Be a Harsh Critic of Your Own Wins

Be a Harsh Critic of Your Own Wins


Finally some good news ... I won my last round encounter in the 22nd Thematic Caro Kann tournament which wrapped up first place with 8.0/10. There were 1238 starters back in November 2014 and after 4 elimination rounds I was "lucky" to be the last person standing. Unfortunatley there is somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth, as 3 of my competitors along the way had their accounts removed (speculated cheating). I only progressed through to 4th round as the winner was disqualified. That is worthy of another blog post.


The title of this blog entry comes from Chapter 3 of Vassilios Kotronias' book "The Grandmaster Battle Manual". To quote him: "Nowadays, I feel that analysing a won game may even be more important that the game itself". And later ... "If you want to reach a high level you cannot be superficial, you must scrutinize".


Analysis Position 1: Destruction of the Centre

Black to Move

I missed the possibility of 19. ... f6 which would have attacked White's centre, and induce f4 after which preussure along the g1-a7 diagonal would have been a factor.
It's not the first time I've missed this thematic move on the Black side of a Caro Kann.

Analysis Position 2: Multipurpose King
Black to Move
My opponent had just played 39. f5 which I thought was a decisive mistake. This allows my Bishop to threaten with ... Bg5-c1 hence when White plays Bb2 he concedes the d2 square after which I threaten ... a5.
However, I missed a resource for White. He can use his King to gain time on my Bishop (driving it back) and then come back to block my King's threatened entry to d5 as well as play Bc3 in the event of ... a5.
This was an excellent lesson in working hard for finding improvements for your opponent.

Analysis Position 3: Counterplay Invasion
White to Move
In the game White played 45. g5 which loses after ... g6.
However, I think he missed 45. f6 with the idea of getting his King to h6 and taking on h7 after Black replies 45. ... g6
I'll need to analyse further (worthy of another blog entry) the assessment of the final position as White has dangerous play (with ideas of getting his Bishop to g7). To be continued.

Game Annotations and Analysis