05 October 2014

Annotated Game #135: Stopping the bleeding

The best thing that can be said about this fifth-round tournament game is that I escaped with a draw and stopped the bleeding on the scorechart.  As Black, I commit a couple of minor inaccuracies in the opening, especially by misplacing the queen's knight, which then grow into major structural deficiencies.  I was fortunate that my opponent could not find the winning idea in the end, which would be to use a pawn lever to pry open Black's position.  This was another example and an unfortunate continuation of my weak play in the tournament, with worse to come before it gets better.


  1. Although that was a tough draw I think it is great you have stuck with the Caro-Kan all this time!

    How do you like the Komodo 8 engine for analysis compared to Houdini? Is it really that much more "positionally based"?

    1. I've noticed that Komodo 8 will score positional compensation for material significantly higher sometimes than Houdini 3. It might be worth the time to investigate this a bit more systematically, so thanks for the idea. I thought that Houdini did a pretty good job of looking at dynamic factors like compensation in its evaluations, but Komodo seems to have a greater weight set to them.

    2. I find that Junior does really well at understanding compensation as well. I really liked Komodo 4 for understanding sacrifices. But haven't bit the bullet on Komodo 8.

      A good book for checking the concept of compensation and speculative playing is Spielman's "The Art of Sacrifice in Chess" I studied the book extensively one summer analyzing each game on my own before reading Speilman's notes. And then I would check with an engine and the only engine that really seemed to "like" Spielman's sacrifices was Komodo 4 and Junior sometimes. (this was two summers ago...which is a lifetime in computer progress)