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  1. #1
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    My Spectacular Loss

    Hi. Here are two of my games from the Ryde-Eastwood tournament (which happened to be my first tournament). I was playing white in both games against stronger players (I tried harder than I usually do in both games, but I still lost both). Can someone outline general strengths and weaknesses in my play? Maybe an estimate of my rating?

    Event: Ryde Eastwood
    Site:
    Date: 2006.9.30
    Round:
    White: Zwichenzug
    Black: Rating 1634
    TimeControl: 60 Min 10 sec incre.
    Result: 0-1

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    Event: Ryde-Eastwood
    Site:
    Date: 2006.1.30
    Round:
    White: Thai Pham
    Black: Rating 1763
    TimeControl: 60min 10sec incre.
    Result: 0-1

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  2. #2
    CC International Master
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    1) You seem to like pushing pawns too much. At the beginning one should develop bishops and knights. You intead push pawns.
    2) Tactics seems to be your other problem. Do tactics every day. Come back in a half year.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Hi zwischenzug, overall you are seeing some good ideas but need to look at basic tactics more carefully. Also in the opening you need to be a bit careful about weakening or time-wasting pawn moves.

    Your biggest mistake in game 1 is 16.Bf3 simply dropping a pawn after which you are always struggling. 27.e5 opening a diagonal on which your opponent can attack you doesn't help either. On the plus side you managed to hang on when under heavy attack for quite a while, but your ability to defend was compromised by too many early pawn moves, especially near your king.

    The fianchetto structure with pawns f2-g3-h2 is a very strong one that can withstand all kinds of attacks (when the bishop hangs around), but when you open up around your own king with h3 and f4 you weaken that structure and make it far easier for the opponent to attack. A good defensive idea you missed was 29.Qf2 - generally it's bad to give up material when behind but sometimes under heavy attack and only one pawn down it's best to try to swap queens if there are still some pieces left and you have some kind of play after that. And 29.Re4 shows imagination - but too much of it! Black can (and should have) simply take it - the bishop pin on his rook after would be harmless since Black has Bc6.

    Game two, another tactical error 15.Nfxd4, in a position where Black was probably only slightly better. This one is quite instructive because the first thing you think is "three attacking, three defending, so can't take it" then you see that you win a bishop at the end, and decide you can. But as it turns out you missed the zwischenzug(!) - instead of recapturing on b7 with the queen thus losing a piece, Black first swaps knights with check so he has nothing left on d4 to lose. Purdy's maxim was "examine all checks and captures". When you are trying to look at a tactical sequence beware of missed checks and captures like this in the middle. You had a good basic idea to win a pawn but alas it wasn't correct.

    Giving up your queen for two rooks after that was not a bad idea - if you are a piece down it is better to get a similar but less balanced material difference to see if you can do anything with that - but it's worth knowing that a queen and a knight generally run rings around a pair of rooks anyway. Your opponent in game two played a very smooth game and only needed that one mistake to beat you, whereas in game 1 your opponent could have let you back into it at points.

    In the opening of game 2 I think you played just a bit timidly, and let Black get a bit too much play in the centre. Not a big deal, but, for instance, 9.a3 is a waste of time. I assume you intended to push b4 but given the time it takes to get the rook over and the bishop out of the way, the plan's too slow. If you like the idea of playing Rb1 and a3-b4 you might want to look at setups where you do that before you have committed your QB: 1.c4 c5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.a3 possibly followed by Rb1 and b4 for instance. (Kosten's "The Dynamic English" deals with this stuff and I'm sure plenty of other books do too.)

    Rating estimate: hard to say without seeing some endgames. Over 1000, below 1500, could be anywhere in that range.

    [EDIT: didn't realise drug had posted but you'll notice we both reached the same conclusion!]
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 24-10-2006 at 01:09 AM.
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  4. #4
    CC Candidate Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Hi zwischenzug, overall you are seeing some good ideas but need to look at basic tactics more carefully. Also in the opening you need to be a bit careful about weakening or time-wasting pawn moves.

    Your biggest mistake in game 1 is 16.Bf3 simply dropping a pawn after which you are always struggling. 27.e5 opening a diagonal on which your opponent can attack you doesn't help either. On the plus side you managed to hang on when under heavy attack for quite a while, but your ability to defend was compromised by too many early pawn moves, especially near your king.

    The fianchetto structure with pawns f2-g3-h2 is a very strong one that can withstand all kinds of attacks (when the bishop hangs around), but when you open up around your own king with h3 and f4 you weaken that structure and make it far easier for the opponent to attack. A good defensive idea you missed was 29.Qf2 - generally it's bad to give up material when behind but sometimes under heavy attack and only one pawn down it's best to try to swap queens if there are still some pieces left and you have some kind of play after that. And 29.Re4 shows imagination - but too much of it! Black can (and should have) simply take it - the bishop pin on his rook after would be harmless since Black has Bc6.

