigns} 1-0

I've never been great against the classical Sicilian for some reason. Challenging my awesome knight in the center right away makes me uneasy for some reason, so when he played e6 on move 5, I was fearing the worst. I wanted to just get castled right away and be safe-ish, so that's why I moved over Kb1 on move 9, rather than something that might seem more productive. However, after this, he turned it back into a Scheveningen, which I thought was an interesting, if dangerous, move. At move 11. f5, I was trying to pry open the center. I'd considered the moves 11. ...e5 and 12. Ne6 fxe6 13. fxe6, I'd seen Nc5, which is an incredibly annoying move. I think it's still at least drawing for me, but from the games I played out afterward, it seemed like I would only end up being up a rook pawn or so with opposite colored bishops, at best. Instead, I decided to preserve the knight by heading back to f3 with it. It could be useful in an attack on the kingside still, after all.

At this point in the game (move 15), I still felt like I was just reacting to his moves as much as starting an attack - my attack had been pseudo-thwarted when he pushed his e-pawn. One thing that really bothered me is that most of my moves have been defensive in order to guard my stupid backward e-pawn - when I play, I much rather prefer not necessarily being on the attack, but having my moves be both offensive and defensive, in order to maximize the chance of winning and minimize the chance of loss. However, I decided it was time for much more drastic measures. After all, my king was pretty safe - the knight is there, but also the queen can help out in defense if need be, my other pieces are posted for an attack well enough, or can get into position very quickly, and my rooks on the kingside will hopefully do him in. Hence, I did a pretty radical move, in my opinion, with 15. h4. I had decided that my attack was much, much faster than the one he was attempting to whip up on the queenside, and I started running the pawn. I think the attack is fairly attractive in this case, too, due to move 22. At that point, I felt like I was quite computer-like in finding the right moves, and the analysis shown in the pgn file is pretty nice, in my opinion. It shows that my attack was probably irrefutable after move 22. I did not actually analyze it with a computer because I no longer have a computer available with a good chess engine, and this is my development laptop (I'm a software consultant), so I can't really install fancy things on it. I'll be posting another game tomorrow, hopefully, maybe even my game with Gentlewhisper!


Fri May 29, 2009 8:35 pm
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 Re: WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
Just wanted to point out that this game was a Scheveningen all the time. Nice attack! Instead of f5 you might also consider g4.


Sat May 30, 2009 4:51 am
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 Re: WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
Good point (about the Scheveningen). I will go over it again and look at g4 right now. Thanks.


Sat May 30, 2009 8:02 pm
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 Re: WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
My next game is one that I swindled from a guy much higher rated. At one point I was totally lost, then I was able to pull it out of my butt, like usual. Somehow I'm almost always getting attacked and having to fight my way back into it, only to thwart their attacks (usually). Here's the PGN, this time with commentary inside it so that it can be copy-pasted straight away and read with comments without having to switch back to this screen. A couple things about this game: It was way too crazy complex, so I tried to work though as many variations as seemed reasonable without a computer. I'm sure a computer would have crushed me instantly in that attack. At one point, I attack his queen with my bishop in the middle of the board, where my bishop is attacked by a pawn. For some reason, he didn't see the very simple and obviously winning pawn-takes-stupid-bishop. I have two other moves represented that work far, far better.

[Event "rated blitz match"]
[Site "Free Internet Chess Server"]
[Date "2009.05.29"]
[Round "?"]
[White "WolfgangSenff"]
[Black "CDay"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1427"]
[BlackElo "1637"]
[ECO "B90"]
[TimeControl "300"]

