5 Recent Tournament Games

Nov 9, 2016, 1:05 PM |

I go to Oshkosh, Wisconsin every year to play in a chess tournament in early November. Every year I perform differently... this year I was sick, and it was difficult to concentrate. However I recently started training with someone who has given me a lot of insight into strategy and planning.

My new trainer is giving me Aagaard (?) treatment. sorry if I am mistaking the name. The philosophy is to ask yourself three questions turing training, problem solving, or in a critical position. The questions help focus your attention on candidate moves, rather than looking for tactical shots or combing through every move.

1) What are the weaknesses on both sides? Weak squares, unprotected pieces and pawns, complex of squares, and so on.

2) What is the worst placed piece for both sides? Undeveloped piece, piece on the edge or in the corner, overworked queen, etc.

3) What is the opponent's plan... and what is your plan?

A very simple scheme for developing a plan - and that's really what this is all about, right? Without a plan in chess you are really relying on blind luck and chance to win the game.

My thinking in previous tournaments was usually this: If I move this piece, this could happen... if this move prevents that move, then I will have such and such... I have three pieces out and he has two. etc etc etc.

The process I was using was exhausting and would often lead me to time trouble. It was as if I was trying to compute every single position instead of just understanding what was going on...

Stay tuned for the five games and their key positions (in my eyes).

How I drew an inferior opponent... Game 2

How I salvaged a poor defense... Game 3

How I countered a massive attack with my own... Game 4

How I was outplayed and tried a desperate assault... Game 1

How I drew a won position becasue I was too sick to think... Game 5!