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The Cramps: Seattle City Championship 2018

The Cramps: Seattle City Championship 2018

Jan 20, 2018, 8:17 PM 3

Due to a mix of my affinity for complications and general lack of chess skill I often end up with knotty positions where my pieces can't go anywhere. Was it Tal who said you must lead your opponent into a dark wood where the path out is only wide enough for one? Did he say anything about running into a dark wood with your eyes closed? In any case this predilection can be my downfall but, sometimes, also produce interesting games. Usually the plot is that one side has a bad position but then the other side loses the thread and typically the game.

In the recent Seattle City Championship I played two games with the same plot, but I was the protagonist in only one. I guess depending on your taste in literature you can decide which game that was. 

The second game was against Steve Buck, who I had drawn in a quad before in a similarly closed position. 

Both games were lost after having better positions and then blundering. I wonder if there's a psychological slide that happens when your position goes from better to worse. In the first game after I lost my positional edge I remember creating some ill-considered complications with Ra5 when I probably could have consolidated my position and had a better game. I think Steve Buck fell into the same trap with f4 when he could have increased the pressure on my weak queenside.

When I had the better position against Avi I missed the crucial tactic of Nd2 because I didn't calculate past how many White pieces protected that square. I think it will help to remember that good positions should create good opportunities, and to take the time to find them -- before that move I had 21 minutes left with only three moves to time control. 

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