1. e4 c5 {Oh good. A Sicilian against a much higher rated player.} 2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bc1 {I've been playing this
move lately because the Bg5 line has been treating me like crap.} b5 8. f3 Ne5 9.
a3 e6 10. Be3 Nc4 {I've lost some time with my bishop moves, but I had
intended to swap my white-squared for his knight anyway - this counts as a
considerable gain of time for me, since his knight has moved a lot, and my
bishop not at all. The only issue with it is that the white-squared bishop
can be a powerhouse in the Sicilian, and it's harder to castle queenside,
arguably.} 11. Bxc4 bxc4 12. Qd2 Qc7 13. O-O-O {But I do it anyway.} Nd7 14.
h4 Rb8 {My spider-sense should have started tingling, but for some reason
didn't go off here.} 15. h5 Nc5 {Now I'm envisioning ugly sacs on b3. But for
some reason, I ignore it and continue my attack. It was illogical at this
point just to ignore the attack, but I don't think I had a good way around it
anyway.} 16. h6 Qb6 17. Qf2 {Making space for my stupid king to pop out.}
Qxb2+ 18. Kd2 Nb3+ {This is the kind of place that I semi-occasionally like
to be. I could actually see that his attack was faulty here - he doesn't
have either of his bishops in the attack, nor is he castled, and so it's just going to be his
queen and one rook. While they can normally make a big dent in things, I think
this case points to the attack being a failure.} 19. Nxb3 Rxb3 20. Bd4 {This was my
attempt at swindling the game.} e5 21. Nd5 {This is actually the wrong move - he can just take with the pawn and is fine.
The correct move was either Na4! or just Rb1!. In a blitz game, however, it's hard to see these things right away.} (21. Na4 {This seemed like the right move after looking at the game - attacking the queen and the rook, so in order to maintain, he has to step to a2. Then Ra1 is winning the queen for a rook. If he takes on d4, of course, I just take back and then win the rook. I'm really not sure if this or the immediate Rb1 is best.} Qxd4+ 22. Qxd4 exd4 23. cxb3 cxb3 24. Rb1 Be6 25. Kd3 gxh6 26. Kxd4 Bg7+ 27. Kd3 O-O 28. Rhc1 Rd8 29. Rc6 d5 30. exd5 (30. Rxa6 dxe4+ 31. Kxe4 f5+ 32. Kf4 Rd4+ 33. Kg3 Be5+ 34. Kf2 Rd2+ 35. Ke1 Rxg2 36. Nc5 Bc3+ 37. Kf1 Bc4+ 38. Kxg2 Bxa6 39. Nxa6 b2 40. Nc5 ) Bxd5 ) (21. Rb1 {This is probably the rightest move of them all.} Qxb1 22. Nxb1 Rb5 23. Bc3 gxh6 24. f4 Bg7 25. fxe5 dxe5 26. Rf1 O-O 27. Qa7 Re8 28. a4 Rb7 29. Qe3 Rd7+ 30. Ke2 ) c3+ {This ended up being probably the best line for him, even if not great.} (21. ... exd4 22. hxg7 Qc3+ 23. Ke2 Qxc2+ 24. Kf1 Qxf2+ 25. Kxf2 Bxg7 ) 22. Bxc3 Rxc3 23. Nxc3 Qxa3 24. hxg7 Bxg7 25. Nd5 Qa5+ 26. Ke2 Bd7 27. Qa7 Bb5+ 28. Kf2 O-O 29. Qe7 Qc3 30. Nf6+ Bxf6 31. Qxf6 Qxc2+ 32. Kg3 Qc7 {Here comes that crazy rook move from my last game. :)} 33. Rxh7 Kxh7 (33. ... Qe7 34. Rh8# ) (33. ... Rd8 34. Rh8# ) 34. Rh1+ Kg8 35. Rh8# {CDay resigns} 1-0


Sat May 30, 2009 8:52 pm
Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:21 pm
Posts: 51
Rating: 1500
Rating Class: Class C (1400-1600)
 Re: WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
For some reason, I never could log back in as WolfgangSenff, so I have this account now. Same person, different moniker, but close enough, dangit!

There's an awesome, awesome game here: http://ugra-chess.com/liveboard?gameid= ... 221&tmnt=1

Mark Bluvshtein sacks his queen way early in the game and gets a massive advantage from it. Really, really impressive play from the Canadian GM.


Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:44 am
Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:21 pm
Posts: 51
Rating: 1500
Rating Class: Class C (1400-1600)
 Re: WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
I've been obsessed with exchange sacs lately. I played a game today where I had what I think was a fairly elegant one. Here's the game. Although it's not in a computer-readable format (as far as I know), it should be easy enough for a human to read, and is fairly short.

