If You Want to Improve at Chess the Ulrich's Will Show You How


This is a game that I played against Anne Ulrich in January.  The Ulrich's are a very strong chess family.  The older brother Tommy is I believe in high school.  He is a 2300 master.  One of the sisters, Rachel, is a 13 year old expert.


Although Anne is lower rated by far than either of them, she is fast improving.  In the past year she has gone from 875 to 1470 and shows no signs of slowing down.  She also just won that Chess Junior Magnet Grand Prix thing or whatever it's called.


On the surface, this game turns out exactly how you would expect it.  The player who was higher rated by 300 points easily won in spite of some inaccuracies.  But there are forces much deeper at work here.  After the game Anne and I analyzed for a while and I was very impressed by her. 


11...Ne7 is an inaccurate move.  It allows White to begin an attack even with practically no material to use in that attack.  But Anne had a plan.  She told me after the game that she figured that after 12. Bxf6 gxf6 she would be able to bring a rook to the g file and launch an attack on my castled king.


She then said some words that have stuck with me ever since...she said something like "I had no business playing Ne7 because it shows I have no understanding of this position."  Impressive words from a young lady who clearly has a great understanding of what it takes to be successful.


Since that post mortem I have learned to be far more critical of my own play.  For example, my recent game against Rohan Mhaskar (see that game here - it's the second game listed) when I played 12. Bh6 rather than 12. Bd4 has that same feel.  Clearly the inaccurate move, even though it wasn't the losing move, shows a lack of understanding of the position.


So the point to all of this is that there is something to be learned from everyone.  Higher rated.  Lower rated.  Doesn't matter.  So don't dismiss the nuggets of wisdom your opponents sometimes give you just because of the result you had against them.


On to the game...


To read more about my (mis)adventures in my quest to become a master please visit http://ontheroadtochessmaster.blogspot.com/


The majority of my writings are posted there and only a few make it to this site...