Tag Archives: Blunders

Slowing Down


My next game was against a very talented 13 year old with a FIDE rating approaching 1700 and who is probably beyond 1800 given the rating lag. In the past I have drawn with him once in a very closed game. In this game I tried to slow down my thinking given the horror of my previous game in which I could have easily been in a winning position against an 1800+ player (see previous post). This game is one of my favourite all time games (until I ran it through an engine) and I wish I could have won. I felt that my Bishop sack on move 36 gave me a good attack but I couldn’t convert it and when the attack petered out it was all over. In this game I recorded the time I took for each move and it was a great way to help me slow down. My longest move was only seven minutes long so I have some way to go before I really slow down but the longer play rate allowed me to discover better moves and to spot threats that were fairly complicated coming from my opponent. In the end I had 9 minutes left on the clock, my opponent had 2 minutes – the game lasted nearly 4 hours.

Here is the game, I am black

Running the game through an engine was a bit disappointing. We both missed many chances and it shows a number of blunders and mistakes.

Dirty English


Not Losing a Lost Game


Emanuel Lasker said “The hardest game to win is a won game”. I’m having more difficulty wining lost games. Last Sunday, in my 1hr game, I was playing well and then I made an error – but was still winning. I then made another bigger error – not one which was a result of my first error. I then made a blunder and then another. It was a horrific game and as I drove home I thought about it. I think what happened was that I was dissappointed in my original error and decided to write the game off to some extent. My concentration dropped and I fell into a vicious circle of increasing disinterest and increasingly poor play. It wasn’t something I was feeling during the game but it’s what I believe happened as I look back.

I think that I was then on the other end of this phenomenom when I played a new player at my Tuesday chess club. Neither of us knew each others strengths and our first game was good, hard fought and close – but I won. We played again and I felt he had positioned himself as ‘not as good’, his game was significantly weaker. In the final game he played very badly and was throwing away pieces. Afterwards he blamed it on coffee – he drinks 6 cups a day and notices highs and lows. Perhaps it was the coffee but if he’s like me then it’s the psychological aspect of the game.

So there’s another thing to think about as I play. If I make a bad move how can I take a step back and recharge my approach so that I don’t lapse in concentration. I will be on guard for post mistake mistakes and try avoid them.

Game 5 defeat 4

(Click on notation to see the board and play through moves)


My son and I arrived at our weekly chess competition in Glen Eira after having had a meal of dumplings around the corner. Some new faces had turned up from Frankston because their club was being renovated. Before the competition I played a fun game with one of the visitors that was a bit reckless and wild and ended, thankfully, in a draw.

I then sat down for my game which started

It was another frustrating result for me. Despite wanting to play more slowly and with greater calculation I am still stuck in an intuitive blitz mode. When I look back on this game I can see all the errors so clearly and I can choose much better moves.


This game – and analysis – has highlighted the importance of my d4 pawn. It was holding back all of blacks pieces and as soon as it went the other pawns became vulnerable and the whole position collapsed.


I downloaded a chess program called Arena and loaded my PGN into it. I then ran the engine as per item 4. below and resaved the PGN with the engine notes and pasted this into the blog. Instructions for this are here:

  1. Download Arena: http://www.playwitharena.com/?Download
  2. Go to the Engine dropdown menu and install your engine if needed then choose what engine you’d like to use with the manage window (F11).
  3. Load your PGN (PGN->Load or Ctrl+P)
  4. Engine -> Automatic Analysis (Output: Append and Save calc values)
  5. Run and you’ll end up with something like this showing the best response to each move and a nice graph as well: http://i.imgur.com/Wfer4ZN.png

The computer analysis runs a graph of who is ahead and who is behind – in the move text it also shows the move played, then the best move sequence according to the engine ending with an assessment of the position at the end of each move, plus being ahead. Game explorer shows 8 games with the position reached after 5…h5 57% of which are draws and 28% of which are black wins – this despite the computer engine showing the position to be favourable to white. After my opponents move 7. …Nd7 I am shown to be +1.47 ahead – my best in the game, this roughly equates to a pawn and a half value. My game slips a bit when my D4 pawn is threatened and is then taken but the game remains a reasonably even (within a pawn and a half) until I blunder my knight.

My 10 Bd3, when analysed by Stockfish, shows that move to be -0.5 ish (assuming the next 10 moves are played to its standard.). My Be2 rates as +0.25 ish and the Arena move shows c5 to be the strongest at +0.55ish. Clearly I should have maintained my agressive advance cramping up his play.



After the game I googled my opponent to see if he had a chess profile and I was pleased to see that he did and it was over 1800. So I shouldn’t be surprised with this loss