I have written about what my ideal game would be in a previous post but it would be a game versus a human over a long time control and it would be free of blunders – ideally it would have great tactical combinations. Yesterday I played my best game to date. It was the final game in a ‘once a week’ tournament and because I had won all my previous games, partly through luck, I ended up being undefeated on board one. This competition is ACF rated and my rating when I joined the tournament was 863, opposite me was my opponent who was a FIDE Master with an ACF rating of 2082. Here is the game, I am White.
The game was great for me – my best to date. It wasn’t overly tactical but I think it was beautifully positional and I was very happy to play such delicate moves over such a long period. Looking at the engine output after this analysis shows that it was extremely close and didn’t vary by more than 1 point for for 50+ moves! Even after 65 moves there was never more than 2 points in it.
I have started my new Monday weekly tournament, it is a 9 round Swiss format tournament with a 90 minute plus 30 second increment time control. Before playing you can find out who your opponent will be because the pairings come online a few days early. My opponent was an experienced player who has been playing competitive chess since the early 70’s. I found 48 of his games online and he overwhelmingly chooses 1.e4 as his opening. The game only went for 25 moves but it was a great game with 3 positions that stood out as complex and critical. The three positions are shown below and can be thought of as puzzles – not tactical puzzles but puzzles that test calculation and positional understanding. If you want to improve I strongly recommend setting up a board with these positions and working through possible moves (don’t move the pieces till you’ve done the exercise in your head).
Position 1. Knights Jostling.
The full game is at the end of the post with my reasons.
Position 2. The Mexican Standoff
Position 3. The end.
After the game my opponent and I went through this last position and it surprised me how much variety and danger still lurks on the board. we spent perhaps 20 minutes on all the variations we could think of and came to the conclusion, without the use of computers, that a draw was possible.
Here is the whole game with comments based on Rybka analysis.
I am taking part in a weekly 90 minute plus 30 second increment tournament. I lost my first game and it was such a pity because I started with my Sicilian Gambit – see my ‘Messing With The Sicilians’ post – and it was working beautifully until I missed a move that I should have remembered, a move that I’d played before and which would have been victorious (see the diagram above). My opening advantage slowly slipped away during the game and in the end I was a pawn down and I blundered another pawn. Here is the game.
I have been posting about openings and focussing on the Scots Gambit for white and the Scandinavian for black. This weekend I entered my monthly ‘Rookies’ tournament at Boxhill Chess Club and played seven 15 minute games. In 4 games I played black and I was able to play the Scandinavian 3 times – my fourth black game was against an English opening and I played the symetrical. So the Scandinavian worked well and I think it unsettled my opponents. I also played three white games; one was a Sicilian that went beautifully – I used my ‘messing with the Sicilians’ system, another was against a French and my last was a Scots Gambit. In my Scots Gambit game I had a winning position early on and was happy to take a three repeat draw against a player with a 500 point higher rating. So less opportunity, this time, for my prepared white opening but it seemed to work when I played it. It looks like the next to openings I need to learn for white are answers to the French and answers to the English.
The opening of my Sicilian (Click on moves in parenthesis to see the engines recommendation)
The opening of my French (Click on moves in parenthesis to see book moves)