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Archive for February, 2011

I am a Patzer. Despite having good trainings sessions I lost my last TL game in a stupid way by not thinking about my opponent’s plans. Fortunately I am still at the beginning of my chess career so I can accept it more or less easily. It’s annoying and painful but next time I can try again.

  • Regular Chesstempo training, stabilizing slightly above 1900. Not bad.
  • Finished chapter 3 of the Chess Exam 2: Tactics book. Obviously the tactics training is bearing fruits, I did much better compared to 4 month ago and scored ~1800.
  • Continued with the Chessbase Strategy course (different kind of centers).
  • Some opening studay as preparation for the OTB game. I watched the 3 videos about the Benko gambit. Nice. Now I only need to get a chance to play it – everyone picks a sideline.
  • Got a draw with the white pieces in the first round of the city championship (OTB). Overall I was slightly better throughout the game but couldn’t find a winning plan. My 1739 rated opponent was kind of relieved to accept the draw. Next round is against a ~15yo very active player rated 1664.
  • Played a TL game, lost material too easily and never had a chance. I will have to play more 15min games to get some routine in the opening. There are too many games that I already lose in the early stage of the game.

This week I have my next OTB game on Friday (black pieces) and will prepare accordingly.

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Weekly Progress #7 โ€“ 2011

  • Regular ChessTempo training, rating has stabilized around 1900.
  • Prepared for my TL game. My opponent played the Caro-Kann and I looked up the Panov attack. In hindsight I didn’t prepare enough because my first own move was a positional blunder. The good thing was that I learnt a lot about this variation and in future I will make it safely to move 10 or 12.
  • Played a 45+45 TL game, lost, great practice though and good preparation for my upcoming tournament.
  • Annotated a master game in two long sessions. A complicated Queen’s Indian and it was instructive to see how the master found a way to attack.

I could have done more this week but the long TL game (3h) and the post-mortem analysis (2h) took their toll. On the other hand I am quite relaxed. I know that I have a good study plan and there is no need to change something because I lost a game.

It also means that I have time for other things. On my German homepage I have started a list of SF stories that I want to read based on the Locus All-Time-Poll 1999. Last weekend I managed to read 4 of them and I will move the whole list to the wordpress blog. Be prepared for more SF related posts in future, my dear chess friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

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One loss closer to chess mastery

Life can be hard. Last week I enjoyed a nice win in the TeamLeague and yesterday, in round 2, it didn’t go so well. You can replay the game here.

I had White in a Caro-Kann. My repertoire has the Panov attack for such situations and everything was fine until I decided to castle:

Position after 10...e6

I thought that after 11. 0-0-0? I could increase the pressure and get a good game. Unfortunately this turned out to be a positional blunder. It was better to continue development with 11. Ne2 and then to castle short. What I completely underestimated was the power of Black’s pieces. With simple attacking moves Black slowly got the initiative and I had a hard time.

Usually I look at a game first without the computer but this one was very tough for me to analyze and I pulled out my silicon chess buddy. Look at the evaluation chart over the course of the game:

The blunder at move 11 turned the evaluation from +0.3 into -0.3 and after a couple of weak moves it looked bad. Around move 24 I had the chance to get back into the game, and then again at move 32. After that it went downhill again. You can ignore the “holes” later, Black had a clear winning plan. The computer will show an eval of 0.00 if a position is repeated – don’t ask me why.

Together with Rybka I made an interesting observation: I had my chances to equalize if I would have evaluated piece exchanges correctly. I was too reluctant and didn’t put the required effort into the calculation. Move 32 was the last chance:

Position after 31...Qc5

An exchange of queens would have been great for me, instead I dismissed the move pretty quickly as bad, based on feelings and not on calculation.

Losing is never nice but the only way to make progress. It took me more than 2 hours to analyze the game and I learnt a lot about myself. Now I only need to pay attention next time to not make the same mistakes twice.

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Weekly Progress #6 โ€“ 2011

As expected I couldn’t invest much time into chess last week.

  • Regular training on ChessTempo, breaking the 1900 barrier for the first time.
  • Annotated another game from my collection.
  • TL48 has started, won my game in round 1, still need to analyse it.

The first round in the TL didn’t go well for our team, we lost the match 1.5 – 2.5 and need to improve in the next matches to have a chance to reach the play-offs.

My OTB tournament starts in 10 days and I will have to do something to get my opening repertoire in good shape. I am currently thinking about a mix of Chess Position Trainer and 15min games on ICC.

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Good start into TL48

The first round in the TL48 (my team plays in the Gibson division, U1600) started great. I had White and believe it or not, it was the first time I had the chance to play a Ruy-Lopez in the TL. Of course it wasn’t a normal variation, my 1530er opponent opted for the Modern Steinitz.

I don’t know why you want to fianchetto your bishop in this opening, Black needs to be careful to get active counter play or otherwise White can calmy increase the pressure and play on the queenside. This is exactly what happened, you can find the whole game here.

It’s true that many White players will be unfamilar with this variation, on the other hand all the standard plans still work and the positions are not much different.

If you are in the mood for a small puzzle, try to find the winning way for White:

Position after 41...Na7

This shouldn’t be too difficult.

The tactics training at Chesstempo slowly starts bearing fruits, today I crossed the 1900 barrier for the first time!

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Bible translations, an update

Three years ago I learnt to my big surprise that different bible translations exist and that people have strong arguments for or against them depending on the source text and on the translation method used. A good starting point is the wikipedia.

The author of the Sundry Times blog has updated his opinions and it’s worth reading:

I also recommend to check out Nathan Stitt’s post in his blog.

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Weekly Progress #5 โ€“ 2011

I wasn’t very active last week and it will be similar this week:

  • Regular Chesstempo training. I have currently reached a plateau with a rating around 1875.
  • Played a long game (30+30) against Signalman on Monday.
  • Analyzed my OTB and the monday game in 2 sessions. I can slowly see some recurring patterns in my play!
  • Went through 3 GM games, not in the slow guess-the-move style but in quicker 60min-per-game sessions. I stopped at critical moments and tried to understand the meaning behind the moves. The next day I played through the game a second time.

This week the TL season 48 starts. I am captain of the Dreadful Knights (U1600) and reserve player in the Struct team (U1800). Let the games begin. ๐Ÿ™‚

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