1.e4 e6 - I've been playing the French defense just for fun lately. I love it. I've always went with the French or the Sicilian, often switching from one to the other several times throughout a game.
2.d4 d5
3.e5 c5
4.f4 cxd4 - I feel like f4 was a mistake. I almost always feel like the c3 move is cleaner positionally, not weakening the king-side as much. f4 is thematic in some variations. I dunno. I prefer c3 anyway.
5.Qxd4 Nc6
6.Qd1 Bd7 - I think I would have played it more like an anti-Sicilian and developed my light-squared bishop with a pin on the knight. The Qa5 check does nothing, what with Nc3 guarding the bishop and blocking the check. He can develop his knight next turn to f3 and I think he has a reasonable position, if not great.
7.Nf3 Bc5 - I really like the bishop here. Not sure if it's an error or not - could potentially have played to b4 and maybe provoked the c3 now, but I didn't want to bother giving him the chance to develop his bishop or his knight. His total lack of development this game showed. The bishop also prevents any kind of king-side castling for now, as well as bringing his bishop into the center at e3.
8.Nc3 Nge7 - It would be completely ridiculous and terrible for him to sac his knight on e5, but I decided to go here instead of to h6 because I'm closer to the center and guard my other knight alright. Either square allows me to head for f5, which was my intent all along.
9.Bd2 Nf5
10.Bd3 Ncd4 - I want to maintain one of my two awesome knights - in either position, really. Both are fairly strong positions. I prefer the one that is more in the center, but at the same time, both are technically able to be kicked by pawns. But as I see it, he's going to trade down in the center, move his queen and castle long (since the bishop is still killinating him). I'll allow the temporary blocking of my bishop in order to maintain one or both knights - I think it's worth it.
11.Nxd4 Nxd4
12.Qg4 Kf8 - Ah-ha! I was right. I hadn't seen that move in particular. I've had the classic bishop sac done on me enough to know that castling here is probably a bad idea. I'd rather keep the rook over there to help stem the tide, while my attack on the queen-side rolls. Also, since I control the a3-f8 diagonal with my strong bishop, I don't really need to worry about any potential checks along it, so I just step over one to guard the pawn.
13.O-O-O Qa5 - He castles, and I immediately start my attack! I'm really well-suited to attacking on the wing, because I can get pieces over there quickly (I control a good portion of the center), and there are no center breaks that make any sense whatsoever for him. At the same time, he's *not* well-positioned for an attack on the king-side. He just has no pieces there, and the pieces that could potentially go there are blocked by pawns (bishop at d2 is blocked by his own pawn, his rooks are totally blocked, and his other bishop is "blocked" by one of my pawns in such a way that it doesn't make sense to use it at all in an attack). His knight sucks pretty badly compared to mine.
14.Kb1 Bb4 - A quick repositioning of that ridiculously strong bishop closes off his potential escape route at d2 (if the bishop moves, for example)
15.h4 Rc8 - He's trying to get his pawns rolling on the king-side, but it's just too danged slow. My bishop move on the previous move also opened up the file for my rook.
16.a3 Bxc3 - He weakens his castled position pretty badly, while I trade off one of my good pieces for one of his defenders - like peeling open an orange and feasting on the moist, gooey innards.
17.Bxc3 Rxc3 - The obvious point of my rook move. The game is basically over at this point - just too many places that my pieces can come in, his queen and rooks are basically out of play, and it should be quick work.
18.bxc3 Qxc3
19.Kc1 Bb5 - Ahh. A move with serious consequences. He has no way to defend against the mate looming on c2 without significant loss of material.
20.Bxb5 Qxc2# - He probably didn't even see that it was mate until I played it.


Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:57 am
Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:21 pm
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Rating: 1500
Rating Class: Class C (1400-1600)
 Re: WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
Just taking a moment to reminisce. Hope no one minds!

