ODU U1400 Rated Tourney, Rounds 3, 4, 5. October 1st.
ODU's rated tourney that began September 24th continued yesterday, October 1st, at Old Dominion's Webb Center. I began 0-2 last week - I didn't play good chess. I studied a bit before traveling to the match on October 1st though- read some from Silman's complete book of chess strategy and looked over my "cheat sheet" book mark I created at work once and scotched taped over it for a poor man's lamination. Here's the cheat sheet:
Accurate Board Analyzation
* Look at your opponent's threats.
* Look for tactical opportunities.
* Compare the board's imbalances.
- How are the minor pieces playing?
- Whose pawn structure is stronger?
- Does someone have more space?
- Is material uneven?
- Do you have access to important files, ranks, diagonals and squares?
- Who has better development?
- Can initiative be seized?
* What move, or series of moves, will take advantage of these factors?
* Move pieces to exploit these imbalances as opposed to baseless plans.
Of course I wouldn't be looking at that during the game - I just needed a refresher. I'm still not the positional chess player I want to be but with Reassess Your Chess 4th edition, Complete Book of Chess Strategy, and The Amatuer's Mind I should have all the tools to get better at strategy and postional play.
Tactics are great and all...but I simply want to play great chess first. Be more Karpov and less Tal.
On to the games! I played three as opposed to two, and I played considerably better than last week! The first game is vs the first of the Chris/Christophers. Smart guy, I think studying Physics and Computer Science at ODU.
My final game is against a common opponent at the ODU Chess club. The very first day I showed up he beat me in a casual game quickly. One of the ODU games I've posted, I believe in my first blog, was against him where I won as black. That was a fun game. Our next game we played another time challenge game near the chic-fil-a and I played e4, lost a lot of pieces, and resigned in 25 moves. However the next game I would win with great strategic pressure using white pieces, and I played as white on 10/1/2014 against him for another victory. I will admit being a bit proud of this game as he is rated above 1300, and I'm down here at 1156.
So what do you guys think? I believe I played better.
Next week I hope to continue my winning ways - though I know I play one of the strongest opponents in the tourney. The second Chris, an above 1600 player who can play blindfold pretty well. His weakness, and he admits this, is thinking too much on his moves in time control games. It is what happened in his draw with the 879 player Christopher, he drew but his opponent had at least another ten minutes on him and these games are Game in 45 minutes. If I play solidly I think I can apply pressure of time on him and maybe force him into blunders and eek out my biggest win of my USCF career.