New Peak, New Player
I had the annoying task of having to go into my chess.com profile and update my peak USCF rating twice in one weekend: 1940, then 1952! It’s clear that GM Nigel Davies’ training program and coaching has been exactly what I needed in my game. Based on what some titled players said about my Boston Congress games, as well as the quality of one particular game this week, I’m beginning to look past 2000 toward 2100.
Phase 1 of this game illustrates how much I’ve been able to acquire positionally from GM Davies and a few titled players, including NM Farzad Abdi. The second phase illustrates how good of a practical player I’ve been able to become, temporarily exchanging some objective advantage for solid play and avoiding complication and counterplay that might aid my opponent in getting back into the game, and then capitalizing on the moderate slip-ups in time pressure. Phase three illustrates my endgame ability and practical know-how in slowing down when I can use the clock disparity to crush my opponent. I changed paces 3 times in this game, and these were just as important as what was going over the board. Most of all, I like this game because it is so, so very different from my usually hack-em-up, Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre style of dynamic and attacking play. It was much more reminiscent of Karpov-Timman, Montreal 1979, than it was of my Morphy-like style.