Match Psychology When It's Tight -- Preseason Match #3
IDK... I looked up free images of San Gabriel Valley, the location of the team we played, and a pic of a cat showed up ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Match Psychology When It's Tight -- Preseason Match #3


Howdy all, I hope you had a great weekend!  This is the next installment of my series on my experience as a player with the Club's League. The next and final preseason match is this coming Saturday (yes, on Haloween), and then the actual league starts on November 7th! 

You might be wondering, "Why did you label this #3 when this is only your second post?". Good question! The reason is that we did have a preseason match the week before the one I posted about, I just didn't play . Feel free to review the previous post here

This time, I won't spoil the result before showing the games. I will spoil that in the rapid portion, I was paired with NM John Wright (@JRWright on We corresponded back and forth, as we are the captains of our respective teams, he seems like a cool dude!  I am playing on board 1 for the second week in a row, let's get this done!

Note: I did NOT use an engine to analyze these games. I feel like using an engine would decrease the transparency of my true analysis, and as many coaches recommend, it's good for your chess development to put the engine aside, at least to start. I am open to constructive feedback on my analysis, but if you're rude about it, then I will delete the comment, and add your variation without giving you credit.


  • Rook pawn moves, like 9... h6 are a waste unless there is something inherently useful or you're preventing something positionally great for your opponent. 

  • I don't need to panic when my pawn is under attack. 11... Bf6 would have been much more sophisticated, rushing brought me consequences.

I was shamelessly patting myself on the back, having drawn an NM without making any major mistakes. But, as I mentioned in my last article, there is MAYBE a 5-second break before the next game, so back to work, as my team was depending on me for another good game against a titled player!  I don't remember for sure what the match situation was when the game ended, but it becomes relevant later in the game.


Yes... I admit ... I chickened out! 

LOL, in all seriousness, I didn't trust myself, and I really should have played on to win. It's not every day I get to play a titled player in a competitive tournament, so it's good to get as many quality moves in as I can. I just didn't trust myself, even though it is really a meaningless preseason match, and even if we lose the rapid portion, we can still win the blitz portion!  Speaking of which, I do not plan to analyze my blitz games, as they are low quality (one game, I got the lucky number 13 as my accuracy!). Here are the results of our matches, rapid first, then blitz:

So yes ... two 4-4 ties in both Rapid and Blitz! But who cares, it's preseason... but we might meet again!  I hope you are enjoying this series, feel free to give feedback in the comments section. Sorry, this was kinda rushed, I tried getting this in before the week starts.  Hopefully, next weekend, I won't have so much homework, so I can spend more time analyzing the games and writing!