Challenger's Corner: Stream Highlights and Big Reveals!

Challenger's Corner: Stream Highlights and Big Reveals!

NapoleonBonaparteIV
NapoleonBonaparteIV
Jul 11, 2018, 3:36 PM |
0
I have to admit, I'm starting to get into the hang of playing blitz and streaming simultaneously. After taking about a 100 point rating dive last month on one of my streams, I've somehow managed a 19/21 score (granted, against some lower rated players) over my last two streams  ...let's hope I didn't just jinx next week!
Before I start sharing some stream highlights, I've got some pretty big news about the direction of my Twitch Channel. First, I received my new chess.com logo late last week, and I owe Aran Graham and the chess.com design team a big shoutout for putting this together. In true NapoleonBonaparteIV fashion, a bicorne was only fitting:
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New streaming templates are soon to come, but in the meantime, I am starting a new chess.com club for ChessTV viewers! I'm hoping that in starting a club, I can not only cater my streams more towards you all, but also get you more involved - club tournaments, arenas, forums - I really want all of you to be part of my streams, and I couldn't think of a better way to coordinate this than opening a club!
Now I know - you're probably in a bunch of these already and you absolutely hate all those notifications you get every time you log onto chess.com. But here's what I can promise to you in return. Joining the Challenger's Corner club is going to:
  1. Make me (CM Isaac Steincamp) more accessible to you. Ask me questions, post interesting games, make suggestions - I'll be able to discuss your positions and study habits beyond the hours of the show!
  2. Have more chances to play against me! This is a big one. With my current stream format, I can only play against so many opponents in one sitting. Being a member of the official club opens things up - correspondence games, vote chess, arenas - if you're actively involved in the club, you'll get your chance!
  3. Get the inside scoop on my streaming schedule. With my channel going through a bunch of changes right now, I don't want to leave my regular viewers (aka you) in the dark. This means you don't need to open a new Twitter account just to know when I'm going live whether on ChessTV, or just my Twitch Channel. Play, watch, participate: it's all in one place... win-win.

If this is sounds like something you're interested in, join the club! It's free, there's no rating requirement, and all I ask is that you are thoughtful of other members and viewers of the show.

Shameless plugging aside... Onwards!
Two games really stuck out for me last Monday night because they both emphasized how chess (even in blitz) is so much more than the opening. I got a fun game that reminded me a lot of King's Indian pawn structures - which coincidentally, I actually learned about for the first time here on chess.com!
Even with queens off the board, standard principles apply - develop, control the center, and restrict your opponent's counterplay. In this game, my rooks got active and I was able to win some material shortly after winning the opening battle:
My biggest mistake of the stream came later when I accidentally played the English despite promising I'd play a 1 d4 opening. My opponent didn't let me transpose, so I got a chance to show the audience how to play against the Karpov System. While I don't see it so much now, I used to play against it a lot "back in the day":
Not known for being the most ambitious attempt from Black, the Karpov System is a really easy set-up for Black to learn, and it can be tricky to play against if you aren't comfortable with the White pieces. However, as you'll see in the video, keeping my options open with ideas of b2-b4 and d3-d4 made things hard for Black and actually induced some mistakes:
In this game I opted to just go for a simple set-up, but I've actually had a lot of memorable games in this line where I've been a bit more ambitious. Long story short, there's really no wrong way to play the English.
Before I finish this blog post, don't forget to subscribe to my channel on Youtube - I've saved much of my archive there, as well as highlights from the Pittsburgh Pawngrabber's 2018 PRO Chess League season!
Here's last Monday's entire stream if you missed it:
Fan of Challenger's Corner? Make sure to subscribe to Isaac on Twitch and follow him on Twitter for all of his news and updates. To read his regular column, visit Chess^Summit for more!