Econstudentlog

Four chess games

I’ve started playing active tournament chess again, at least a little bit. The format of the tournament in which I’m participating at the moment is a rapid format, with 45 minutes per player per game, with two games per round – one game with the white pieces and one with the black pieces, against the same opponent. Below I have posted the first four games I’ve played in the tournament so far – this is a short post, but each game lasted a significant amount of time.

Links to the games: 1 (white), 2 (black), 3 (white), 4. (black).

The two first games are actually, I think, quite instructive in that I played against a much lower rated player and managed to win both games in roughly 20 moves. There’s a reason strong chess players do not lose to beginners and games like these will tell you part of the story of why this is.

The last two games were not particularly great and I certainly was not satisfied with my play in either of those, especially not the second one – I had a winning position out of the opening, yet I somehow managed to blunder a piece in the middle game. 17…Rad8 was a blunder (the idea was 18.Bxc6… Rxd2, followed by 19.Qxd2 and …Qxa1+, and after Qd1 (forced) black takes on a2), whereas after 17…e4! the computer gives black an advantage of roughly -4,5 (an advantage corresponding to almost an entire rook, even though the position is materially balanced – I knew the position was winning, but you still have to find the right moves..). I’d of course missed the check on d5 and Rc1, which were played in the game. I considered taking on d5 after the bishop check, and actually my intuition was correct that this was completely winning (the position is at -2 or so after the exchange sac, according to the engine – this is not surprising as white is basically playing without the rook on h1 and also has an exposed king in an open position) – but in the end I decided not to play this as ‘Kh8 is surely winning as well, and an exchange sac is not necessary here’. I was wrong. Actually the position arising shortly after the blunder around move 20 is a good illustration of how important piece activity is; the position after 20…e4, where black is basically a whole piece down, according to the engine is still better for black (-0.3). Black has a lot of activity for the material, despite this ‘sacrifice’ of course being completely unnecessary.

Given that I’ve won all my games so far it’s not possible to calculate a performance rating yet, but I’d say that in terms of results at least I’m doing okay, though perhaps not much better than could have been expected. Anyway the way this tournament works, the more games you win the tougher opponents you get –  I was the rating favourite in both of the matches I’ve played so far, and that’ll change soon enough; I may easily end up playing against a 2200 Elo opponent next round, so I expect to lose and/or draw some games quite soon. If you’re interested in me sharing more of my games here later on, let me know in the comments – I think that if I don’t get any indications that people reading along here would like to see another post like this one again, this will probably be my last post of this kind. I know some of my readers are interested in chess, at least a little bit, but that’s not the same thing as finding posts like this one interesting.

I should note that the internet issue I have had has now, as far as I can tell, been solved. This should make it much easier for me to blog from now on than it has been for the last couple of weeks.

September 23, 2014 - Posted by | Chess, personal

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