The Amateur Analyses his game: Benefits of reading great books
The analyisis of this game is based on my assesment of the game during play and some were only added (thought very few) after the game. (So if youre a 1600 and above this blog may not be for you, but if you are a 1500 and below you might want to read through. Who knows we might be sharing the same faults and ideas.) No computer aided analysis was used so some imperfection or errors might be present in my analysis.I am presenting this game on my point of view "The Amateure's point of view". Besides, im no expert nor a master (im not even a 1600 for crying out loud) to imply that my approach is true gospel. This is basically how i see the game during play and what themes occurred on my chess thinking as the game progress.I shall try to be as candid as i can in my annotations. It must be stated that while at play i try to maintain and apply the principles and ideas i have learned from the books i have read which has greatly influenced me as a chess amateur player.As much as possible i will try to maintain objectivity rather than self glorification to establish my ideas that im sharing. True im just between 1400-1500 but the wins against stronger rated opponents has shown me that i am improving and i shall try to continue to do so by continually reminding myself of the basic principles and ideas taught by the great masters and authors of the classical period. As a 1400 player i am bound to make mistakes like leaving a piece enprise or just simply blunderring away a piece or falling for a mating net by grabbing pawns or sacrificed materials, falling for traps and not concentrating on the basic principles in a typical endgame play . But by applying simple logic taught by the masters in various books and applying them during play was a great help like "having a plan" "creating treaths", and asking the simple question "why did he play that?" were very useful. Although sometimes i forget them at some critical points in a game thereby losing, by constantly reminding myself of it was indeed a good help as it provides strength to hold my own even against a stronger opponent. I am sharing my games as an example of the thinking strength of a typical amateur. Pardon me if my constant referals for particular books are stated for it is true that the books that will be mentioned truly molded my play for they are my contstant guide and mentors. I never grew tired of them.
Me vs (Name withheld) 1834
1. e4 c6
Does Capa open with e4?. Sometimes during his younger years but not in his later years. The inspiration for my choice of e4 is based on Fischer's assesment "Best by test" (In his book My 60 Mem. Games)
2. Nf3 d5
I have always replied Nf3 against caro or french.My theoretical knowledge of them as white is rather vauge. Thus, i felt it more to my liking to keep the opening in its simplest form rather than engaging in theoretical battle against a stonger opponent and at the same time heading Capablanca's advise in mind (capablancas last lectures book) of developing pieces just to get into a playable middle game and at the same time following Fischer's treatment of set-up against the caro-kann (fischer -petrosian game with the caro-kann in the book the games of robert james fischer) with which i also play as black.
3. exd5 cxd5
4. d4 Nc6
5. Bd3 Bg4
6. c3 e6
7. O-O Nf6
Im not really sure if the opening ends here but in the caro-kann the light colored bishop must get out of the pawn chain as did my opponent played here. Now i am in the thought of playing 8.h3. But i felt driving away the bishop by h3 then g4 would weaken my kingside too early. Worse the queens are still on the board. Capa once said that when faced with a surprise in the opening, develop your pieces as quickly as possible. Actually there is no surprise in the opening yet but the basic principle of developing my pieces entered my head and at the same time avoiding risk too early in the game so i played...
8. Bf4 Bd6!?
I must admit i was surprised by this coz this bishop can be attacked by 8..Nh5 and if 9.Be5 then 9..Bf3 10.Qf3 Qg5 and if 11. g4 then 11.. Ne5 12. de5 Nf4 13. Bc2 Qe5 followed by Bd6. By playing the text move it dawned unto me that my opponent is going to castle long and head for my throat with h5 h4 Ne4 moves.
9. Bxd6 Qxd6
10. h3 Bh5
The move 10. Nd2 develops my pieces but it gives him time too with 10..000. Suddenly i felt warm blood flowing to my head. After reading and studying Mihai Subas "dynamic chess" would it be bad not to try his approach against a stronger opponent?. I have always applied the attitude i learned from studying capas games of simplification and heading straight for an endgame (which i find more suitable against a lesser opponent). But im facing a stronger opponent, in school i once heard a chessmaster and at the same time chess team coach uttering the exact words "Avoid unclear positions but if you cannot help it at least complicate them. Lesser opponents will one way or another succumb to the complexities of the position." Yes i was not a member of that team but i remembered those words and kept it at heart.
