How did I do?

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Nicky Chorley
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Nicky Chorley » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:15 am

I think I'll give up soon :/. My game 4 was horrible; it only lasted half an hour. Here it is if anyone wants a good laugh:


Roger de Coverly
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:42 am

Nicky Chorley wrote:I think I'll give up soon :/. My game 4 was horrible; it only lasted half an hour. Here it is if anyone wants a good laugh:
Essentially it was over in 8 moves after you gave him a piece.

Lower rated players are often criticised for paying too much attention to the opening, but games like that suggest it can be a survival necessity. The move 3 .. c5 in that position of the French is not supposed to be particularly good but can give Black dangerous activity. Looking it up in the database, almost all replies have a good score for White, even 4 Nge2. 5 e5 seems to be a mistake and 5 Be3 better. Tactically you need to have exd5 at your disposal. The most popular move 4 is exd5, followed by "develop a piece" by 4 Nf3.

Perhaps you aren't seeing the patterns in positions shortly after the opening. There are many positions where playing Na4 to annoy the Queen is OK, because after Qa5+ you have c3 and your Queen defends a4 from d1. That doesn't work if there's a pawn on d4, so Na4 shouldn't really come into consideration as a potential move.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Adam Raoof » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:02 am

It is easy to say this - you have to lose a lot of games before you start to improve!

And you should take every opportunity to play that you can, which includes seeing out a tournament even if you get really fed up with being beaten ;-)

However I don't think that you can learn much from just playing. You also need to read about chess, and get an idea of the thought processes of stronger players. These days you can watch videos on YouTube, but nothing beats the works (any of them) of Fred Reinfeld and Irving Chernev - especially Chess Master Vs. Chess Amateur by Max Euwe. Just play though them, and as many games collections of your favourite players as you can. If you don't know who your favourite players are, then get a collection of games in an opening you like and you'll soon identify a few. If you don't know what your favourite openings are yet, then you have to get a general games collection like The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games by Burgess and Nunn.
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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:24 am

Nicky Chorley wrote:I think I'll give up soon :/. My game 4 was horrible; it only lasted half an hour ....

If it's any consolation, you didn't lose any more games than I did last weekend.

I took a real kicking at Imperial College too, it happens some times. It's the tax we pay for winning every now and then - and it makes the victories all the sweeter when they do come.

Richard Cowan
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Richard Cowan » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:28 am

(1) Can Black play 22...Rxf4, or should he look for an alternative move? If he does play 22...Rxf4, what is the main line from White that Black should analyse and what should Black be planning to play in that main line? Try and answer this question before looking at the next diagram!!
Black should play this, definately. What else can he do? B needs activity for his pieces!
The Rxg6+ line is the most critical, and the only real try from W's point of view! I think the game line is the best here.
(2) What should Black play here? Should he play 26...Rb1 (as in the game), or should he play 26...Nd2+?
26...Nd2+! Black has at least a draw. 27.Kc2 loses, to ...Nc4+ (28.Kb3? Na5#) 28.Kd3 Rd2#

However, 27.Ka5! draws I think - black has nothing better that Qe8+, Qe7+, etc. with a draw - am I right? :p In time trouble, I'd have played ...Nd2+, it's forcing!

26...Nf6!? is interesting too though, can black follow up with ...Rb1 (or ...Qc7!?) after something like Qh6, (or Qh4) or does W have a strong move there?
(3) There are two obvious replies; which one should Black play and why?
...Nf6 is much better than ...Rf6. In case you were wondering, ...Rf6 Rxh7+ just wins as QxRh7 meets Qb8+!

After ...Nf6, Shouldn't the game be a draw? Qb8+ Ng8 Qe5 etc. Though, I guess B could try to manouver his N to g7? What was the plan after ...Nf6?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:17 pm

Ouch, Nicky! :)

If it is any comfort, pretty much everybody here has similarly horrible games lurking in their scorebooks from their earliest days :wink:

As a bit of advice - if you are faced with a big mass of pawns in the centre (as after just 3 moves here) and aren't sure what to do, then you are best off simplifying the position. As already pointed out 4 exd5 is perfectly good for White, but even a move on 5 exd5 and *then* 6 Be3 looks quite adequate.

In the latter position Black might try c4, but that is nothing to be scared of (fianchetto your KB, perhaps?)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Sebastian Stone
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Sebastian Stone » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:24 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:Ouch, Nicky! :)
If it is any comfort, pretty much everybody here has similarly horrible games lurking in their scorebooks from their earliest days :wink:
earliest days, later days and nowadays. :oops:

My advise would be to pick a system as white rather than try and compete with players in their favourite opening systems against 1. e4

Something like the KIA, 1. e4 2. d3 3. Nf3 4. g3 5. Bg2 6. 0-0 not necessarily in that order, which can be used against pretty much any black set up with a reasonable game.
AKA Scott Stone

