Learning from my Losses
This week, I played two very good games that I ended up on the wrong side of. In both of these games, I think I allowed myself to lose focus at bad moments, and I either missed threats or saw threats where there weren't any.
My first game I had the white pieces in a classical dragon. My opening theory got a little shaking, and I gave black's 12. Nc4 inaccuracy a bit too much respect. Black got great pressure against my king, but I managed to simplify down to an opposite-color bishop ending where holding a draw was possible. Unfortuantly, I took a slower route, which let the black king invade and spelt my doom.
My second game I faced a Smith-Morra. This was the first time I had faced it in anything that wasn't a blitz game. I actually managed to equalize, but gambits generally require a little more out of the box thinking, and one slight inaccuracy brought the house down. I was losing, but still in it for the majority of the game, and I thought I had it--but I missed the backwards defense of the d1 square, and so fell to a queen fork that I thought was impotent thanks to my (nonexistent) mating threat. I know for a fact I need more practice against the smith-morra, so perhaps this game is a place to start.
With summer coming up, I'll have some more free time to devote to chess as I look for a job. I think I might write something here other than my games; perhaps articles on openings or endgames that I'm studying as both a way of keeping you informed, and helping me get better at them. In any case, I have one more week in Portland, and then I return home a college graduate. Pretty cool, amiright?