Not the cleanest win

Jun 30, 2014, 12:48 PM |

Right now I am a bit disappointed and a bit happy at the same time. I wanted to play a long game (90+30) on the live chess server, but I did not get any takers on my seek. Also, my internet is very slow at the moment, so it was probably just as good. Disconnection issues really suck.

So instead, I played a game with Chessmaster 10. For some reason, all the AI personalities were not available for rated play. Only personalities up to 1600 were available. Anyone know why that is? It has worked before.

Anyway, I chose the strongest available AI personality, which is rated around 1600. Given the CMX rating inflation, that should be an easy win in longer time controls, so I chose a shorter game than I had intended -- 45 min with no increment or bonus. 

I annotated the game while I played, and I took a quick look at it just after. I have not checked anything with an engine, so all the comments are based on my own (dysfunctional) understanding of the game.

Can you find a better move for white?



So, as you see, I won the game, but it was far from a clean win. Also, I think black had plenty of opportunities to get an advantage. I believe that the possibility to give me triple f-pawns was something black should have pursued.

All in all, I am satisfied with the game. I made a few mistakes in the opening, and the endgame could have been cleaner. The thing I am the most satisfied with is my time management. Let me tell you why.

Recently, I have read some of Dan Heisman's writing, and I can strongly recommend his blog here on the site, and his column Novice Nook. A recurring theme in his column is the importance of time management, and not in the usual sense where you aim to avoid time trouble, but the opposite -- learning to use the time you have available. And how should that time be used according to Heisman? Well, of course to check each and every move to see if it is safe, and if there is a threat -- for both sides.

In this game used almost all my time. I had just over a minute left on the clock in the end. And I did not have so little time that I got myself into any real time trouble. Throughout the game, the question "is it safe" was ever present, and I managed to sniff out some of my opponent's threats, which I may not have done otherwise.

So what do I take with me from this game? The lesson is clear and simple. Listen to Dan Heisman! I know I am going to read more of his stuff in the near future.

As always, please feel free to comment on this post and/or the game. Since I have only used my own ability to analyze the game, I appreciate any comments on my analysis and suggestions for improvements.

Listen to Dan!