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Hey everyone! I just played in a local tournament called the 38th Annual Super State Championship in Santa Clara, CA. Since my dad was helping at the tournament I was basically left to myself all day. I decided to play up in the 9-12 1600+ Section because it was a much better and easier to handle time control then the section of my grade level (which is G/75). Instead, this one is 90 min + 30 sec increment. I was ranked #18 in the beginning, and finished as 23rd. It wasn't that great of a tournament (my rating is expected to fall below 2000 at 1999), but I still played some great games!
In the first round I played a weak opponent, who somehow reminded me of Carlsen. He looked a lot like him. But that didn't intimidate me..he surely proved that on the board. Here's the short 18 move game:
Now I had to try to find the car in the parking lot. It was a REALLY big garage and I got lost easily. That took up most of the time until I miraculously found it. I came upstairs for the next round.
What a difference! The first round I get an easy win and the next round I get a titled player? What type of a tournament IS this? Well now I realized I had to sweat it out. I got equality early on, but under time pressure (living off the increment) I blundered and had to give up my queen. Funnily enough, he blundered his queen, but he still had a completely won endgame . Hard to imagine NM's blunder queens. Pretty good game though. Here it is:
That game took a long time. It was a pity I made that blunder..Okay, time for an easy opponent. I got someone rated around 1700 and crushed quickly (which proves I deserve to be at my level). However I missed a mate in two that was quite unimportant. Here's the game:
That was it for the first day. The next day I had two rounds (I currently have 2 out of 3).
For my fourth round my dad told me who I was playing as soon as I got up. Ironically, that person knows everything I played. I was pretty sure I knew what he played (1. c4) and did a lot of preparation. Annoyingly they changed the pairings at the last second, but I still knew what my opponent would play. (My opponent that I was going to play before the pairing change was actually gonna play 1. d4). Weirdly, he opted to play the same system, but took a much better approach. I had one chance for equality after inferiority in the opening but I blew it, and he showed great technique and won the game. Here's the game:
I took some rest in the car, then headed out to play my final round. It was a very satisfying, crushing game. The opponent I'm playing I've played twice. Once he crushed me, the second I was crushing him but then I blundered and drew. And he played HORRIBLY in that game. This time I sought revenge and crushed him. Oh, the good feeling of revenge and sweet victory! One flaw about his play is that he always thinks of castling LAST, so if you start attacking him he's just gonna crumble. I did a good job exploiting this weakness. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my rating points back. Here's the game:
Overall, I think it was not such a great tournament but I had some good wins as white which made me more confident. I think what I need to learn from this tournament is to manage my time, and not miss chances to equalize. Thanks for reading! My next tournament is in two weeks.
Game 1 was entertaining.
In game two, don't get greedy! That's not the point of the elephant gambit (to go after d5 and c3 pawns...by doing Nb8-d7-b6-d5-c3-b5). Remember your Morphy! The point of the elephant gambit (and any gambit..) is to convert your better center, better development, and better king safety (in other words, your energy/initiative) to slowly improve your position, until opportunities open up to attack OR win back your material while MAINTAINING your initial positional advantage. Going after d5-c3 pawns released your initiative and opened up White's position. On move 39, you write, "Now I'm dead lost. The rest of the game is trivial.." That's not true at all. You're down two pawns, you're losing, yes. But there are always tactical opportunities. There are always ways to come back! Maintaining that attitude in your chess games is one of the most important things to learn :)
In game 3, you missed mate in two. Keep working on your tactics as that's what will make you improve! How to Find A Master Class Move Rule #5. It's something that needs to become a part of your instinct (remember, it's not about following Rule #5 like it's a formula. It's about practicing tactics so much with your 50 puzzles a day such that that rule becames a natural part of your thinking). More and more and more puzzles. Don't stop! Fun game otherwise, and it's good to see your attacking chess and sacrifices.
In game 4, pawn hunting again? Bishops of opposite colors lead to deadly attacks, so White did a good job there. Revisit Fritz because White's opening is not very strong against the Elephant gambit. Rethink where you should be putting your pieces (the early f5 isn't necessarily the problem, it's the pawn hunting and lack of piece coordination that occurs shortly after). Remember, you got both center pawns two steps forward while White didn't. You got the better center control. You have an initial advantage but both games in this opening shows that you lost that initial advantage quickly. Look to Morphy games to get that right style of play.
Game 5 was very nice. That was a Morphy game. Very pleased to see the aggressive tactical play.
Overall a great tournament, and it really does show you're a strong A player and an up and coming expert. The next steps are the same steps that brought you here :) More tactics, more Morphy. You're doing fantastically and you'll keep on improving and playing beautiful chess combinations like you did in this tournament.
I hope you don't mind I tell my friend Max about the Carlsen thing.
oh no, please don't!
thanks! But I get nervous because Fritz gives white a +1.5 advantage, which is a lot.
The best thing about a lost position is that you can try absolutely anything (even the craziest things) to try to survive and even win. That's why I recommend you get a lost position starting move 1 (soller gambit hehe)
It's about creativity and the right attitude. I would be nervous being down two pawns in an endgame too, but I wouldn't call it a trivial win for my opponent. I'd play my very best and force my opponent to work for the win. You're still tactically stronger than your opponents even when you're losing by a 1.5 point advantage...so why give up? :)
Another way to think about it. I guarantee a grandmaster playing in your lost position would find a way to draw or even win. So no, it is not a trivial win.
nice games! You're really into gambits!
30/30 Instead of 45/45
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Admins: Spam alert, you may wish to check this
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Thanks Mr. Fischer,
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Why do you like playing chess?
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