Reaching my all-time peak of 1900 Correspondence
Currently, I have been putting quite a bit of effort into my correspondence games. Usually I only use it as a tool to study openings, but I tried to focus on winning my games, and not giving up even if I am in a disadvantageous situation like being down a pawn. This made a psychological difference in my play, as before, I gave up easily but now I play as if to give my opponent work in order to win. Due to that, I manage to smuggle some draws which could have been a loss.
I also use the analysis board a lot during the correspondence games. I actually try to look for my opponent’s best moves as well. In essence, I quit playing hope chess – a scenario where you hope your opponent plays a bad move. Analysis board is fun, as sometimes I dream up of sacrifices and I can use them to see if it works or not.
Another difference is that I realized when should I go for a draw and when should I try to win i.e. Know my limits of my positions. If I can’t pull a win out from the game, why bother? If a draw is possible, then why not take advantage of it? This relates to hope chess as well going for a win in a completely equal position seems like an ideal plan but when you over press, then the position might bite back at you. NOTE: This is completely different from not giving up in a disadvantageous position.
Those ideas gave me new perspective of Correspondence Chess. Here are 4 games which I would like to share.
The following game was memorable, as I remember having a hard time "finding" 19.Bxe2!, as I was psychologically broken after 18...Ne2+. For some reason I thought I was lost. Then afterwards in the Rook+Bishop endgame I am sure I was inferior. I was very happy to pull through this game.
The following game, I was on the defensive for the whole time, was losing and got rewarded with a draw!