11. g4!? Bg6
The move 11.. Bg4 12.hg4 Ng4 was tempting. But with 12. Kg2 with ideas like Rh1 ,Qe2 followed by Nbd2, Rag1 then Kf1 eases my heart. Is g4 then bad ? I dont know. Sometimes i have a tendency to play by the gutt. I have lost and won positions like this. This is basically against capas teaching of weakening the kingside position. But im in the mood for power play and learning, and it is very rare to find an 1800 playing a 1400. Naturally the lower rated would be happy if he gets a draw. But this is an enjoyment on my part of testing the skills of my much stronger opponent. I knew at heart that my opening play is below par and my middle game just plain and simple (piece manueverings) but i have total belief in my endgame play based on what i learned form various books that enabled me to grasp the basics ( why wouldnt one be after studying capas "chess fundamentals and "Last Lectures" and playing over his games in "Capablancas 100 best games"). I just got to have an inspiration on my belief on my end game play and i found it in Capas books.
12. Bxg6 hxg6
13. Kg2! O-O-O!?
In capas book "capablancas last lectures" it was said that timing and space is of the essence. Thus i played Kg2. With my pawns too far advanced I am at my opponents mercy. I started to see his good moves like Ne4 then f5 then rh7 followed by Rdh8 after he castled. I am clearly way behind in development but intermediate moves like 13. ...Ne4 was called for then only 0-0-0 afterwards. Opportunity never knocks twice as the saying goes basic principles in chess suggests we create threaths and fight for the innitiative. thus i played...
14. Ng5! Rdf8
With his rook on defensive chore its about time to fight for the center then develop my pieces. I once read the idea "Centralize and dont lose heart" im not sure if it was Nimzovich but it sure did stuck to my head.
15. f4! Qe7
15.Qf3 doesnt seem to be appealing to me coz it shuts down the f3 pawn. And since my pawns are already advanced might as well push 'em and support them with pieces. besides im on the defensive and f4 maintains the tension of the fight for the center. I had to coordinate my pieces. First things first. Now if black played 15...Ne4 i had 16.Qf3 Ng5 17.fg5 e5 18 Qg3 and if 18...f6 then 19.Nd2 fg5 20. Rf8 Rf8 21. Rf1 Rf1 22. Nf1 and im still ok. What is he playing for? 16..Ne4 and if 17.Ne4 de4 followed by Qh4. He failed to see my reply of f4
16. Qf3 Rh4!
When i saw this i tought it was a waste of tempo but it dawned on me that he has 17...Ng4 18.hg4 Rfh8 and if 19.Rg1 Rh2 check 20.Kf1 f6 and im in deep trouble coz he wins the piece back with control of the 7th rank 6th or the e-file if i happen to sacrifice the night for a pawn. It is good that i had the move on hand which justifies the mistake on blacks 13th move.
17. Nd2 Rfh8?
This gave me ample time to defend. I was expecting 17...Ng4 18.hg4 Rfh8 with the idea of giving back the night and maintaining the dynamism of the game via 19.Nh3 Rh3 20 Qh3 Rh3 with an unclear game. As Schiller wrote in his "developement of a chess master" that we should always calculate...deeper. My development is now complete. Its time to repulse the treaths and aim for counter play. Dynamically the Suba's way.
18. Rh1 Nh7?
Whats this? Is he attacking or what? 18..Ng8 was the move i was expecting followed by 19..f6. With the text move it disobeys certain principles that "to exchange pieces when attacked" but he is the one attacking thus this move all the more eases the attack. Im free and he just handled me the key. Now his rook on h4 looks sad as he has to waste another tempo or two for re-deployment
19. Nxh7 R4xh7
20. Rae1 Qd6
21. Re3!? f6
Overprotection? Nope. 21. Re3 prepares Rhe1 in case black rook on h8 decides to flee and if it tries to go back i have Qf2 in mind followed by h4. now with black 21...f6 black seems to be playing a rook down (rook at h7). I would have prefered him play Re8 then Rhh8 then soon double rook on the e-file. This kind of notion i learned from Capablancas "My chess career" when he was asked how an endgame should be won. He went straight towards the winning position and said that that particular position should be targetted to get the win. It appeared to me that one should imagine the "dream" position. Set a particular goal and get it. Got it?.
22. Qg3 Kc7
23. Nf3 Re8
24. h4 Reh8
Amazingly, my opponent does not see my plan. So it does pay to have a plan. It was just simple: exchange queens and head for a favourable endgame with utmost control of the e-file via doubling of rooks on the e-file. He might be preparing for a possible 25.g5 f5 26.Ne5 Ne5 27.fe5 Qe7 28.Qf4 game squeezing which is too tough to grind. Im not sure if it was going straight to a Nimzovitchan position it just didnt fit my taste. But as capa advices: take the initiative and maintain it.
