Sunday, April 26, 2009

Two Out of Three ain't Bad

That's two out of three losses since I came to Florida coming against a master. The same master, in fact. I suppose that's not so bad for an ~1800 player, though my recent loss was much more painful than my previous loss. I had nothing in the first game, and lost pretty handily. This game was much more competitive, but I failed to take advantage of my chances. Didn't even look for them. Horrible. As I discuss in the game annotations, what bothers me is not missing tactics but rather not realizing the richness of the position and therefore not even looking for them. That's a bigger problem I think. Every game has critical positions and if you cannot recognize them and know when you need to look deeply then you will never be very good at chess, no matter how many chess puzzle books you run through. It's worth nothing that my master opponent spent A LOT of time on four or five of his critical moves, whereas I did not. That was probably the difference in the game. This is not to say Jeff wouldn't have beaten me anyway, but if I had lost because of a miscalculation or poor evaluation of a position I don't think I'd feel so bad. Not looking at all is a more serious problem than not understanding an obscure line in the Budapest. At least I have something to work on. Here's the game:

Rampley-Haskel 2.pgn

A very disappointing game for me. Still gained quite a few rating points for the tournament, drawing two experts and losing to a master. I think my performance rating was right around 2000, which is pretty good for me. Overall I'm happy with the progress of my play.

I've also been doing a bit of theoretical work. Ever looked at the Czech Benoni? It's offbeat, but it isn't so easy for white to prove an advantage. Black just has to be VERY patient. Here's a little analysis I put together, based mostly upon material from If you're at all interested in theory, then this site is a great investment and I highly recommend it. By the way, if you don't have a good defense to 1.d4 and you don't care for theory, this might not be a bad choice. I hate playing against it, for what it's worth.

Czech Benoni.pgn

I'll be playing in the premier section of the BRCC tournament again next month. My performance justifies it, and I'd rather get better than win $50 or whatever the prizes are in the U2000 section. Also, if you have any questions about any theoretical line after 1.d4 or in the Classical Sicilian, by the way, feel free to ask. I'm always happy to share analysis. Peace.

1 comment:

CHESSX said...

I like the look of the Czech Benoni.
The way the centre gets locked then in a few moves it's open.
I will look into this more.
thanks for showing this.