"Caught between the Doc and a hard case" or AFWF_Erick vs Dr_Cris_Angel as we see it






I'm very reluctant to post this blog as I feel I may get into terrible trouble for doing so.


Let me give some background.


I am been coached by a good friend who I have known since I was about 11. He used to be very active chesswise and would take part in many tournaments across the country and beyond, and at it's peak I think his ELO was in or around 2250. However age has caught up and is now focussed solely on coaching.


I find his style of coaching to be excellent, he's very thorough and I always feel that I've learned something new about the game after each lesson. But unfortunately he has a tendency to be very critical of what he calls "schoolboy errors" i.e leaving pieces en prise, missing (what he considers) easy tactics, etc. I think it's a form of "tough love" which personally I don't have an issue with, but it might not be to everybody's taste.


Which brings me to my dilemma.


A good friend of mine on chess.com, Dr_Cris_Angel is aware of my mentor, and asked if I would show him one of her most recent 45/45 games, where she played AFWF_Erick in a Quad game. She wanted to get him opinions on the game.


Sound very reasonable doesn't it? Unfortunately, he was very critical of the game in parts, as you will see. In fairness, he praised certain moves by both players also.


I'm hoping that Michaele and Erick (if he reads this) will gain some benefit from the ideas expressed here.


(Mentors comments included here only)




  • 3 years ago


    @Erick, the blog logo is not formally open source, however the informal rules are:

    1. Sign up for the DHLC Blogger - tell SIH, et al that Dr Cris and hreedwork sent you.Group. http://www.chess.com/groups/home/dhlc-bloggers-group

    2. Go to the Candidate Branding forum topic, last post (almost): http://www.chess.com/groups/forumview/candidate-branding-logo-for-dhlc-blogging?lc=1#last_comment

    3. Find the last rectangle I posted, and use that. I think that version has hover text and stuff like that. You can figure it out, you know this stuff better than I do - lol.

    4. Use the brand/logo at the top of your posts (try to keep in Chess.com). If you want your blog promoted by the newsletter, then... post a link and promo text in the "Submit a Blog" forum topic. http://www.chess.com/groups/forumview/submit-a-blog?lc=1#last_comment

    I think that's it. Welcome!

    BTW your YouTube video is way cool, and I loved the bit about sportsmanship at the beginning.

  • 3 years ago


    Wonderful comments! Sorry I got in here so late. I personally feel honored to have someone of that caliber look at our game. Thanks for the comments too Gunners! Also, I'd love to promote DHLC as well. Is the logo an open source object?

  • 3 years ago


    Thanks again!

  • 3 years ago


    It's perfect! No problems. And the link works too.

  • 3 years ago


    Again I have attempted to put the Dan Heisman logo on this page, albeit with strange results.

    Can someone check and tell me how it look on this page too?

    Thanks again

  • 3 years ago


    These comments are really good and nice to understand. Thanks for sharing!

  • 3 years ago


    Wow high praise indeed from the King of the one liner!

    I'm glad you noticed, I don't think anybody else did - or else they're sparing my feelings.

    Thanks for reading

  • 3 years ago


    "Caught between a Doc and a hard case"!  LOL


    And you told me I was always ready with the pun :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  • 3 years ago



    Thanks for filtering the mentor's comments!

    Now that I look at it there is a lot of positivity for the doc to take from that game. Let's hope she does just that!

    And also a word about Erick, he also played well and should be commended for his play.

    I think there was 2 different styles at play in this game, Erick is a very tactical player whereas the doc's style was more positional, with tactics thrown in of course. Made for a fascinating battle!

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    Right, and above all, good moves to play not only have to be "objectively" good (whatever that means... but they also have to be "level appropriate" and understandable, otherwise we'll be making moves we don't understand, further ruining our position.

    I can't tell you how many times I look at one of my games afterwards, say with Houdini, and Houdini will say (0.0), but I'll look at the position and not understand how it could possibly be equal [or winning, or losing, all the same].

    So if someone gives you some moves to think about "for next time" pick the ones you can understand.

  • 3 years ago



    Move 7 - Black can remove the c4 bishop with Na5! The problem in the game was you played d5 first and then Na5, which allowed the queen check on b5.

    Move 9 - As far as I'm concerned Bd7 is the best move you could play - that coupled with b6 forces the white queen to the edge of the board. Pretty much the best black could've hoped for.

    Move 15 is the Na3 issue - I'm sure you screamed at the board! Tom was wondering what you were doing at the time, as both moves 14 & 16 were good (Nf6 & Bh3)

    Move 27 is an error by White as it allows Nxg3! which wins at least a pawn. I didn't put that in the blog - apologies

  • 3 years ago



    12...exf3 "you would have to say that black better in this position"

    14...Nf6 "Good move, if black can castle she should win, as white's army is scattered"

    16...Bh3 "A very good move indeed, stopping white from castling. Novice players wouldn't even consider castling queenside due to the exposed nature of the king - hence he will remain stuck in the middle"

    19...Nf6 "Not bad re-routing the knight to e4"

    22...Qd6 "Sacrificing a pawn but what a powerful queen! - Qa3 also looks good here"

    and so on... building up a good position, then tension builds mistakes start to happen, and as the "adage" goes (paraphrase) "...the first bad most makes way for worse moves to come...".

    I'd say all-in-all this is a constructive review and both you and Erick played well for your level. Working on physiology will definitely take you to the next level.

    And yes I do remember you lost on time... Congrats Dr!

  • 3 years ago


    Thank you, firstly.

    Secondly, this was nothing but constructive criticism.  this wasn't mean or unfriendly.  I can take criticism when it's given constructively like this.  I'ts only to make me improve as a player and I don't mind a bit.   Cripes, you scared me and I expected to see a  "What the #(&$(* is that idiot Cris Angel doing!!??"  Instead, I got constructive criticism.  Nothing wrong with that.  Besides, he gave me some ! moves.  :)    That tells me he is recognizing my level and what I may or may not be able to see.  Yet also is pointing out where I can improve but without being insulting or nasty.  This is absolutely fine and will only help me grow.  Big cuddly thank you for that. 

    My questions:

    White's move 7:  You have written, ""With the idea of posting a knight on g5 - but this allows black the opportunity to remove the dangerous c4 bishop"  How?  White may choose not to play Ba3....  I wasn't sure I followed that. I did look at the variation. 

    black move 9.  I took about ten minutes for that move alone.  i had realized that I was kissing the knight goodbye.  Was what I did reasonable?

    Heh.  I kicked myself FAR harder than Tom did on my move 15.  **sigh**   I'm still cringing about it, especially since I almost did it.  I seriously was going to move my bishop to take that kinght and stupidly forgot my queen was protecting my bishop. 

    White's move 27.  Why is that an error?  I can see from the variation how moving the rook to d1 would have been better.   Maybe a more accurate question would be what could I have done to take advantage of the error?  

    Actually, I didn't resign.  I ran out of time.  

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