"Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn"

"Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn"

NM CraiggoryC
Jun 1, 2016, 1:34 PM |

After a 1st Round win (you can see that game and blog by clicking here), I was paired with the top seed in the tournament: IM Cyrus Lakdawala. As you can guess from the title of this blog I "learned" from this game :P Let's go over the game and together come up with a game plan of how to learn from your losses.

Round 2

First things first, let's go over the opening by going over a game of my "chess hero" for the French Tarrasch Variation (1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2): Michael Adams

Can you find the Winning Idea that Adams (White) played in the above diagram?


Back to the actual game...

White (me) has just sacrificed with 16. Bxe6, how should Black defend?


Here Lakdawala came up with a great defense, can you defend like he did?


What did we learn from Round 2?

  1. How Michael Adams handled the opening I played.
  2. Watch out for backward diagonal moves...humans have a blindspot for these moves. If you're not on the lookout for such moves, you'll likely miss it
  3. A centralized Queen is a great defender, especially when up against an opposing Queen.

Round 3

Black just played 13...c4!? which I did not anticpate at all, and reacted very poorly. Can you play a better move than I did in the game?
After my poor reaction (14. f4?) what did and should Black play to take advantage of my poor move.
At the end of the above diagram (19. Bxc4) Black played a nice series of moves to finish off the game. Can you figure out what Black played?
What did we learn from Round 3
  1. Don't blindly trust your opponent's advice! Take it into consideration but go over the game with a teacher/stronger chessplayer, database of GM games, or computer.
  2. When you are surprised by a move, try to take a little mental break before you make your move. This is the time where most mistakes are made!
  3. Do not make a move with a pessimistic state of mind. The reason I played the bad 18. Bd5+? was I thought there was no saving my position. If you look at the variation to that move, I was far too pessimistic about my position. When you think you have a bad position it's almost never as bad as you actually think it is!

Please feel free to comment directly to this blog if you have any questions, suggestions, or general comments.

Click here to see the 4th and final round of the tournament