Path To Chess Prosperity #11: 12/14/2017 Tournament Analysis
What's up, guys and gals?
On December 14th, which was a Thursday night, some members of the Waco Chess Club got together to play in a small rated chess tournament. I will note (I think I have mentioned this) that I am a club tournament director, and virtually the only one in my hometown Waco. That may seem like a big deal, though we only have a few members (let alone who play in tournaments), and as long as everyone is well behaved, all I do is publish pairings, and submit the event for rating.
Anyways, so a few weeks before this date, I decided to direct one more event before the year. Since our usual location for club meetings was unavailable, one of our members, Jeff Spyrison, knew a lady who owns a law firm and got that location for us to play.
I enjoyed the location, though there were a few existing inconveniences. The door had to be locked when people were not entering or leaving the location (I guess due to security reasons, which makes sense. The door was, in fact, locked when I got there, though Jeff was there to unlock the door), and I think people overall had a tough time finding the location (it was a plain white building, so I can't blame them).
Anyways, enough chatter. All in all, six people showed up (one player, Jeff, in fact, was going to omit actually playing in the tournament, though renewed his USCF membership after round 1 to play), and I was the highest rated player by a good margin. Matthew Potts was my nearest challenger, by about 150 rating points. Jeff, in fact, was the third highest rated player, roughly 200 points behind Potts. The rest of the field was pretty balanced.
The playing field.
My round 1 opponent was young Logan Shafer (1258). He is only eight years old with an impressive rating. I am pretty sure he also is within the top 100 of his age group in the USA. I was not about to let the game slip away, so let's dive in. Enjoy!
- On move 7, either recapture is fine, as bxc3 opens the b-file and strengthens central control, though, if possible, it is best to try and activate the light-squared Bishop in the French if possible. Black ended up using that Bishop to trap White's Rook
- Be3 is often a mistake by White in the French Defense because Black's Queen is often on b6, targeting the b7-pawn. It's OK if it's safe, but in this instance, White lost not one but two pawns.
- It is important not to get illusions... like that the e7 Knight would be hanging if Black castles!
- Passive play is probably what ultimately lead to Black's downfall.
- Looking a move ahead would have benefited Black, as he should have played 7... c6, in which Black would have won the pawn back had White taken it.
- On move 26, a5 was a morally weakening move by Black, and now White has something serious to target.
- When Black's Knight goes to g4, e5 as a destination square makes much more sense than h6.
- As ugly as it looked, Black had his chances to defend with Kh8 and Ng8, though he didn't take advantage of that opportunity.
- Black might as well had played the worst move possible with 19... Nh5??, which lost the game instantly