So I played a game maybe 5 or so years ago. I don't have the notes or moves I'd made during it, but it left a really big impression on me. I was playing an FM in a simultaneous exhibition. At the time, I was really studying hard in the French defense, for a few different reasons. For one, no one I knew of at the club where I played regularly actually played it at all. I felt like this could give me an advantage over the older but higher-rated players, if I could study it and get to know it really well. I was normally a Sicilian player, however.

When deciding what to play in the simul, I figured I'd look through the FM's games and see what he was possibly weak against, if there was anything. As it so happened, he lost against the French defense quite a lot - way more than he lost against the Sicilian. In fact, I'd say he was probably an expert in both sides of the Najdorf, so I decided to play the French. It's also really important that I had been studying it, as I've made it my habit to only play off-beat openings against much lower-rated players (and not really very often even then) so that I could possibly defeat them much more quickly tactically. I think it's a sign of good chess when a worse player just plays the opening(s) they know against much higher-rated opponents, because there is literally no way on earth that they will have more experience in the off-beat opening than the much higher-rated player.

Anyway, I ended up getting into a bit of trouble in the opening. He did a classic bishop sac on h7. I didn't take it, because it was a pretty obvious mate in 3 or so afterward - it was literally the most classic version of it that you can imagine. He eventually retreated his bishop (after leaving it there for another turn, because the conditions were still there), and later on down the road, he sacrificed that same bishop *again* for a now-advanced g7 pawn. Surprisingly, I had seen his move and was actually trying to provoke it. When he made the move, I actually calculated it all the way through maybe 8 forcing moves which would end up with only him being up the exchange, but me having a reasonable position. That was the most I'd calculated in any real game up until then.

Instead of taking his bishop immediately, I threw in a queen check as a Zwischenzug. This was key, because now it actually allowed my queen to guard some vital squares on the kingside, where otherwise *his* queen would have been destroying me.

Not too long there-after, I had his queen trapped in my kingside corner with no escape squares. He'd been maneuvering a knight all along so that he could take a rook with his queen, and when I took back, fork my king/queen and win the queen back. He'd be up an exchange then, but instead of that, when his knight got near (protected by a pawn), I just took it with my queen. I was already up a piece for two pawns, and my queen was actually in a slightly better position after taking the knight, because it allowed me to guard one or two other pieces that he could take with his queen with my queen, so it would be foolish to do so. He immediately resigned with a stunned look on his face.

It turns out he'd missed the Zwischenzug move that allowed my queen to defend.

Humorously, that was the second time in two days that I'd sacked my queen for a knight and won because of it. The other was also against a much higher-rated player - the person who introduced me to real chess! - and against him, it was also a French defense. Very strange. He had a knight in the middle of the board that was dominating every possible entry square I had. His queen was also annoying. I saw immediately that if I took his knight with my queen, all of my pieces (literally every other piece) would be activated, with my two bishops and two rooks especially being crazy strong. My then-person-who-I-wanted-desperately-to-date (now-wife) was watching, and before I made the move, I said, "Jackie, check this out. I'm going to sacrifice my queen, the strongest piece in the game, for his knight, which is arguably the weakest piece in the game. If he makes a certain move afterward, it's checkmate in 5. If he makes another, it's a forced draw."

My friend smiled and looked at it for a few minutes, and said, "I don't see it." He made the wrong move and I played the first move in the mate, and he tipped his king. This was just in a fun game, obviously, but it was really, really fun. I was in the mood to impress that day, and while I was playing that game, I played a simultaneous game against another club player. He was much, much worse than either my friend or I, though, and I crushed him in a KID that didn't work out well for him at all.

It's amazing how after 5 years, even this stuff is as clear as daylight in my memory. I can't remember the exact moves, but I can remember all the themes and important moves. I thank chess for that - I think before I started playing, my memory was much, much worse.


Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:11 pm
King

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 Re: WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
Keep up the good work :D

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Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:49 am
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 Re: WolfgangSenff's Training Journal of Doom
hey, you appear to be interested in getting better with your chess. If I can be of help please feel free: http://chesstrainingschool.com/

my contact info is there, any questions I will answer them.

Charles

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Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:08 pm
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