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Public Shame

Public Shame

Mar 2, 2015, 2:42 PM 0



I am writing this post and many others, simply for the goal of publicly shaming myself.  It is like a journal which states the obvious.  The comments I make here, any 7 year old could make, but as keep this journal hopefully some fundamental points will lodge in my brain.

POINT ONE:  DON'T PLAY ONLINE CHESS AFTER A LONG NAP.  Yes, I was rested, but I sincerely was not able to focus or be alert.  My eyes and mind were in a glaze and my perception of the position was more dreamy than accurate.  I did attempt to play a longer time control this game, but even so I was not awake enough to attempt a meaningful game.  I just didn't percieve that my queen was even under attack being half-awake.


POINT TWO:  ONLINE CHESS HAS DIFFERENT SPATIAL CHALLENGES, ESPECIALLY IF THE BOARD IS SMALL.  IT REQUIRES MORE CONCENTRATION THAN OTB.  These are just my preferences.  But when an opponent moves a knight to my half of the board (during an online game) I see that it is lower on the screen and in essence closer to me, but it is still 2-D and not 3-D like an OTB game.  The knight does not give a spatial difference of being near my King or pieces.  I am quite sure if I had played this game in an OTB I would be much more cognizant of the fact my queen was under attack.   


POINT TWO DASH TWO:  A LARGER ONLINE BOARD SHOWS DETAILS BETTER.  I could see how a smaller board is preferred, I mean you can scan the whole board quicker, but for me, I think I will do better with the largest board that my screen can show.

POINT THREE:  KNIGHTS REQUIRE MORE CONCENTRATION FROM ME.  This is true for me even in an OTB game.  I think Jerry from ChessNetwork calls them "tricky knights", and I certainly agree.  Part of me does not blame entirely my loss of queen due to being only half-awake;  one factor was from not giving extra concentration to the scope of the knight.  My mind said something like, "If his knight attacks my knight, then I can recapture; If his knight attacks my bishop then I can recapture and use my rook up the h-file." and truly this whole plan of the open h-file was my entire focus.  Nothing else registered.  When my queen was lost I said, "Huh? What? Wait? Was my queen even in danger at all?  Did he make an illegal move, is there a software glitch, surely my queen was not within the knight's legal move."

POINT FOUR:  RUSHING TO MY PLANS, WITHOUT FULLY ASCERTAINING HIS THREATS.  First, my focus was, "hopefully he takes the bishop, wanting the bishop pair, and wanting my center pawn being unprotected, and thus my rook will go up the h-file and later my queen can join the attack, and black's kingside pawns are crumbling."  This plan consumed my attention and all other issues were completely ignored.

Second, my focus was not, "hey, let's clearly, slowly, and perfectly name all the squares that black's knight can attack (go to) next."  If I would have clearly answered that question, then I would have known the obvious thing that even a 7 year old knows, "hey dummy your queen is being threatened, wake-up, notice the spatial difference of this knight move, concentrate on the "tricky knight" in it's full 8 locations for next move." 

Okay, so there are many other points and lines I could look at in this game, other mistakes I made and that he made, later I can evaluate those matters;  Nothing that I have typed today is "new to me", I imagine it is like someone who knows for the past 5 years he is an alcoholic, his journal on another night of failure is not new to him. I have known these four points for 15 years, but honestly in the last 7 years I just play blitz chess online with the TV on, while having a conversation with my son and a conversation with my wife.  I might be eating a bowl of oatmeal, and taking a short peek a facebook blurb in-between moves; thus none of these four points are being applied in such games.

Maybe this post will help someone who is rated 900, but more than likely they too would have not dropped the queen here.  I just think keeping a journal of public shame, will hopefully create a pattern of concentration for me in future games.

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