Helpful and Unhelpful Structural Changes in the NOVA Chess League
Hi Chess Friends,
I recently had the pleasure of playing the highest rated 14 year old in the country, Praveen Balakrishnan in the Northern Virginia Chess League. Somewhat unexpectedly, I was able to get a very pleasant position out of the opening, and keep an advantage all game. Unfortunately, I couldn't resist a tendency of mine to prefer clear pawn stsructures, even at the expense of more complicated and better alternatives.
The highlight of the game for me was finding a strong plan in a hedgehog structure, which I wasn't very familiar with. I got the idea from a recent addition to my chess library, Chess Structures, by GM Mauricio Flores Rios.
Unfortunately, I fell into an old tendency of mine to prefer clear pawn structures, and overlooked dynamic opportunities. After the next few moves I left myself with a pleasant, but not clearly winning ending, which I failed to convert. I think that these mistakes of mine are a result of fearing complications, so I should probably try to overcome them with tactics practice. Time to break out the Dvoretsky.
I've been enjoying the league recently, with two recent games against GM Jesse Kraai, and this one against Praveen, it's providing plenty of learning opportunities. It's on to the DC Chesss League, most likely against an NM or IM next week.