[Chess^Summit] A Chaotic Start to an Annual Tradition

NM blitzcopter
Sep 15, 2016, 7:52 AM |

Yesterday on Chess^Summit, I discussed the start of this year's Pittsburgh Chess League and a game. See the original post here.

This year, I'm captaining for CMU in the Pittsburgh Chess League. My main duties include(d) making sure enough people play every month and keeping CMU2 in Division II.

With the sudden exodus of several teams from the league, Division I is weird this year, with three massive underdogs, although the main contenders are still mostly the same. The change for us is not having two Division I teams (my bad idea from last year), so we have the same strong players as last year, plus a few more!!

I've also had a chance to reflect on a rather disastrous few tournaments from late in the summer, right after I broke 2150. I'll discuss this after it's sorted out more, but short story is that I started rushing all of the time and my lack of opening knowledge started catching up to me (took long enough, 2 years?).

A good (bad?) example is the 5...e6 Panov. The positions are fairly similar to each other (so at first glance, less theory) and Karpov liked this ...Bb4 stuff, so there didn't seem much to recommend 5...Nc6. Unfortunately, said positions are... pretty miserable to play as Black (often pawn-up but with bishop pair, massive open kingside/center play for White, etc. etc.) once they get critical but this has only happened recently. Ultimately, I decided to transition to the more active 5...Nc6 but since I hadn't quite caught up to speed on 6. Bg5 lines, decided to play 5...e6 one last time. Needless to say, this didn't turn out that well as during an alternate game against a new CMU teammate (about 2000 USCF), I got into one of those aforementioned miserable positions, fought back to a reasonable position close to move 30, then blundered a knight.

Enjoy the post!