Coach Dante's Student Appreciation Post! -- Inaccuracies
Hello chess readers!
I apologize for missing the past FOUR(!!!!) entries into my blog. Rest assured they will be coming and I will be working towards making this a daily blog this week. I volunteer as a chess coach for a local high school, and this past weekend was the regional qualifier for the state competition. I have a full load of student games to analyze and instruction to give them, so in these next few entries I want to highlight some important educational points from a couple of their games.
At the end of the tournament the organizers announced 28 qualifiers from this regional would be going to state, and 5 of our players played well enough to qualify!
The following game is from a promising young player. She's taken the team by storm and has climbed to become one of our top players. Her opening principles are fairly solid, her middlegames are exemplary, and she has a decent understanding of endgame play. Like many young players, her problems come in adhering too much to principles without applying concrete analysis. This weakness causes her to create more difficult positions than necessary, especially when ahead in positional or material advantage.
From both players we notice a number of small inaccuracies that built up. I chose this game because there weren't any major blunders from either side. Yes, White lost a piece to a fork, but it wasn't a one-move blunder. Black noticed the idea of the d5-d4 thrust threatening the fork and made a plan around exploiting that tactic.
Even after she achieved a strong material advantage, Black had to play smart to convert it. Though White failed to play the most accurate defense we saw some examples in the analysis that due to Black's timidness with her advantage White could put up an annoying defense.
What do we take away from this student's game?
- Once we have a confident understanding of our basic opening, middlegame, and endgame principles we must begin to attach these ideas to concrete analysis.
- An advantage doesn't win a game. It just helps. We must continue to apply pressure and push our plans forward even when we have what we would consider a "decisive" advantage.
- When down material it is important to continue playing at full strength. Many players will become complacent after achieving a strong advantage which means we can often create strong counterplay to regain some compensation!