Monday, 27 November 2017

The Heusenstammer Sparkassen Open

Wow - quite a success story!  I guess I never played a tournament with such a success - and actually never with such an "ease". Actually, I recognized this "ease" quite a while ago:  almost no time trouble, no total loss of control in terms of completely wrong decisions any longer. And actually even one of my chess pals recognized this "ease" - thanks for letting me know RB!

However (and of course), during these 7 games there was one game (but actually only one - which as such is a success) that I am actually not proud of:  I achieved a totally won middle game against a 2250 player. I knew I had a winning position, not too straight forward, but definitelly winning - even against a 2500 player! I had an extra passed + protected pawn and the machine evalutes the position +1,5 for many moves...


.... I lost!

Whereas I played by far the best tournament ever, this one loss was the most painfull since a decade or more (no exaggeration)! 

A very interesting thing happened at the board: Psychology kicked in! Very hard and not to my favour at all! All of a sudden I was nervous like a 14 year old before his first kiss; afraid of winning, making a mistake, throwing away the safe full point. All of a sudden I only saw threads against my position - and not a single clear plan or good move for my own position.
It was a healthy loss - because everything I can so easily teach my son was ignored by myself so foolishly. A good reminder to stay cool and - if anyting fails, stick to my PAT! Which for sure would have given me a good basis and routine to keep my first thoughts on ACTIVTY rather than haunting ghosts...

Friday, 24 November 2017

Comps have their own way... Round 2 in Heusenstamm

After 3 of 7 rounds at the Heusenstamm Sparkassen Open I am pretty satisfied - no real mistakes and a decent game against a 2300 guy: I managed to keep the game within the higher end of the drawing-range with a minus on my side of 0.3 to 0.45; juuuust enough to survive. Here´s the final position:
(White sacrificed the exchange some 3 moves earlier - in order to escape the draw.)
Black´s last move was Rxa8 - offering a draw; which was accepted by White.
When I entered the position into my comp - the machine gave Black a decisive advantage of +2!
I was shocked - believing that I made a big mistake by offering the draw (too early)!!!!  But then I kept making the moves suggested for Black (and ignoring the suggestions for White) for some 20 moves - the position as such didn´t really change, but the machine keeps his evaluation error at +2...   strange...

Monday, 20 November 2017

Back on stage - Starting some last-minute preparation for the Heussenstammer Sparkassen-Open

After some really heavy 3 months (of additional work) I am finally able - and more than just willing - to dedicate yet again some time to Chess. Although I kept my (almost) daily dosis of CT-ART alive and managed it to an all time high of 2527. However, I am well aware of the fact that this is by far not enough to increase my real rating.
Actually, I am somewhat "nervous" whether I will be able to keep my current rating and I wouldn´t be really surprised (or disappointed), would I drop some points...
But here we go, yet another attempt to push myself into new hights!

Next to repeating some variations with Black - which is something I will have to do throughout the coming days again and again (hoping that these few days will at least help me to survive the openings), I followed Sämisch versus Nimzowitsch in "Chess for Hawks", where the following position caught my attention (Black to move):
His knight is somewhat x-rayed by the white queen. Knowing that, Black´s move is a surprise (and not the best according to the computer): Bd6.    At first, it seems like this is even worsening things - as after e4 and Nf6 both black´s minor pieces are attacked! Sämisch definitely anticipated this and had the following position already in his head:
Hmm - Lakdawala (author of Chess for Hawks) concluded
1) Two healthy pawns; including an intruding and connected passed e-pawn
2) Control over White´s second rank
3) A massive territorial advantage
4) Most importantly - totally immobilized White pieces

Well, I can give four times "yes" - for sure. But that is "now" - I am, unfortunately, pretty sure that I wouldn´t have considered sacrificing my knight...   8-(   Still so  much to learn....  8-(