STOP Looking At Chess Games Like This

STOP Looking At Chess Games Like This

GM Illingworth

Earlier this month, I played in a Grandmaster blitz tournament called the 'June Solstice Blitz Down Under'. 

You want to see the games? Sure, here are the two I will analyze for you today:

Here's the mistake I see so many chess players making when they study chess games - I often made this mistake as well!

Our human tendency to jump to conclusions kicks in.

Black won these games, so these games are both 'model' examples for Black in these positions, right?


I first learned this principle from GM Alexander Morozevich, in his book 'The Chigorin Defence According to Morozevich'. 

I forgot the exact quote, but this was the key lesson:

Don't judge a game by the result of that game!

Think about many times have you lost a game from a clearly better or winning position?
And how many times have you saved a draw, or even won, from a lost position?

The result just tells you how the game ended...not all the action, all the lessons, all the improvements in between. 

In my videos for my Chess Improvers, I don't just take the crystal clear games, the model examples where Capablanca beats up Amateur X like a ragdoll.

I show the scrappy games too.
Because you know as well as I do that your games aren't going to be cut and dry - they're going to be tough struggles, against a cunning, wily opponent who will do everything in his or her power to win or at least get out of trouble. 

In both the games above, White missed a clearly winning move.

Do you see it for yourself?

I'll help you out - here are the key positions.

For the second game:

Did you find the opportunities?

True, it is easier when you know they are there.
In the heat of battle, there isn't someone to tap you on the shoulder, and say 'STOP! The engine is screaming +4! It's so obvious, just play the winning move! I saw it in one second, what are you thinking for? Make the move! MAKE THE MOVE!!!!'

Now for the game analyses, with my variations and colour commentary:

The second game, featuring the basic Scandinavian line (3...Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5) I recommend in my opening video course 'Play the Strongest Scandinavian': 
What lesson did you take away from this post?

You can enjoy more lessons like this by clicking here and signing up to my free EMAIL list with daily Grandmaster lessons!

PS I have a decent-sized following here, so I know there's one person who is going to reply in the comments with some snarky, negative comment about how this free lesson didn't help them at all.

Such a habit of complaining may explain why this person hasn't improved much at chess lately (as I discussed in today's email to my list), but the good news is, the explanations are accessible!

I will share the explanations to the first game in 'The Chess Improvement Group' via. video in the next week.

I haven't decided whether I will share the video explaining the second game for my email list or the students of my course 'Play The Strongest Scandinavian', but if you really want to know, you can ask me in the comments (I do follow them).