Never resign, never give up!

Jun 24, 2014, 11:59 AM |

Last week I played a couple of games against a fellow club member. We are relatively evenly matched, but he has a bit more experience with playing over the board, so he has a slight advantage when we meet. Usually, I lose. And this bugs me, because I can see that he does not really understand the game better. However, I tend to make stupid mistakes that costs me material or the entire game.

I managed to get a winning advantage in both of the following games, but as it turned out I blundered it all away - both times.

Where does the black queen go?


In this game I got a winning position because my opponent blundered his queen. I played the opening quite poorly, so I did not even deserve to survive the game. My opponent was very tense and focused during the entire game, and when I finally played my horrible queen-blundering 34th move, he stood up and panted heavily in relief. Ok. He outplayed me in the opening, so he deserved the win, but that was just a very bad game, from both of us.

Can you find the winning continuation for black?


In the second game, I played much better. After reviewing the game, I would go so far as to say that I outplayed him throughout the entire game. This time, I got a winning position by simply playing better. The problem here was that I was tired and made a horrible miscalculation. Or at least I thought it was a miscalculation at the time. In hindsight, I believe that I may have made mental slip and thought that there was another rank below the first rank - or something like that. I do not see how I could have thought that I could stop the pawn in time. Oh well. All things considered, I am satisfied with my play in the second game (but not in the first one). Apart from the miscalculated game-blundering 39th move, I think I played ok.

So what have I learned from this?

  1. See the entire board. Do not only focus on the area where you are attacking. Long range pieces may be sniping at the position.
  2. Always double-check each move to see if there is a counter that stops your plan. Even for the simple two-move plans. If you think you have a mating attack, check another time.
  3. When the position calls for calculation, have a break. Stand up, walk around, get some oxygen to your head. And then take a look at the position. If your head hurts during the calculation. Take another break.
  4. Brush up on endgames!
  5. Never give up, even if you blunder your queen in the opening.
As always, feel free to comment or suggest a variation or two.