Lots of useful Chess tidbits at Twitter. Almost daily advice from Dan Heisman for example. This one, for example, is interesting:
"If I gave a pill to a 1400 player so that he/she memorizes MCO-15, what would their new playing strength be? Most properly guess 1400-1450"
Follow @danheisman !! (or @farbrortheguru)
Monday, December 5, 2011
The search for a nice app for annotating chess games on the iPhone is still ongoing. Any suggestions?
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Sometimes I overcome blunders easily! Yesterday I played a training game and blundered badly. After just nine hours playing with the kids, watching a funny movie and enjoying a glass of wine with some great cheese, I was able to see some interesting moments in the game.
As part of my new approach to playing, I will go for sharper games. Of course I missed a lot of good moves both when playing and when analyzing the game but there are great learning experiences in that as well.
How? Well, the idea of annotating your own games often feels overwhelming and too demanding. "How on earth am I going to find all the errors in my games? I'd better spend the time on shopping for opening books instead!" Totally off the target! You annotate your own games in order to improve you own chess. That is the main purpose and not primarily to make perfect annotations (whatever that is?).
My ambition to play a completely new repertoire had a fairly short lifespan. I decided to make some changes before trying the stuff in a single game. Embarrassing? Not really! It was a sort of well researched decision and furthermore just a minor change.
The training game had a few interesting moments and offered a few nice insights. I think I tend to overestimate the winning chances for the side with the initiative. After working for some hours with the game, I asked Mr Houdini for a few evaluations and they were not as optimistic as my own.
To read useful advice cannot hurt but quite often the full, if you like, force of the advice is hidden until you can apply the advice in a for yourself relevant situation. Sometimes two or more "advice" have to fertilize each other. Take for example Lasker's "when you see a good move then look for a better" and "the best way is not always the fastest". Let's try to tie all loose ends in this post together with one curious observation from the training game.
Look at the position after Black's 19th move (see below). White has to regain material but how? Qxc7 is obvious but look at the sneaky Qc6! A pretty neat move and it all comes together! One single discovery made the whole annotating effort to a soothing experience and I just might have transformed a few pieces of knowledge to something remotely similar to a skill. Something to be used in a future game!
(How do I set the initial diagram position using Aquarium?)
Friday, November 25, 2011
A member of our team at Schemingmind kindly shared his thoughts on a few games from the last season:
The Austrian attack - sharp weapon against the Pirc. It is not so popular nowadays and frankly, I do not why. It has a lot of potential to make troubles to Black. 4...Bg7
Until now we were still in the theory. My next move is a "novelty". Later I found a game when Black played 15.... b5 15...b6
The intention of this move is to cover c5 pawn. Unfortunately it leads to a passive position. ..
Although I know it is one of possible moves, it was new for me... I decided to continue in my development - it should not be wrong. 6.Be2
The pawn on e5 could be potentially weak. The rook on e1 could cover it later. 11...O-O-O
But the pawn on e6 is weak too! 14...Bd6
If Black wanted to exchange my rook on e6, he should do it by move Rhe8. This way he loses tempi and will create a weak pawn for himself. 19.Qd3
At this stage of the game I wanted to play without any risk - Black could possibly strike on h2 or f3 squares. 23...Re8
Rooks are out of the board. Now I was pretty sure I will win the game. 25...Qb6
The last chance of my opponent was to keep queens on the board... I like to say "the rest is the matter of technique" ;) 33.Qxe4
This move leads to one of the sharpest variants of Pirc defense. 4...Bg7
|SteveWest - petrs|
[15...b5 16.cxb5 Bxb2 17.Rb1 Bf6 looks interesting.]16.Rb1 Nd7 17.Ng5 Bg7 18.Ne4 Qc7 19.Qf3 White has nice attacking position and my destiny was to wait for the final strike. There is no reasonable counterplay for Black now... 19...a5 20.b3 Nf6 21.f5 Nxe4 22.Qxe4 Qe5 23.Qxe5 Bxe5 24.Rbe1 Rfe8 25.fxg6 hxg6 I remember one note of GM Jusupov who told about this type of pawn exchange that it is usually better to take back with a pawn from the other file - which means h-file in this case (not f-file pawn). Do not ask me whether there is anything behind this "rule" - even GM Jusupov admited he does not know ;) Definitely in this position taking by h-pawn seemed good for me - I did not open the f-file for White rooks and kept the position closed. But still passive for me. 26.Bf4 Bxf4 27.Rxf4 Rad8 28.Rfe4 Kf8 29.g4 Rd6 30.Rf4 Kg7 31.Ref1 Rf8 32.Re1 Re8 I was surprised by accepting my draw offer. White is better now and the only question is whether he would be able to open the king's side to make his rooks even stronger. [1/2-1/2]
|petrs - SteveWest|
|assegai - petrs|
[5...Ng4 is not a good move. Black loses tempi on catching dark-sqaured bishop and does nothing for its own development.]6.f3 c6 7.O-O-O And it is clear. There are opposite castles on the board and this fact makes future plans easy. White will play on the king's side while black on the other. Usual question is: "Whose attack will be faster?" 7...b5 8.a3
[8.g4 b4 9.Nce2 Qa5 10.Kb1 should be more prefferable for White. The play for Black could be connected with moves like Be6 and pressing the White king. The move 8.a3 is passive and causes that initiative comes to Black quickly.]8...a5 Attack! 9.Kb1 b4 Although the pawns are not really supported by pieces on the queen's side, I felt that I need to push pawns further. And really - White pawns in front of his king will be brake up within a few moves. 10.Na4 bxa3 11.bxa3 Na6 Openning the b-file for rook. 12.Ka2 Rb8 13.Ne2 Be6 White king is like on windy hill - there is no place to hide him. 14.Ka1 c5 Trying to open the long diagonal a1-h8 to bring the dark-squared bishop into the game. 15.c3 Bd7 16.Nb2 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Nc5 18.Qf2 Na4 One of the few defenders of White king will be eliminated from the board now. 19.Nxa4 Bxa4 20.Rc1 Qc7 The rest of the game is only about finding a way to White king... 21.Bd3 d5 22.h3 Qd6 23.Qa2 dxe4 24.fxe4 Bb3 25.Nxb3 Qxd3 26.Bf4 Nxe4 [0-1]