    Game two, another tactical error 15.Nfxd4, in a position where Black was probably only slightly better. This one is quite instructive because the first thing you think is "three attacking, three defending, so can't take it" then you see that you win a bishop at the end, and decide you can. But as it turns out you missed the zwischenzug(!) - instead of recapturing on b7 with the queen thus losing a piece, Black first swaps knights with check so he has nothing left on d4 to lose. Purdy's maxim was "examine all checks and captures". When you are trying to look at a tactical sequence beware of missed checks and captures like this in the middle. You had a good basic idea to win a pawn but alas it wasn't correct.

    Giving up your queen for two rooks after that was not a bad idea - if you are a piece down it is better to get a similar but less balanced material difference to see if you can do anything with that - but it's worth knowing that a queen and a knight generally run rings around a pair of rooks anyway. Your opponent in game two played a very smooth game and only needed that one mistake to beat you, whereas in game 1 your opponent could have let you back into it at points.

    In the opening of game 2 I think you played just a bit timidly, and let Black get a bit too much play in the centre. Not a big deal, but, for instance, 9.a3 is a waste of time. I assume you intended to push b4 but given the time it takes to get the rook over and the bishop out of the way, the plan's too slow. If you like the idea of playing Rb1 and a3-b4 you might want to look at setups where you do that before you have committed your QB: 1.c4 c5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.a3 possibly followed by Rb1 and b4 for instance. (Kosten's "The Dynamic English" deals with this stuff and I'm sure plenty of other books do too.)

    Rating estimate: hard to say without seeing some endgames. Over 1000, below 1500, could be anywhere in that range.

    [EDIT: didn't realise drug had posted but you'll notice we both reached the same conclusion!]
    Thanks Kevin, this looks like a very good analysis of my two games. With the second game, I was too focused with black's d4 pawn (looking in the direct vicinty of the d4 pawn) that I didn't notice black's fianchettoed bishop on g7. For a player at my level (I am guessing approximately 1400) which is more important for winning more consistently, endgames or tactics? When I play chess, I often look for tactics to try on the opponent but always forget to look for tactics that the opponent might try on me.
    Last edited by Zwischenzug; 24-10-2006 at 01:27 AM.

  5. #5
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwichenzug
    For a player at my level (I am guessing approximately 1400) which is more important for winning more consistently, endgames or tactics?
    Both are totally critical, and about equally important depending on your style. If you are hardly reaching any close endgames because you tend to either win or lose by then then you need to work on defensive tactics to avoid early losses and try to get to the endgame against players who are now beating you quickly.

    (By close I mean even material, one or two pawns difference, exchange difference etc. Endings where one side's a rook up don't count here.)

    When I play chess, I often look for tactics to try on the opponent but always forget to look for tactics that the opponent might try on me.
    Yes. This is very common. It is not entirely a bad thing because at the lower levels it is often the players who are good at taking their chances who are the ones who make progress. However when your opponent makes a move, always try to think "why did they do that? what are they planning?" and try to understand what they are thinking, even if you work out that their thinking must have been flawed.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 24-10-2006 at 01:53 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    And 29.Re4 shows imagination - but too much of it! Black can (and should have) simply take it - the bishop pin on his rook after would be harmless since Black has Bc6.
    More for my sake than anyone else's, if black did take the rook sack and countered my pin with his own pin with Bc6, I could have done Qxd4 and threatened to pin (with my queen) again after the bishop exchange and allowing him to trade all his pieces to enter a knight vs. bishop endgame.

    Besides losing my h-pawn, I think my biggest mistake is opening my g-file with my pawn recapture. Because of my mistake, the rook lift idea becomes obvious and strong. I saw this OTB and hoped to use the g-file myself (I was hoping to build a battery on the g-file) to launch a counter attack on the king. I forgot the principle, if attacked on the flank, counter attack on the center. Though I lost this game, I particularly enjoyed it because I was playing much stronger than I usually do (I especially enjoyed my Re4 idea).

    Event: Ryde Eastwood
    Site:
    Date: 2006.9.30
    Round:
    White: Zwichenzug
    Black: Rating 1634
    TimeControl: 60 Min 10 sec incre.
    Result: 0-1

    PGN Viewer
     
    Last edited by Zwischenzug; 24-10-2006 at 03:07 PM.

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwichenzug
    More for my sake than anyone else's, if black did take the rook sack and countered my pin with his own pin with Bc6, I could have done Qxd4 and threatened to pin (with my queen) again after the bishop exchange and allowing him to trade all his pieces to enter a knight vs. bishop endgame.
    After Qxd4, the simple Kh8 seems to retain the rook. The white Bishop is now pinned on the long diagonal, and also along the rank.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    After Qxd4, the simple Kh8 seems to retain the rook. The white Bishop is now pinned on the long diagonal, and also along the rank.
    You are right, I can't even push the pawn to check the king, black can just interpose with the bishop attacking my queen.

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