When disaster strikes

Feb 16, 2015, 12:27 PM |
Sometimes chess just is not fun. I don't mind losing if I play well. Especially against stronger opponents. But when my opponent only has to play obvious moves and take pieces that I give away, there is no one to blame but myself. The strength of the other player simply becomes a non-issue.
Today, I played such a game. In the position below, I have gotten myself into a mess. I have made several positional mistakes, and invited the white knight into my position. Still, the game is not entirely lost, but I made sure it was. I was considering a move (g6), but did not like the follow up. I discarded the move, and immediately played another one without a single thought of analysing its consequences. Suffice to say, it did not turn out well. I am sure that even a 800-rated player will find the next move for white.
Can you find the obvious move?

The next example is a game from the club championship tournament at the end of last year. I had met a series of strong players, and finally had a game against someone at my own level. I was thinking that I should win this one. And if I had played my best, I should have. Probably, this mindset gave me a completely wrong attitude, and insufficient respect for my opponent. But same as before, my opponent's strength was less of an issue. Once again, I self-destructed.

Can you find the winning combination?

This one is slightly more complicated than the previous one, but still it is quite obvious. As you can see from the moves I played, my head was not screwed on right on this day.
These games are two examples of a typical mistake of mine. From time to time, I make moves without checking -- well, anything! I just make the moves based on some sort of very superficial assessment of the position, without a single thought to my opponent's possibilities and threats. I have to stop this. I have told myself time and again to analyse every single move before making it. Visualise the move, as if made, I tell myself. It is about time I learned from this kind of mistake, because it takes the fun out of playing.