My Favorite Weekend in a Long Time! Part 1: Saturday Edition
I woke up Saturday morning April 8th to my alarm after a night of torrid fun, cursing my decision to join a 9 am chess tournament. My companion said "you'll probably enjoy it once you start playing". I said "never will I do this to myself again!". Grabbed Starbucks on the way. All 3 games were highly tactical/sharp as each opponent mentioned.
My first game was incredibly tactical and I was winning but losing badly on time. He was kind enough to offer a draw after we both blundered badly in the endgame. Actually at this point, it really did look drawish on the board with two knights and the imminent death of my one pawn.
My second game was against a 1449. Featured below. Also very sharp and tactical (my favorite) but lately I've gotten quite obsessed with positional space. It's a very sophisticated and sexy concept, to take away someone's space and increase your own. I'm finally beginning to appreciate positional play, which has always eluded me in terms of value. Despite the many errors, Game 2 is quite special to me for several reasons. 1. He was my highest win so far. 2. Even the computer didn't recommend a brilliant move I opted for on Move 23. Nb5!! That's kinda hot. It wasn't even tactically calculated...it was more intuitive and positional but I liked the risk too! That the computer loves it and finds it sound in hindsight is icing on the cake! 3. A lot of the moves, though intuitive and interesting seemed to be against the principles I try to stick to...and that's what I enjoy watching most about GM games...when they know their board so well that they can soundly break principles.
Caro-Kann Exchange. * Actually I'm White and John B is Black. I'll try to get around to fixing that.
I played best move 58.3% of the time, while he played his best move 50.0%. Average move difference was .57 for me, while his was .70.
The Scotch miniature
This is not an unusual opening for me but I still don't know it very well. I've just always liked the aesthetics of it. My opponent was only slightly lower rated but I was getting tired and already satisfied with my 1449 win so I basically blitzed most of this game. My opponent, Robert, confirmed that "you were playing kind of fast".
This game had ZERO blunders, amazingly enough. White has 1 inaccuracy at move 8. Qf3. Black has 2 inaccuracies and 2 mistakes. We both played best moves 50% of the time (lower than I'd like!). Average difference per move for me was .13 (fascinating) and Average difference for Black was 0.37 (still very very consistent).