Quad #20 game with Eyeam

Alright.  Truth be told.  I got supremely frustrated in this game.   I felt like it was a running game... I ran from the opponent almost the whole time.

I got an analysis of this and amazingly enough, I only had one blunder (drat).   I think, though, that I only had one blunder because all I was doing was retreating/defending with moves where I didn't have a choice.  First the pawns were annoying the daylights out of my bishop and then that ... .that... .PESKY knight was a pain in the... well, you know. 

Goal here:  Learn from the game.   I certainly made it easy for the opponent so I did NOT fulfill my "don't make it an easy win" goal.  I also didn't feel that I focused well.  I am not sure why.  My opponent was not arrogant or condescending in any way and, in fact, helped remind me to calm a bit when he sensed I was flustered.    Perhaps I didn't focus because of a long day at work or something like that...  Eyeam even offered to go over the game with me but I declined.  My ego was bruised.  I felt like crying (but I didn't... ) not because I lost (heh.... we all know I lose all the time!!)  but because I was disappointed in myself for not focusing and not feeling like I gave a challenge.  I suppose all players have times like that though so it's just another step in the learning process.  I'm over that feeling now, picked myself up and dusted myself off to put my ego aside and LEARN from my mistakes.

So, we'll try to turn a positive out of this loss and learn from it.  And... I did.  See variations for some of what I learned.




  • 4 years ago


    I agree with @garydmaui: "improvements tend to happen in jumps rather than babysteps". I think the brain needs time to integrate all the little realizations into integrated muscle movements to be executed in future games :-)

  • 4 years ago


    I'm going to say only one thing, with the bishop on b6,after hite made a4 you must push the a pawn to a6 (or a5) avoiding the trip you made later  Bc5-Bd6-Be7 is better to keep the bishop on the diagonal a7-g1


    By the way, your opponent didn´t know that because he lost his bishop that way, see here: 




  • 4 years ago


    Dr Cris,

    How many games I have been in your situation when I was starting out! You are not alone, and you are getting better... Repeat after me.... You are not alone, and you are getting better...

    Specific comments:

    • Reaction to 5.d4 - simple chess is best. When attacked, don't hide, attack back. That is how the Marines do it when they get ambushed. A simple 5...exd4 could work I think. Best to look this up in an opening book, not to memorize but to read the explanation of alternatives.
    • Variation, 14...f5 - why not? Of course a perfect pawn chain around your King is nice, but life and chess are full of tradeoffs. In fact life and chess demand we make tradeoffs every step of the way. There is nothing perfect about either.
    • Why not 18...h6? - kick the knight and White's e4 pawn is even more vulnerable. Put your opponent off  balance. Tie his shoes to the chair then force him to get up and run :-)
    • 19...Nd7 - I agree. Why did you do that? Even with White's overprotection of his e4 pawn, he is spending more defending than you are attacking. That makes the rest of your army more numerous than his.
    • 25.Ne6 - Did you run out of time? You can still play hardball chess with 25...Rc8 attacking the backward base of his pawn chain...

    I think the bigger story is that in addition to tactics, opening, and middlegame skills to work on (we all need to work on those areas), sometimes we also need to work on the psychological part of our game. If you are convinced you are a wealk player, you will be a weak player. You will prevent yourself from playing reasonable or even the occasional strong move.

    I once took some lessons from Valery Frenklakh (http://www.plycount.com/players/USCF/12567854) and he told me "you are seeing ghosts!! why are you so afraid???!!". Anyway the point is that I was over complicating things. It took me a few years to really internalize what he was trying to get in my head. He kept saying "chess is just a game of squares!", and "fight for the squares and you will win!".

    Then I took lessons from Igor Foygel (http://www.igorfoygel.com/) and he politely told me he couldn't help me until I fixed my tactics and stopped losing so much material each game.

    So what did I do? I hunkered down on tactics, and I lightened up on chess. Most positions where you are equally matched, your opponent will be just as confused as you are. Nothing special there. So the best you can do is fight for squares, and watch out for tactics. That is all chess is... Now I am improved up to at least "average" strength, which for me is a big improvement over how I started - I started as an older adult.

    Anyway, I look forward to our Quad games coming up!

  • 4 years ago


    Don't beat yourself up. A 900 player losing to a 1400+ is really at LEAST 99% a forgone conclusion. The important thing is to try to understand HOW he beat you with what appeared to be very little effort.

         I think that your posting and self analyzing your games will show a definite improvment in your play. Be patient. I can see that you have improved quite a bit since I played you. Breakthroughs take time, but the improvements tend to happen in jumps rather than babysteps.

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