25 August 2013

Annotated Game #102: In which I fail to crush my enemy

In this first-round game of an online 45 45 tournament game in the Slow Chess League, I singularly fail to crush my enemy as I should have.  Out of the opening, I take advantage of an overloaded bishop on g7 to win a pawn and then pick up an exchange with a skewer.  After this, however, I must give full credit to my opponent for his strong resistance and constantly seeking active ways to make threats.  This eventually pays off as I fail to find winning ideas at key points and barely manage to avoid a mate threat.  At the end, low on time and with an uncertain endgame, I go into a threefold repetition.  While not the result I wanted, it was great for training purposes and points out how I need to be more steely in the face of danger (real or imagined).


  1. I think part of your problem here is using the computer to assess your position without understanding the reason a computer plays it's moves. You quoted the computer a lot but had little real chess strategy.

    For example: You said taking on c5 as recommended by Houdini made positional sense. Then you fail to explain why? When you see something you think has positional sense, you should be able to explain it in words.

    Then you decline h3, because you claim it doesn't give white enough? Enough of what?! What do you think it doesn't give enough of that your text move gave? Why is b5 better in your mind? I personally think h3 is better for many reasons I won't put on here.

    There is a lot of obvious missing of strategical aims here. You are thinking tactically and you are looking at engines to sort out everything. Remember.. Humans don't think like computers, we have to have strategical rules in order to assess positions close to the strength that computers can. And learning strategy for real helps. Don't separate tactics and strategy, they are one in the same. Strategy governs tactics.

    Good job on the analysis though. Can you say where this was played? I am guessing since it was a 45 45, it's likely it was a team league game played in either FICS or ICC? In case you want my creds, I am approximately 2000 everywhere. Hope you keep posting these and I will hope to find them.

  2. Hello Jesse,

    These analyses are intended in part to capture my thinking at the time. If it was a little muddled, I say so. I also give computer evaluations in places in part to be both honest and as a placeholder to go back to for further analysis ideas.

    You seem to have spent some time looking at the game, but perhaps missed a few things. I declined 12. h3 at the time because of the line I considered likely with 12...h6 given in the variation, which didn't look like anything special, although as I mentioned upon further reflection it keeps the two bishops and the initiative. b5 was more forcing and was coming anyway, so rather than go with the unclear 12. h3 alternative that's what I played as a practical choice.

    You also asked where this was played, there's a link to the Slow Chess League info in the post.

    I welcome constructive comments. Maybe if you decide to comment in the future, you include things like why you think 12. h3 would be better, instead of saying that you won't say why, that would be helpful. You also said a lot about strategy, but didn't offer any concrete comments. The winning strategy seems clearly reflected in the notes, i.e. the rook lift to the third rank around moves 27-29 and then over to the a-file. Given the material differential, the win should have been trivial, but unfortunately it wasn't. Regardless, I learned some concrete things from the game and the analysis.