Game analysis #8 - Losing the unlosable

Game analysis #8 - Losing the unlosable

GaborHorvath
CM GaborHorvath
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4

This is a game from Giasira, who posts his games regularly under the topic "Road to 1600 Rapid, trying to improve after every game".

His last game was a loss, and must have been a painful one, as he had such an overwhelming advantage at one point, that it looked almost impossible to lose it - but he did, and he did have the guts to analyse and publish it, which is rather admirable. Most people tend to hide those games and try to forget them for ever.  

I think it is a rather instructive game, so I decided to publish it. Please see it below with Giasira's and my analysis:

Giasira:

“In this game I blew the win a whopping 3 times. I spent way too much time in the opening and got into time trouble. Two key takeaways:  1) If the opponents king is still in the middle, look at unsupported pawn breaks more closely. 2) If the opponents king is on the ropes disregard material values completely and just consider whether or not you can open more lines of attack on the king.

These "insights" should be obvious but it is really hard to implement them when in an actual game. This game was very psychological. My opponent moved very fast yet again. I felt like if I would give up material my fast-moving opponent would "win" and get what he wanted. Ironically he DID get what he wanted because I was too scared to give up material, I got into serious time trouble (seconds left) and blundered badly.

In the future I have to try to de-attach myself completely from being affected emotionally by how my opponent is playing. It somehow annoys me that people hope-chess, play 15/10 and treat it like it is 3/0, and play dubious opening moves. It annoys me because I`m thinking that I HAVE to win, because my opponent isn`t following some sort of formula. I should just not care about those things and focus on the position. My opponent can run his clock up to 20 minutes for all I care.”

Gabor:

I agree that you spent too much time on the opening, but I don’t think it was the main problem. At move 16 you had a completely won position, with no counterplay for Black, and still more than 5 minutes on the clock, which should be more than enough; but from this point your time management is highly irrational. You spent more than one minute on obvious moves like 16. Bxf6 and 18. Rhf1. This is clearly a psychological issue, the fear of making decisions.

I would suggest the following takeaways from this game:

1) In an overwhelming position like this, you don’t need to find the best moves, only good ones. Look for a good move, and if you find one, play it. Don’t freeze down because there are too many options. If you have a position where anything wins, just play anything.

2) Remember to look for the simplest, and not the quickest win. This is especially true if you are short on time or getting nervous. For example, in this game 19. Rxf6 would have been a very simple win, with practically no way to blow it up.

Oh, and good luck in your quest of reaching 1600 rapid. You are very, very close.

If you are looking for quality coaching to improve your game, I am currently accepting new students. Feel free to send me a private message here or on hogata11@gmail.com.