Tarrasch, Opening Pitfalls and Engine Analysis

Tarrasch, Opening Pitfalls and Engine Analysis

Mouselip
Mouselip
Jun 23, 2017, 5:30 PM |
2
Continuing coverage of my journey in chess improvement as an "Over the Hill" player, I offer you analysis of my 16th "Rapid" game (a game in 30 minutes tonight) on my way to establishing a slow chess rating so that I can take part in the slow chess league online.
 
My opponent in tonight's game ensnared himself into what has been long known as the Tarrasch Trap in the Steinitz variation of the Ruy Lopez (or Spanish) opening. This "trap" is not something I deliberately set-up for my opponent to step into, but he became ensnared in it. To me, a trap is something deliberately set by an opponent and I think there has to be a better name for situations like what happens in this game. Perhaps it would be better to call it an opening "pitfall" because it is a pattern that appears to be good (or does not appear to be bad) but leads to a bad situation. In this case it is the loss of a pawn.
 
I also wanted to write a little bit about my analysis and annotation scheme. I use a combination of my own notes, chess.com's online engine analysis and the stockfish 8 engine inside of the Fritz 15 GUI.
 
I use my own notes to give my own thoughts about the position (preferably) *before* seeing the computer analysis. I want to use my own thoughts before the engine evaluations because it can help me to find shortcomings in my own analysis and evaluation ability. I write "preferably" because I did the computer analysis before my own notes for this game. That is because I was never in any danger of losing this game, I made no serious errors in this game, so there will be no enlightenment about my faulty thought processes (or not much of it) in this post. This was a completely one-sided battle tonight. I am not trying to gloat here. Just stating the facts.
 
I also like to use the chess.com computer analysis because it uses a lot of text and also gives its "CAPS" summary. Here is the CAPS summary below:
 
Strength White Black
Excellent 31 25
Good 3 6
Inaccuracy (?!) 1 3
Mistake (?) 0 1
Blunder (??) 1 0
Forced 0 0
Best Move 79.3% 42.9%
CAPS  98.80 62.86
Avg. Diff 0.32 0.80
 
Even though the chess.com analysis says I made a ?? blunder ... that blunder was that I did not find the strongest continuation. MY only problem with how *I* failed to see that stronger continuation is that I did not even look for it! I am trying real hard to consistently apply a good move decision process in which I review all checks, captures and threats on every move (except during the opening phase when I know the pattern by heart). In this case I did *not* look at all the "CCT's" for myself on every move. I ddi look at them for my opponent, ut not always for myself because I knew I was winning by far. Still, I should be consistent if I want to establish a standard move-selection process as a new habit.
 
I like to use the Fritz 15 gui for analysis for a couple of reasons. The first is that I want to see the stockfish numerical evaluation on every move -- and I mean *every* move ... that's why I have an empty opening book for Fritz to use which makes it give a numerical evaluation all the way to the first move. That numerical evaluation goes hand-in-hand with another nice feature of the Friz GUI and that is the "Evaluation Profile."
 
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In the graph above, all the green and yellow bars are above the middle line, so I (as White) never went into the negative -- I was never in any real danger for the entire game.
 
So, to fnish this post... here is my analysis of the game WhackDot vs Borce66 tonight: