Getting An Easy Ride
Welcome once again to my blog, where I am analysing all my OTB (Over The Board) chess games for my local club Pontypridd played during the season 2016/17. After abandoning competitive chess as an teenager I decided to join a club again last year (full story here).
We finished last time with my first OTB victory in my second game for my new club. Encouraged by my success I approached my third game with confidence.
Well, that was a strange game because my opponent kept blundering material to me and all I had to do was try my best not to return the favour! You learn more from your losses, or at least where your opponent gives you a hard time, but I can still find a few lessons to take from this game:
- At club level my opponents are more likely to play sidelines than mainline theory, but I need to have a better idea what I am aiming for in the opening other than just developing pieces and seeing what happens!
- Related to the first lesson, be alert to forcing moves early in the game 7. e5! was strong instead of aimlessly developing.
- Be aware of transpositions and pawn structures. When I rejected playing 8. d5 I was allowing a pawn exchange which changed the position to something that looked more like a Sicilian. That didn't even occur to me at the time.
- Be alert to tactical opportunities.
- When ahead in material look to simplify, but don't be passive.