Ask Questions: Giri vs. Ding -- Opera Euro Rapid 2021
Photo from shutterstock

Ask Questions: Giri vs. Ding -- Opera Euro Rapid 2021

DanielGuel
DanielGuel
|
5

Howdy! Wow, it's been a while. I guess I just put off making another post, and boom, it's been three weeks since my last post! 

Before we get into the actual content, I did want to address that I will be continuing my "getting better at chess" series (I may or may not drop a post later this week). However, I was reflecting on my "content creation", and I do want to make some more chess posts that are not about me . I do understand that a lot of you enjoy those posts, however, I also do want to share my thoughts with the community as it pertains to other chess concepts. Also, do feel free to let me know what you'd like for me to write about. As long as my viewers enjoy the posts, and it motivates me, then I'm happy! 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK, so about this post, and (potential) series, I got inspired watching a video recaping some of the games from the Opera Euro Rapid event going on online. If you don't know about this tournament, then I'll probably leave a comment with more info, as detailing the whole information would take some space!  Anyway, the game at hand was from round 7, Anish Giri vs. Ding Liren. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the position above, Anish Giri played some Rg1-g4 idea, then kind of "slowplayed" the position if you will. Giri ended up winning the game.

However, as I was watching this game, I had a question. If you want to make the most out of watching top games (whether it be a video, live broadcasts, etc), it's important to use your active thinking, and ask your own questions about the position. From my perspective, most people will listen to the commentator(s), and trust their analysis. And very likely, the commentators are right, the super-GM's moves are right, and it's possible your idea(s) are not as good. However, you will learn more about the position (and chess in general) if you use your critical thinking skills, ask your own questions, find out the answer, and compare your analysis.

So what was I thinking about the position above? I thought that White had a strong plan of pawn h5, followed by Nh4-Ng6, with a strong outposted Knight on g6 near the King.

So why were Anish Giri, and Levy Rozman (aka Gothamchess, whom I was watching) completely ignoring my idea?? Did I assume that my analysis was innacurate, trust the player/commentator, and simply move on? I could have, but I decided to seek the answer! After consulting with Stockfish a little, I came to some interesting conclusions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Awesome, I hope this was helpful!  Now you might be asking, OK, I know to ask questions, but what is the best way to get answers? Good question! I ended up using Stockfish, and I am at the level where I can use the engine to analyze some positions on my own. But for some levels, that's not always the most productive way to analyze, so here is my advice:

  • Ask a coach and/or stronger player friend -- Generally, coaches do have offline support, so if you show them a position and have a question about it, they can answer it. Or if you have a friend who is a stronger player, it does not hurt to consult them! If that doesn't work...

  • Ask on the Chess.com Forums -- Yes, the forums can be obnoxious, but it's about getting the right people involved. Make a title that indicates it's an instructive question. From my experience, there is always someone happy to help! And lastly, if that doesn't work (though it should)...

  • Plug the moves into Stockfish -- Plug your ideas in, and try to get an understanding as to why it may or may not work. That's what I did, but I think the first two ideas are better

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope you enjoyed this post, and perhaps learned a thing or two! Do feel free to give me your feedback, and let me know if you want to see more of these types of posts! Otherwise, stay safe as always, and I will see you soon.