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:34 pm

Richard Cowan wrote:
(1) Can Black play 22...Rxf4, or should he look for an alternative move? If he does play 22...Rxf4, what is the main line from White that Black should analyse and what should Black be planning to play in that main line? Try and answer this question before looking at the next diagram!!
Black should play this, definately. What else can he do? B needs activity for his pieces!
The Rxg6+ line is the most critical, and the only real try from W's point of view! I think the game line is the best here.
What I feared during the game was 22...Qg7, which forces my queen to retreat and allows Black to pick up the f4 pawn without any of the complicated tactics. Computer says I should have played 22.Rh5 instead of 22.Qh5.
Richard Cowan wrote:
(2) What should Black play here? Should he play 26...Rb1 (as in the game), or should he play 26...Nd2+?
26...Nd2+! Black has at least a draw. 27.Kc2 loses, to ...Nc4+ (28.Kb3? Na5#) 28.Kd3 Rd2#
Yeah, though the line after 28.Kb3 is actually 28...Rxb2+ 29.Ka4 b5#, as 28...Na5 is not mate.
Richard Cowan wrote:However, 27.Ka5! draws I think - black has nothing better that Qe8+, Qe7+, etc. with a draw - am I right? :p In time trouble, I'd have played ...Nd2+, it's forcing!
After 27.Ka4 (not Ka5) Black has 27...b5+ which wins in all lines, though there are a few more moves to find, such as 28.Ka5 Nb3+! In some lines there is also a rook sacrifice by Black on f7.
Richard Cowan wrote:26...Nf6!? is interesting too though, can black follow up with ...Rb1 (or ...Qc7!?) after something like Qh6, (or Qh4) or does W have a strong move there?
Dunno. The other two moves are clearly better.
Richard Cowan wrote:
(3) There are two obvious replies; which one should Black play and why?
...Nf6 is much better than ...Rf6. In case you were wondering, ...Rf6 Rxh7+ just wins as QxRh7 meets Qb8+!
I had noticed (prompted by the computer after the game). :D That was the whole reason I posted the game fragment. Though I failed to find it over the board. :(
Richard Cowan wrote:After ...Nf6, Shouldn't the game be a draw? Qb8+ Ng8 Qe5 etc. Though, I guess B could try to manouver his N to g7? What was the plan after ...Nf6?
Black can meet Qb8+ with Qe8, with the threat of either taking the queen on b8 or the rook on g6. Going back a few moves, one interesting line was meeting 26...Rb1 with 27.Nd3 instead of 27.Nf7+. Black is pretty much forced to play 27...Qc7, when the line goes 28.Qxh7+ Qxh7 29.Nxf2 Nxf2 30.Rxh7+ Kxh7 31.Rxe6, and White can hope to liquidate the pawns to a draw.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:08 pm

Nicky Chorley wrote:I think I'll give up soon :/. My game 4 was horrible; it only lasted half an hour. Here it is if anyone wants a good laugh
Others have already given good advice, to which I would add (apart from don't give up!) is consider what alternatives you could have played on move 7. Instead of moving the knight (did you play it to a4 to protect your b-pawn?), did you consider capturing on d4 with either the bishop or the (other) knight? It might look like you end up losing a pawn, but have a look at the lines and I think you end up OK if you chose the right piece to capture with. Which one would you capture with, and how would you handle the follow up?

In general, what you need to do is be alert to the fact that something is going wrong in your position, and see if there are saving tactics anywhere that allow you to escape or minimise the damage.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:35 am

I wonder in what other sports can you get free technical advice from a player with the status of an IM like Jack Rudd?

I assume you are an adult and there aren't many educational adult chess classes any more. You could pay for private tuition and Jack does seem to be volunteering.
You need to improve your tactical skills. Take a look at www.certificateofmerit.org.uk. There are free tests and you can take certificates if you wish. Another way is to get tactical books of the type 'White to play and win'. The daily positions in The Times are very good. Those in the Daily Telegraph are too difficult.
Remember the mantras: First think about all checks; then captures; then forcing moves. Always have a plan.
My book 'Chess Openings - Your Choice!' was written for people like you.
Since you want to become a good player don't fall into the trap of playing a one size fits all opening as suggested above by Sebastian Stone. You need to become familiar with the language of chess.
Most players are weaker than you. But you have wandered into competitive chess where the players are really quite strong.
DON'T GIVE UP. The better you become, the more enjoyable the game is.

Leonard Barden
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Leonard Barden » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:20 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:You need to improve your tactical skills. The daily positions in The Times are very good. Those in the Daily Telegraph are too difficult.
The daily positions in the Evening Standard are free, unlike the Times and Telegraph. They have been published without a break since May 1956, a world duration record for chess and probably for all journalism.

You can access them conveniently by going to www.bcmchess.co.uk, clicking links, and going half-way down the left-hand column. Alternatively, go to www.standard.co.uk/chess. The online page contains all the positions from the last week, so if you miss a day you can easily catch up.

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Sebastian Stone
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Re: How did I do?

Post by Sebastian Stone » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:46 pm

On the subject of tactics I would recommend www.chesstempo.com
AKA Scott Stone

"Give a man fire and he's warm for a day, set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life."

That's Mr Stone to you, f**kface.

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