Improving Defence

Improving Defence

Jan 30, 2016, 8:41 PM |

They say defence wins matches. In Chess it can be the difference between a draw and a loss. More than anything, it's an attitude to work hard, be stubborn and make life as difficult for your opponent as possible.


I see it no different to golf in that when you're putting for birdie, your concentration is at full tilt. But when we're putting to make triple bogey, our tendency is to go through the motions. Yet both shots count equally.


Whilst we are on the verge of a brilliant combination, we work our hardest to calculate, check and find resources. But do we work equally as hard when on the other end?


I gained a valuable lesson in my loss on the White side of a King's Indian Defence. I acknowledge that I overreached in an equal position and found myself worse. However, I'm disappointed in my play and attitude because I didn't make life as difficult as possible for my opponent. I wrote my orbituary during the game.

Exchange Queens?

As White, I was faced with a critical decision whether to exchange Queens and enter a Bishop ending. I rejected this on the principle that Black's King can easily get to the b-pawn.

But could have I survived?

I failed to see that White could have erected a fortress position by blocking entry to the dark squares at b6 and c5. Black's own bishop would get in the way of the Black King.

More than anything, it was lazy on my part to not look for such resources, and instead rely on "general principles". Being concrete overrides everything.

Fortress (Again)

White to Move. Can Qd5 hold?

Another example of generalised thinking in a situation which demanded a concrete plan. I rejected Qd5 believing Black's King was too close. However, how can Black's King actually break through. Such endgame analysis is highlighting to me a lack of resourcefullness in my play, particularly around the theme of a fortress.

Not Making it difficult right to the end
White to Move

In the game I played 49. exf5 because I thought otherwise Black would win the e-pawn. Being in a passive position without any counterplay, deep down I resigned myself to lose and didn't try my hardest to make life as difficult for my opponent. Immediately I failed to see that the e-pawn was immune, due to the threat on his Bishop. This would have given me time to defend with Qb1 where I can't find a way for Black to penetrate.

 Trying a One Move Cheapo

White to Move

Here I tried the disappointing one move cheapo with 53. Bd6. This is a sign of resignation. Instead, I should have fought to the bitter end with 53. Ba3 to preserve the Bishop's possibility on the a3-f8 diagonal, and swing my Queen to b1. Here the Queen and Bishop can combine to make life difficult for Black to progress.


My Game Annotations and Analysis

Lessons from my Loss
I'll need to study fortress formations and more so improve attitude of tough, rugged defence