Breaking the 2000 Barrier
After reviewing my previous games collectivly I realized that I had a weakness with the black pieces and in my endgames. As a result I looked into the Rubenstein Variation of the French Defence and the Scandanavian Defence and beefed up my end game skills by studying one of IM Silmans books. I had some great success especially with the Scandanavian where after about 10 tournament games I did not lose even one. I even managed to draw a 2374 from a slighhtly superior position (I took a draw for time reasons). My improved endgame skills also helped me escape some bad positions and even win some tricky ones.
So without further delay, I'd like to jump right into my first game against a 2085 rated player that ended with a win for me using the Scandanavian. It was a slow paced game where my superior development led to a total collapse of his pawns.
After this game, I had a league game against a moderately strong opponent named Vadim about 1900. He willingly went into the Scandanavian, but soon found himself in a tactical nightmare. I won the game without much difficulty.
Next, I'd like to demonstrate two games that were decided in the endgame stages. As previously mentioned I put some study into endgames techniques. I've noticed I play better in calmer more stable positions so endgames battles are more common for me. My first game was a win using the Rubenstein French against a 2130 rated player.
My Second endgame victory was a win with White against a 1980 player using the Lennigrad Dutch. I obtained small opening advantages but in the end finer end game play converted the advantage into a win.
In conclusion, you need many skills for chess. Memory, practice, logic, patience. All are neccesary at one point or another, but working on individual skills one at a time can help improve your game. Isolating weakness and turning theminto strengths, or at least average skills can go a long way. The Scandanavian is now my best opening and I no longer blunder instantly in the endgame.
Lastly, I'd like to give a special thanks to Ran Newman and GM Lars Bo Hansen. Lars provided me with the insight to understand what kind of player I am. Knowing this allowed me to feel confidant in playing a different style of moves and helping me learn what types of games and which players to study. Ran, provided me with a constant challenge. He was someone roughly around my strength level that played in a totally different style. Having a partner to train with is an indispensible tool for improving one's game and I could not have improved without both of you!