Chess.com Club's League Practice Match vs. Uttara Central Chess Club
This picture showed up for free images of Bangladesh, the nationality of the team we played......

Chess.com Club's League Practice Match vs. Uttara Central Chess Club

DanielGuel
DanielGuel
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5

Hi friends, I hope you are doing well, and welcome to my blog!  If you are new here, this is where I post things, mainly games and thoughts that inspire me and that I want to share with the chess world. 

What is the Chess.com's Club League?

Chess.com started the Chess.com's Club League in light of the pandemic for chess clubs who have an over the board outreach, as well as an online presence to play as a team against other clubs. Obviously, a lot of us miss over the board chess, so now we have something to do!

This opportunity excited me. My experience with leagues on Chess.com has not been great, they're not always organized well, they can be a little bit random, etc. While for this league, you had to meet certain qualifications to be enlisted, which ensures that not any random group of chess players can sign up!  Also, it's organized by Chess.com staff, so I know it's going to be a great experience. If it were me, some of the rules and formats of the league would be different, but that's a different discussion.

The Preseason

If you actually clicked on the link earlier... wait, the start date is not in the link! 🤦‍♂️ But, the official start date is not until November 7th, and it's October as I'm writing, so what are we doing early? Well, the title implies, we scheduled some preseason matches! These were not organized by the Club's League, it was solely voluntary, and I was gracious that a few teams reached out for some practice matches. 

This is actually our second practice match, I missed the first one. This practice match is against the Uttara Central Chess Club. A very strong team. I won't spoil the result for you ... or yes, I will!  We played a rapid and blitz segment, so they are shown respectively. 



And yes, it's safe to say we got outclassed!  I will note that, for the main league, we have to play a rapid and blitz match. The rapid match is two rounds 15|2, Blitz is two rounds 3|2. For league purposes, we win the match if we win both Rapid and Blitz, lose if we lose both, and if we win Rapid/lose Blitz or vice versa, the match is drawn.

Whew... now to the games! So as you saw, I was on board 1, so I had to go up against the best Uttara had. I will be mainly focusing on the rapid matches for the blog ... at least for now! Here is game one with some annotations, enjoy!

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Don't be so stubborn that you miss simple moves that do good for you! (26... a5)

  • Opposite colored Bishop endgames do need some work to defend when you're down a pawn, even though they are notorious for being drawish

That was a long dragged out game... I didn't think I'd have anything left in the tank for round 2 (which starts immediately after the first game, maybe a 5-second break 🙃). Would I be able to maintain that endurance for game 2? 

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Avoid making "mindless moves", including

  • 17. Rfe1, which ruins my pawn structure.

  • 27. Bf6, which straight-up hangs a pawn

I hope you enjoyed the games!  There are three more weeks until the actual league starts, but in the meantime, I will update you on the practice match games I play, and we will be up and running soon. I will see you for the next blog post!