Thursday, 20 July 2017

Some work on the error database

I took some time to enter some of the games played during the last two tournaments into my personal error db.  It starts to crystallize; the main issues are two variations with Black and too passive play in case of higher rated opponents....

My main goal for the coming tournament (end of August) is to erase the former!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Vellmar - Conclusion

All in all, I managed to win some 15 rating points - not too bad, given that I didn´t have time for any decent and/or continuous training during the last months.

I had the chance to talk to the guy I played in round 5 - I posted the diagram yesterday: He made clear that the +3 evaluation of the machine holds only true if White pushes the pawns, but that things are not really that clear at all if White remains passive and keeps all his pieces tightly together - something the machine cannot really account for; and all of a sudden it takes the machine many many many moves to crack White open... That´s not an excuse for me chickening out (as the worst to happen would have been what I so easily gave without White having to fight for)!  But it provides some reasoning for the difference of my personal and the computer´s evaluation...

The most important take away from the tournament: There is one variation with Black which needs my attention; it was on the board 3 times during the tournament and I only achieved two draws. That´s not good enough and I actually already started to work on it!  For the next tournament - end of August - I will be BEST prepared to meet this variation!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Vellmar - Round 5

After a very long life-or-death struggle including pawn and even piece sacrifices by my 2200-opponent, where I managed to hit the best move (according to the computer) for some 10 moves in a row (which was absolutely vital), I reached the following position:
Yes - it is undoubted that Black is better. But how much? Is it a (very) clear win?  I saw some variations with queens leaving the board and Black losing the a-pawn... Actually, I personally gave it less than one pawn (i.e. about 0.8 or so) for Black and with some 12 minutes left for 12 moves I - once more - chickened out and accepted a draw.
Actually, the computer rates Black´s position at almost +3.0 (even now knowing the score, it seems a bit too much to me) - and what is even more astonishing for me personally, it doens´t really matter at all whether Black keeps the a-pawn or not! Important, however, is the fact that Black has to avoid trading queens (and even the computer needs some more 30 moves to make the victory clear); wheras trading rooks is cleary favouring Black...

Ok - I still need to work on my position evaluation ability (as well as on my self-confidence against stronger players)!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Vellmar Open - First Round

It´s black´s turn - I was black - I fucked it up!

As long as I fuck up positions like this, there is absolutely ZERO chance to reach new hights and increase my rating...    I saw Ng6 and Kg5, winning the game but IGNORED that Kg3 is possible (and I ignored that both Qf2 and even Qh2 are winning, easily).

How can this happen?

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017

Grenke - Post Mortem III

Today I started with yet another Naroditsky - about imbalances. Although this young, talented and silver-tongued GM makes it very easy to listen, I lack more concrete games. Nevertheless, today he not only reminded me of Silman´s concept of imbalances, which as such wasn´t too bad a repetition, but also gave two nice examples from world-class chess.
Here´s Ivanchuk against Anand - Black to move:
Would you have gone for Bc4?  Maybe next time!  😉
I will (have to) go back to this game in a few months - just to be remind me of things...

In addition, I analysed yet another of my games played at the Grenke - both annotating them using CB13 and putting it into my Excel of "Pain" (storing/listing the top 3 mistakes made per lost/drawn game).

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Grenke - Post Mortem II

In February I had to stop any chess training activity due to a second job I took. Nevertheless, I continued with CT-ART. However, I fell down some 100 rating points once I stopped my intense daily training efforts - aaaaaalll the way to about 2330.  At a first stage, I was able to climb back to about 2360 by March. Now, I am back on 2400. That is somewhat motivating...  8-)

On top of today´s tactic session I analysed one Grenke match. Believe it or not, for the first time since about one year I used ChessBase to save+comment the game!  At the end of the game I wrote down the three most important things to remember! I then copied this into my Excel-sheet used to gather data in order to recognise patterns of improvement and/or continuous mistakes...

Here is a nice position of the game I analysed today - White (me) to move: There is one clearly winning move and I am a bit proud that I found it during time pressure - I was playing a 2300-FM:
However, with a cleary won position but only about one minute left for some 7 moves, I chickened-out and drew a few moves later...  8-/

I called it a day after I consumed some Naroditsky...

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Grenke - Post Mortem I

I went through 3 different variations I was faced with during the tournament and had them analyzed by Stockfish and Hiarcs before I hammered the most promising lines into CPT. This actually took me some 3 hours this evening.

A chess pal of mine - LdV - once indicated that after chess tournament he has enough stuff to work on and analyse "for months"; whereas in the past it took me not even a full week before I "moved on".
However,from now one I will spend more time on the post mortem of a tournament and digging into the opening is just one aspect:

  • I will also get back to the database I created to document all the mistakes I made during the game. (Something, I have to admit, I didn´t follow up decently enough.)
  • I will also spend more time trying to understand PLANS behind moves prioritized by the engine(s) instead of simply taking for granted that other moves are better: maybe I will even write down these moves and plans - annotating the game!
THESE ARE the reasons, why the headline indicates, that the post mortem will take me a few evenings...

GRENKE Open 2017

A very impressive - and German biggest - Chess Tournament has seen mixed results of ChessMonk:

Very similar to my last tournament in early January, I managed to dominate the game in 6 out of 9 matches but failed to cash-in the full point way too often: Against two weaker players and even two FMs I only managed a draw in CLEARY won positions. This is simply not good enough to increase my rating!

In two matches - one against a 2200-dude and one against a 2150 guy, I was simply performing badly. In the first case based on insufficient opening knowledge: a gap I already closed the very same evening! And in round 9 I oversaw two very very simple threads in an otherwise very pleasant position. My position was good enough to absorb the loss of the first pawn (again showing that in generall I can easily keep up with these guys), but losing the second pawn in the very same silly manner was too much...

So just like my personal summary of the Staufer Open, I - reinforcingly - conclude:
  1. I am very very close to reach 50% against "weaker" FMs but I really have to stop allowing them to escape with half a point - I have to stop to "chicken out"!
  2. I manage to control the board and the direction of the game pretty well and pretty constantly against weaker players, but then fail miserable at a certain point. Up to now, I cannot recognise any pattern why I start to make bad moves all of a sudden once I reach cleary won positions! (However, one alerting pattern is shining through: I am weak at spotting tactics against me. And once they hit me like lightning, I am not really able to calculate the consequences well! I tend to - heavily - overestimate their brutal force and falsly start incorrect defensive measures.)
  3. No real time trouble occured. (Yes, there was one game, but time trouble only started with the last 10 moves due to heavy tactics against me being involved.) It seems like I established reliable positional understanding of where my pieces should move to, without having to overly invest time.

Although openings weren´t really the issue, one of my pillars of the coming weeks will be to intensify the usage of CPT in order to gain more confidence getting out of the opening - even against titled players - both without disadvantages on the board and on the clock!
The second pillar will be positional/tactical puzzles!

BTW: My son did remarkably well - making any of my own blunders somewhat less important... Lukily, he get´s closer to my own performance and since he is playing some of my openings, too, I am eager to see us starting to work together trying to improve our chess...