My Games This Week
This week, I played two slow games as part of the DHLC Weekly Slow League. I had the black pieces in both, and I was (mostly) happy with my play. I realize that I need to work on my calculation/visualization, and need to be better at keeping it simple.
The first game, I was expecting to play a Sicillian, and face an anti-Sicillian (probably the Rossolimo variation). Instead, my opponent led off with 1. Nf3, and I tried to make it a QGD. Some dubious moves allowed me to seal off his pieces on the queenside, and I coordinated beautifully. A knight sac led to a forced win, but I blew it by trying to be too clever. Down a piece, I missed an opportunity to draw, but my pressure and pins were really annoying, and finally after almost 4 hours of play (!!) I was able to claw my way back and win.
My second game I was expecting a QGD, so of course I ended up playing an accelerated dragon. An inaccuracy on the part of white allowed me to equalize, and though he had the initative, my structure was rock solid, which allowed me to continue working towards the goal of ...d5 until his blunder allowed me to go up the exchange + a pawn. With no counterplay, and looking like he was going to lose the house, white resigned.
I had played BubbaLouie before, and he beat me pretty soundly then with the black pieces, so it was nice to even out the score. Both games were good games in my opinion, and even had the same sort of feel; tense maneuvering before a mistake led to a positional implosion. I suppose that's generally the case with games at this level, but it's nice to be able to recognize that that is the case. It's almost always the person under the more pressure who cracks, so if you can build up your position and ward off any premature attacks (something I feel I did in both of these games), then you're halfway home.