Through the Eyes of a Patser

Through the Eyes of a Patser

| 18 | Fun & Trivia

   Through the Eyes of a Patser

     By NM Steve Colding

  I went to a tournament in which a couple of my students were playing and they convinced me to play so that they could see some of my games. I sighed and realise that this could be a great learning experience for them (and probably for me!) so I swallowed hard and entered.

     A wise man once stated that "Hope springs eternal" yet he had never entered any chess tournaments! While sitting at my board during the first game I contemplated all the blunders that I had made and that I would make in the future.

      Then I remembered Kotov's statement in his classic book Think Like a Grandmaster, through the eyes of a patser...". Of course he meant it the totally different context of checking one's analysis but I thought it was quite apt and applied to me. I was a patser and I had eyes so it might be entertaining to write about the games and go through the processes that I went through in the game.

      So there I sat glued to my seat with dream of literary pretensions, hoping that I would not embarrass myself too much. Hoping that this patser would play if not a great tournament than perhaps a great fame.

       David Thomas 1639 vs Steve Colding 2202

          2008 Greater New Haven Winter Open

     To those of you paying attention you may have noticed the difference between my opponents rating and mine. you may be saying well where's the challenge in that? You should beat him pretty easily. Statistically you are right, the odds say I should beat him, but I can remember many sleepless nights playing people who have bucked the odds.

     Whenever you play a supposedly weaker player you should strive to keep things clear, hoping that your superior knowledge will eventually lead to an advantage. That being said these type of games can be tremendously helpful from the learning prospective if the advantage is a clear one the technique of typical master could be a wonderful learning tool.

     Of course this is only if the master wins and there have been many, many times the amateur has given the master a lesson! Now onto the game.

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6(The Stenitz Deferred Variation)

     You may wonder why I play such a stodgy opening as the Stenitz Deferred. Well for one thing the Stenitz Deferred is quite another animal from the regular Stenitz. Then again we must remember the goal of the supposedly stronger player to keep the game simple and logical and to let the opponent make a lot of little mistakes that the stronger player can understand and take advantage of.

 5.c3 Bd7 6.0-0 g6 7.Re1 f6 8.d4 Nh6

Now lets talk about this position and the logic of the moves played. White delayed playing d4 a little too long. His moves while far from bad  are just the slightest bit passive. So how to take advantage of this? Well this position is what you would call a semi closed or semi opened position. White must now decide should he open or close the position. Black has already committed himself to some sort of action on the Kingside. The move f6 has its pluses and minuses. It strengthens his Pawn structure in the center but it is slightly weakening. It commits the Knight on g8 to h6 where it ill then go to f7 enhances further his hold on the e5 structure. Is this a good or bad thing? Well its a matter of taste. If you know the closed Ruy you know that it can be very much like the King's Indian. I frankly feel that White should keep his position fluid not deciding to open or close the positon until later. White however played the move:

 9.d5?! White decides to close the position! Now it becomes a matter of Kingside versus Queenside. White attacking on the Queenside and Black attacking on the Kingside.

Nb8!(my opponent thought I would play Ne7 but I like this positon because if he takes my Bishop I can take back and dream of my Knight going to the fine square c5! Even if my Knight nver gets to this square it will have influence on White's breaking square.)  10.h3 ( to stop Ng4 if he plays Be3. This is a pretty standard move but its not so clear that here it is best. Furthermore h3 gives Black a point of attack and thirdly Black's Knight wants to go to f7!) Nf7 11.Be3 Bg7 12.c4?! ( 12. c4 again is the standard plan of Queenside vs Kingside. but here again it just doesn't seem correct because of Black's next move.)


Next Article: Part 2 Through the Eyes of a Patser: conclusion of game 1.




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