Victorious warriors win first..

Aug 12, 2008, 12:25 PM |

"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." – The Art of War, Sun Tzu


I've done it.

You've done it.

Everyone's done it at some point in a game during their Chess Pilgrimage…

...made a move out of desperation trying to pull out a win like a rabbit out of a hat.


Since June 19th, I've been painstakingly rebuilding my rating after I took a huge plunge over a month. In the last month, my rating graph has looked like a, EKG as I slowly pump life back into my chess game. Now over the last week I gone from 1370 to 1485 by changing one aspect of my game…



Before I move in each my games, I've gone out and looked at the typical openings my opponent plays well and doesn't play well. I look for strengths in my opponent's games like; pressure, coordinating pieces, following opening lines, which pieces do they favor etc.


Then I make a list of my strengths like; ...(hidden by author). And I make notes for which opening and tactics I want to use during our game. And of course, I stay with my strategy even if it means I don't like my position or the materiel count. Making my plan and sticking with it helped me tremendously in CyberSensei v gbgpa :


IMO, gbgpa is extremely good at open positions, which unfortunately for me is the same position I like to play. So I needed to use an opening that would play to my strength as well while capitalizing on his aggressiveness. To compound the situation I also wanted to make sure that I kept constant pressure and didn't back down or retreat unless I could do so while advancing. I gave up a lot of pawn moves to moving my pieces to the center of the board.


In one of gbgpa's games, I saw that he had doubled his Rooks on a file while his opponent had their Rooks sitting on the back rank. Once the Black Queen came out I wanted to put pressure on the back rank but couldn't give up tempo so I used the White Queen instead at the expense of my lone Bishop.


Rxd8! was a strong play that without the confidence of my plan, I wouldn't have tried. The move put a lot of pressure on the back row and lead to materiel advantage of Queen/Rook v Queen/Knight. Black did have a 2 pawn advantage, however, with a Queen/Rook; it's only a matter of time before they're recovered.


After the pawns are recovered, Black embarks on an attack, however, the remaining kingside pawns provide ample cover with a Rook while the White Queen holds the back rank while a lone pawn marches on. Down in materiel, facing two Queens and no more opportunities for check, Black is forced to resigned. I'm elated with a sense of accomplishment that I had lost over the past month with all my setbacks.