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Now this has me more nervous than I was before. I am doing my first OTB this weekend and I enrolled in the open section (1500+) and I have mainly been an online/correspondence player too. I think this might be an eye opening weekend for me.
Well, if I could go back in time and give myself of 3 weeks ago 3 pieces of advice, it would probably be:
Expect some tough resistance from players at 1500+. They will play intensely and will be giving 100% on every single move to win the game. They probably won't be giving away material like some of my opponents were, but don't worry about the rating or what's sitting accross the table from you - just play the board and play the best Chess you can.
Also, think of them like bears - they're more scared of you than you are of them. Their worst nightmare is some newcomer off the internet with a big zero rating coming to steal their precious points. Just give them all you've got and make their lives difficult!
Also, remember to have fun. Even if you play bad and lose all your games, try to just enjoy the experience and learn from it! :-D
Re. Black's ...d5 move in that game above: I've been looking at it and Stockfish seems to give 11..d5 a +0.5 for White and 12..d5 a -0.72 to Black, for tactical reasons that are frankly too complex for me to understand
So, in these positions, Black is looking for an opportunity to play ..d5, to equalize in the center and free their pieces? I guess that makes sense and I should try to remember that in future.
One thing I don't quite follow though, Chessmicky: why is 9.f4 bad for White? It seems to capture more space in the center and threaten to apply pressure to Black's Kingside.
First of all, don't make the mistake of thinking that I know what I'm talking about! I'm just another patzer, so don't take anything I say as gospel. f4 may be a good move in the near future, but it's easy to overlook its dark side. If the game opens up, you may regret weakening your king position by opening the g1-a7 diagonal. f4 also restricts your Be3 which is both blocked and loose now. Tht's not to say 9.f4 is a blunder, or anything close. I just prefer some other moves. Developing with 9,Na3 would probably be my first choice, for what it's worth.
The main point I wanted to make was about the importance of that d5 freeing move for Black.
I'm not going to bother posting game 4 - there's not much to say about it. I was pretty exhausted at the end of my first day and my confidence was low after the mistakes I'd made in the previous games. I fell prey to a couple of basic tactics and it was all over in about half an hour.
In game 5 (second day) I played the highest-rated player I'd faced all tournament (1470) - somehow he must have had a bad tourney and he ended up down on the bottom board with me. I wasted some time in the opening after playing 6.a3 rather than 6.c3 in a Giuoco Pianissimo and handed him the initiative. I then made a poor decision to open the center when I was behind in development (chasing material) and I failed to adequately defend his Kingside attack and got mated. Looking back at it now, I should have done better, but I think he played a good game:
Tough one! I can almost feel how tired you were. The first thing I want to mention is that your exclamation point for 19...Qf6! is a little misplaced. Unless I'm missing something--which is always possible--19...Qh4 is just crushing for Black.
6.a3?! just feels like fatigue. I'm sure you would play c3 if you weren't so tired. 7.Be3 is an interesting try. If he playes 7..Bxe3 your doubled pawn of e3 is actually quite strong since it controls f4 and d4, and you have the open f-file as well. Of course you were right: 14.d4! was a good move. So was 15.d4 19.Be3 looks like a safe way to protect your f2 square
Well, you had a baptism of fire and you survived. I know the results weren't what you hoped for, but in the long run that won't matter. Next time you will have a much better idea of what's required, and you will play better, with fewer errors. I'm sure you'll do better
Yes, I was tired the last day too. Luckily I was playing someone alot lower than me though haha, so it was all good.
To add on to what chessmicky said-I still don't see what black has after 18. dxc6 Nf4 19. Ng3. It stops all the pins and if black plays something like h5 you can just play h4. You also can play be3 to stop that dangerous dark-squared diagonal for black's bishop.
I also dont quite understand why you notated Qf6 with two !!, I can see his threats but they can be stopped. An example: 20. Nxg6 Bxf2+ 21 Kh1 Bxe1 22 Qxh5, I think your a pawn up here. Also if black plays Qh4 instead of Qf6 I still dont see any clear threats he has after Nxg6.
Of course it would be hard to see this when it's the last day, but remember to always push on and make sure to calculate as many lines as possible, especially if you have 90/30 (I think that's the time control for second day g45?)
Edit: I take back what I said about dxc6, it actually doesnt work because after Ng3 he can take since the bishop is pinning the pawn. My bad :P but I think the Nxg6 line still works
You still have to post your win...;)
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