Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Simple Chess: A Lucky Win

Hi fellow chess players!

With the 3rd annual Carolina's Classic quickly approaching I debated if I should continue to play in the next Tuesday Night Action tournament. The debate was strictly for selfish reasons: I did not want a poor performance to impact my potential great performance at the Carolina's Classic. Well, I snapped myself out of it by deciding that I needed to tournament practice more than I needed the rating points.

Of course this first round did not help my original thoughts about not playing. I was paired against someone rated over 200 points lower than me. Winning means some rating points gained, losing or drawing would mean a lot of rating points lost. Again, I'm already thinking ahead to my rating after the Carolina's Classic.

Alright, enough about rating points. Who cares about those anyway? The goal is to get better, not get higher rated. I have already had to come to terms with myself that I will probably miss my goal of reaching 2000 by the time I'm 30 years old. I have less than a year for that now and I have one weekend tournament in my future. Yep, you probably guessed it: the Carolina's Classic.

So first and foremost, I did not deserve to win this game. Secondly, I never post games to show off. Thirdly, I am posting this game because I think it has several good lessons for those below 2000. Finally, I am posting this because it is clear that I need a lot of work if I want to perform well at the Carolina's Classic this year.

Key Takeaways:

  • When ahead in material, development should be a priority over grabbing pawns.
  • When behind in material but ahead in development, grab as much of the initiative as you can to not give your opponent time to use the extra material. 
  • Don't grab pawns that open lines of attack to your king. 
  • It is important to work on both calculation and visualization. Although closely related, they are not the same thing as you will see in this game. I calculated but failed to visualize positions correctly. 

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