Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good Game

I enjoyed playing this game. And I'm sure my opponent enjoyed it too.

I was very nervous when matched me against a much higher rated opponent for a 30/5 game. I was 1203 and my opponent was about 1543. My nervousness continued until the sixth move.

After my opponent played his sixth move, I was comfortable. On the thirteenth move, my opponent gave me just what I wanted. On the fifteenth move, I gave my Knight for my opponent's pawn. On the seventeenth move, my opponent resigned, and my rating jumped up by 39 points. By the way, my Knight and my opponent's pawn were the only casualties in this war.

Morning well-begun! Looking forward to a good day. :-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Evaluate My Style

Had posted the following content in my blog two days ago, hoping to find some answers. I haven't found all the answers yet, but the kind sargentboomstick helped me realize that I was going blind. I thank him for taking time to evaluate my game.

Am posting the same article with the game here, with fair hopes that someone else might be able to help out in other directions.

--- From my blog ---

I've finally decided to stick to 1. d4 (or a non-committal 1. Nf3 to later transpose into a Q-pawn game) when I play White. It seems strange that I wasn't very comfortable with Q-pawn openings a few years ago, but now I somehow feel comfortable only with such (even though my theoretical knowledge of openings is very limited, and I play simply by trying to follow general principles).

Question 1: What might be the reasons for the change of heart?

Question 2: Is such change of attitude normal (in general)?

Question 3: Is it a good sign in my specific case?

Now (as opposed to about four years ago) I notice a gradual shift in my style:

a. I play lesser reactive moves (and I realize at once whenever I think of one).

b. I consider each move as a potential step toward victory/defeat, and do my best not to waste any. Thanks to Jeremy Silman, "Every move is like gold."

c. I now see holes on the board! And every time I see one, I have this uncontrollable urge to put my Knight in it. Thanks again to Jeremy Silman, my Knights have begun working smarter.

These three factors (among a few others) have given me more confidence. So much so, that I feel a strange kind of satisfaction even when I lose.

Question 4: I know this means I am gradually beginning to appreciate positional style of play. But does it actually imply I am improving strategically?

On the other hand:

d. Now I don't seem to get as many tactical shots (forks, skewers, discoveries...) against my opponents as I used to before.

Question 5: Is this normal? Or am I losing my tactical vision? Update: Not normal! Certainly going blind! See update on Question 6 for (shameful) details.

Below is my latest game. 

Question 6: Though I won this, and though I don't think I played too bad, why do I still have this gnawing sensation that I should have done much better? Update: Because I did not see simple stuff like 26.Re8!! or 35.Rh8+! during the game. Thanks to sargentboomstick for the answer.

Have added a few more questions in my move comments. Hope somebody would be kind enough to help me find these answers.

--- End of blog post ---

Welcome all answers, suggestions, constructive criticism.

Many thanks.