Grobbed of Victory: Not pulling the Trigger
Is there a greater tragedy in Chess than ruining a great position? Almost a crime against Chess. One spends move after moving improving the position, building pressure, but failing to pull the trigger at the right time.
Lessons to be learnt from such defeats is trying to find the cause. This game taught me that I have a tendency to make exchanges which ease the task of defence for my opponent. In thinking I'm removing defenders, I'm in fact unravelling him from his often cramped position.
I faced The Grob as Black and built up a very strong position with Black to move.
Black to Move
The game has reached a critical juncture, with Black poised to open the position and strike.
I considered 27. ... fxg4 28. fxg4 Rh4 29. g5 and I couldn't find a decisive finish in attempting to attack the g-pawn.
Here I failed to see 29. ... Bg4 is just crushing. I turned my attention instead to removing the Knight with 27. ... Bh4.
The best continuation was
27. ... fxg4 and if 28. Nxg4 Bxg4 29. fg Rh4 30. Kf2 Rch8 or 28. fxg4 and the line above.
This position taught me I have to improve my "target focus" and calculation. I have a tendency to exchange off pieces that ease my opponent's defence. In making such exchanges, I often give my opponent relieft in cramped positions.
Black to Move
In the above position I played very timidly with 30. ... Rh5. I failed to appreciate how good my position was, and go right into the heart of my opponent's position with 30. ... Rh3!
I learnt from this position that I must seek to make life as difficult as possible for my opponent. Rather than seek "knockout blows" (which often become so obvious), building pressure further with the mindest of how to make things most unpleasant for my opponent is an area I must work on.
My Game Annotations and Analysis
From defeat comes our greatest lessons. I learnt from this game I must place more emphasis on the question of exchange. This has been a theme in my games of late, often exchanging pieces which makes life more easier for my opponent.
It comes back to Soltis' "Getting the Most out of the Position". I instead must have the mindest of making life as difficult as possible for my opponent.
Positives to come out of the game was the buildup of the attack with 16. ... h5 and taking the time to bring back the dark squared Bishop to d6 and e7.