Post Mortem Chess Snacks


Post Mortem Chess Snacks & My return to Live Chess.

About 1,5 month ago I was frustrated by bad results in live chess (standard time controls) and at the same time other things in life demanded attention. I decided it was time for a break, and I took it.

Now little more than a week ago I started playing live games on a regular basis again, and I noticed how such a short break can help bringing back the joy in playing. And with that, also playing strenght it seems. Before the break I fell from 1597 to 1480, but after this week I'm confident that full recovery is possible.

One of my ways to improve is doing post mortems, and I've decided that it would be nice to share the things that caught my attention while analyzing all my live standard games of the last 5 days. The first 7 games I looked over are in this blog post.

The level of play varies (naturally), but as I prefer to play with a 10 second increment time usually isn't the biggest factor. I hope you enjoy looking over my shoulder, and perhaps you can point out interesting things as well. (I'd be glad to hear!) 

The point of these games isn't to go over the whole thing with very deep annotations. Rather, I tried to focus on critical moments and provide some nice chess snacks.. Laughing

I tried to point out what I found the most interesting part of each game. 

1) Opening: 

 A bit of opening research in a new pet line against the Ruy.




2) Opening and Middle Game: 

I found a book move against a surprise move while playing! I won this game after a series of nice exchanges of material in a comfortable endgame.



3) Endgame: 

In the game below I exploited an opening mistake (the whole game is in the move list) only to lose it in the middle game. I managed to come back nicely, but overlooked something simple but deadly..



4) Very Unique Game: 

Every now and then we play a game that is simply astounding  (this doesn't necessarily equal astoundingly accurate) or very odd. In the following game I played ambitiously only to find myself in an awkward and strange middle game. I managed to come out on top. Did I win on time or is the position won too?



5) Defending and Perpetual Check: 

In the game below I misplayed a bit in the opening/early middlegame and I came under fire. At first I did well, but a cheap try backfired as I lost a lifesaving tempo. In defense, accuracy is everything! Certain that normal play wouldn't help me anymore, I went crazy hoping for a perpetual. Which brings me to my second point - If you think there is a perpetual, make sure there is. :)



6) Finishing an Attack:

I sacrificed in the opening/early middlegame to reach a position where I should be winning on all accounts. Yet, I didn't quite make it happen..



7) Awesome Sacrifices - Lethal Middlegame: 

I'm not allowing myself to skip the 'ugly' games (though I won't always focus on the fact that I lost), but of course I'd love to close with a good game. Lucky me, I didn't have to work through to game 20 Laughing.



  • 7 years ago


    On the note of sacrifices: here's one of the best I've played so far! Laughing

  • 7 years ago


    @ WaterAlch

    Thanks for looking at the games and giving your opinion!

    Game 2: 
    you suggested 12. Nxc3, I did definitely consider it and I think it might be better indeed. Mainly because after 12. Nxc3 bxc3 13. 0-0-0 black has a better hold of the d-file without immediately exchanging rooks.

    Game 4:
    Ng5 could / would have been a dealbreaker. In that instance I had my money on ..Bxe3. After that, the white knight is hanging while the Bishop on e3 needs recapture - but white doesn't have to accept a loss just yet. Look at the following variation. (with thanks to Prooz as wel for working it out with me)



    move 17 K7 - it looks like you are right. For some reason I was opposed to the idea of K7 and trading off the rooks, but it was probably just better as Rxh8 ..Rxh8 Rh1 ..Rxh1 ..Kxh1 is not so great for white.

    Game 6:

    You might be right, what an interesting idea! I didn't consider it. It might go like this: (again also credits to Prooz)



    I do like to sacrifice - but I calculate more than I used to with these little critters. I think the key to learning how to sacrifice is probably being ripped apart through sacrifices a few time.

    Usually sacrifices need to be followed up by very threatening moves that are hard or impossible to defend against, but these aren't always easy moves. In many situations it can be (for example) a seemingly innocent pawn move. 

    You get the feel once you start recognizing these positions where things went haywire before. Weeding out the bad sacrificial moves is easy too - you tend to lose because of them and that is always a good lesson Wink

    Cheers, RC

  • 7 years ago


    Game 2, Move 13....Nxc3 : This would disconnect White's Queen's pawns. Better sooner than later in my opinion, simply because you weren't in any danger of being checked anyways.

    Game 4, Move 12. Ng5 : I believe this would stop your Qh5 without losing the Knight for if you try to kick it, it has the e6 square available to jump to. Would of been much more interesting too! :)

    Move 17. K7(any file but 7th rank) I think this would of been better to ensure holding the file. Queen's out anyway, why not keep King in center?

    Game 6, Move 19. g4 20. g5. Black can't take and when g5 comes to kick the Knight, I'm pretty sure once Rh6+ you can choose between doubling up Rooks or trying to promote Queen.

    In general (but game 7 especially) you seem to play quite sacrificially, though it seems you have achieved the core of the heart of how and what it means to sacrifice. For that, kudos. I personally dislike playing people who are as tempting as that. Im not one for surprises. :) lol

    Also, my rating on live has never hit that high before, so chances are you are a better player, but hopefully I sprouted up some new ideas to think about. :)

  • 7 years ago


    I prefer to play 15 minutes with a 10 second increment. Laughing

    I like the increments because just 15 minutes is still a bit short, and I prefer increments over say 25 minutes because with increments games are usually won over the board and not on the clock. (Since you can blitz to a win if the game is clearly and easily won).

  • 7 years ago


    Short breaks can be amazing.  Obsessive chess when you're spiraling down is really an ugly place.  What are your time designations for your games?

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