Hello from chesster3145
I've decided to take a second shot at blogging. I don't know that I'll post with any regularity, but I feel that I've really grown in the past year, and I have a lot to say.
In the past year and a half I've grown from a rank beginner at 1100 who had no idea how hard chess was or what improving would take to a mature 1400-1500 player who has solid positional skills and cranks out the occasional gem, but struggles with a few different things that I think are missing in many amateurs.
This blog is where I'll share interesting exercises that I come across in my training, interesting positions that I see in VC games, and pretty anything instructive and worthwhile I come across on the forums.
It's also where I'll post about curious opening lines and my own preparation, as well as my work on endgames, and above all, take a painfully honest look at some of my games and try to figure out somehow what I'm doing wrong.
When you draw a position with three clean extra pawns... Props to @SirIvanhoe for making this the Slow Chess League logo! There is nothing more fitting to describe amateur chess
I'll leave you with a game I played just two months ago in a rapid game which I now consider a calling card of sorts. I think even in a game such as this one you can see little shades of my 1400 rating throughout the game, and I think it exemplifies not any kind of "chess credo" (my rating is too low to have one), but my current state as a chess player and how I feel about playing chess.
Sure, I beat an Expert, and I looked pretty good doing it, but there are still pieces of my 1400-rated reality that show through in this game.
-I didn't take any kind of a serious look at 11. Qxg7 because I wanted to stay out of the tactics that result after 11... Bxc3+, or rather, I saw 11... Bxc3+ and ditched it.
-I allowed Black to sack his Queen with 20... Qxd6! 21. exd6 Bxc3 and get back in the game.
-I never had to do anything special to win this game. I just grabbed the d6-square with both hands and my opponent's position collapsed.
So, overall a pretty awesome game. But sometimes they don't go so well, and there are a few typical reasons why:
-Confirmation bias. This can be so strong that my hand ends up making a move that I already know is bad.
-Lack of a coherent thought process. What's the use of knowing how to play at a 1600ish level if you can't do it because your thought process is messed up?
-Overheating. Too much stress leads to all kinds of mental errors and makes it almost impossible to play at a high level.
-Time trouble. This began to haunt me only a few months ago, and it's largely about bad time management on my part, spending ten minutes on moves that I should be spending two minutes on.
-Blunders. These have largely gone away since I started 15-20 minutes a day of regular tactical practice, but there are few things more irritating that can cause more damage to your game, and I used to have them a lot.
I'll tackle these five in a new series starting later this week. Hopefully you can learn something too.