25. Rhe1 Re8
26. f5!? gxf5?
f5 is risky but i had to play it coz i was playing along the lines for endgame play and forgot that 26...Qg3 27Kg3 gf5 28 gf5 e5 29.df5 fe5 30. Ne5 d4! 31.cd4 Nd4 32.Rc3 Nc6 33.Nf3 Re1 34 Ne1 Rh6 35 Kg4 is still difficult for me. As a player just between 1400 and 1500 i am eager to lose in order to learn. Capas book on his last lectures taught me to take risks even to the point of losing a game coz we learn from our loses and gain experiences.Suba's "dynamic Chess strategy" showed me how to bring life to a game. Its funny how a sequence of moves radically changes the outcome of the game.
27. Qxd6+ Kxd6
28. gxf5 Nd8
29. Kg3 Rhh8
30. fxe6 Rxe6
31. Rxe6+ Nxe6
32. Kg4? g6!
Throwing away the initiative. 32. Rh1 Rh5 33Kg4 g6 34Re1 f5 check 35 Kh3 Nf4 check 36 Kg3 maintains it. Now im back to square one.It is i who wasted a tempo as his rook comes to life. He must have been relieved.
33. Kg3 Rh5
34. Nh2 Rf5
35. Ng4 Ke7
36. Nh6 Rh5?
Having fought for freedom he suddenly went back to captivity. 36..Rf4 was the move i was anticipating and was prepared to sacrifice my rook for the knight in case the opportunity presents itself.
37. Ng4 Rf5
38. Ne3 Rh5
39. Ng4 Rf5
It looks he is heading for the draw and 40 Ne3 might seal it. The move 40 Nh6 went up my head but it leads to nothing. Then suddenly i saw.
40. Re2! Kf7??
Having fought stubbornly with extreme patience ... what a sad ending. 40..Kd6 was better then we have 41.Nf2 Nf4 42. Re8 Nh5 check. Believe you me, i am analysing this game based on what i see during the game and no computer analysis is done in this whole game annotation ( I was litterally jotting down notes as i see them during the game). Now the question is, is it possible for him to see my 44th move reply? Because even with black the exchange down i assessed the position as still a very hard win for me. Black gets a doubled pawn but my king cant get anywhere the enemy line. And as Steinitz once said "The king is a fighting piece". Im in the endgame and experience has taught me that no matter how or what exchange up i am, without king support it is nothing.
41. Nh6+ Ke7
42. Nxf5+ gxf5
43. h5 Kf7
44. Rxe6! Kxe6
This kind of sacrifice i learned from capablancas chess fundamentals. I simply imagined the board without the rook and knight and saw that it was a better clear win for me. Holding on the the rook vs knight endgame is still a painful strugglle. Besides the knight on e6 is so strong that black can hold the game coz my king cannot get in the fortress. Lasker once said "If you see a good move, look for a better one". Im not sure if im thinking it right but i believe so coz i once played over the Fischer-Petrosian candidates final game 7 were Fischer exchanged a very well placed piece for a weak one then simply transitioned from one advantage into another.It was not the move that inspired me to think this way also in the game but the approach to the game as a whole. From a dominant ,superior but long path winning position to a simple clear cut win.
45. Kf4 Kf7
46. Kxf5 1-0
The ending is smooth, Im going to sack the pawn on the f- file then push my pawn to h8 then grab the pawn on d5 then march my king towards the b and a pawns then sending my c-pawn down for promotion. You got it! Imagination.With his king on h8 he is too far to reach em.
After the game my opponent complimented me for my play and I on my part thanked him for playing me. Something should be made clear here and that is that I never put wins like this in my head having Alekhines caution about how "vanity" destroys ones chess. The success of applying the principles and ideas learned from the masters in their books in a game is all too gratifying. It just showed me that im on the right path but still a long long way to go.Rejoicing over a win against a higher rated opponent is normal but believing youre a very strong player already is a sledgehammer that has the tendency to be boomeranged back at you. And it will hurt. But in summary it should be emphasized that if we have lots of books in our library these books must be read and lessons kept at heart. It is an investment. We have spent money in buying them why not sepnd more time in studying and reading them. Kasparov onced said "Spend time if you want to succeed". Good luck guys!.
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