A game between two of my students from this summer, lesson for 800-1000 rated players.

Oct 19, 2012, 7:29 AM |
During this year's summer holiday, I was teaching the other members of my company chess. Their ages ranged from 12 to 15, but all were at around the same level, with one specific exception. During this period they played games which I would record and then analyze with them to help them improve their game. I left most of these records at Asprovalta, but just saw one here today hidden among other papers in my office. Here's the game, analyzed and annonated, hopefully players around the level of my students will be able to learn some things.
1: Don't create weaknesses when you don't have to. In this case, 2. f3 made White's King weak which Black exploited later.
2: Always check if your opponent's last move has created any threats you need to take care of. In this game, 8. Bb2 overlooked the 8... Nc2+ fork, and White went down on material. Later White played 20. Bc4 and Black responded with 20... O-O-O, which left Black's Bishop on a2 hanging.
3: Think hard to find the correct order of your moves. In this game, White played 12. e4 which was a mistake, while playing it two moves earlier was the best thing White could do.
4: When you are down in material, try to keep as many pieces as possible on the board to complicate the situation. In this game White played 13. Qc2 which allowed Black to exchange Queens. It's far easier for your opponent to make a mistake in a complicated position than on a simple one. Of course it's easier for you to make a mistake too, but since you are already losing, you have nothing to lose.
5: While it's good to go on the offensive and try counterplay when you are losing, you can't just barge straight in when most of your pieces are on their starting positions. In this game White played 18. e5 and then 19. e6, while it proved useful due to Black's mistakes, White should had first gotten some inactive pieces out, like the light-squared Bishop. Black made the same mistake afterwards with 21... h5 and 24... f4.
6: Keep your pieces active! Regardless if you are winning or losing, your pieces MUST be active or at least able to get active later. This is even more important when someone is losing, passive defense usually makes the defending player choke. Instead, active-counterplay gives better chances. In this game Black played, 25... Rh7, greatly restricting his/her own pieces.
7: Take advantage of pins! At this game White showed absolutely no knowledge of pins, first by playing 32. Nd4 instead of 32. Rg1, then by playing 45. Qf6 and losing the Knight, and then by playing 50. f4 and losing even the Queen. In the end, pins decided this game.
8: Don't let your guard down! You might be absolutely winning, but even a simple mistake can cost you the game. In this game White played 34. Nxf4, and lost a Rook after 34... Rc1+ and 35... Rxh1.
Hope you found this enjoyable, I'll make more similar posts.