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Non-computer analysis of my game vs nate23

Jul 19, 2013, 4:45 PM 4

I've had success against quite a few opponents in a row in my slow games, so it was high time I faced someone much better than  me to remind me how far I have to go.

My analysis here isn't complete, it's just my first pass through the game while it's still fresh in my mind so that I recall what I was thinking during the game. I still don't have a good routine for doing my own analysis afterwards, I need to work on that. For now, this was done with no computer checking to see if my variations are terrible. I'll follow up later after I've checked with an engine.


OK! I went through my analysis using Houdini to see how many things I missed, here's the updated PGN:

The net result is that I wasn't in as bad a position as I thought up through move 23, when I could have replaced my blunder ...Qe7?? with ...d5 for a decent position and counterattacking chances.

I failed to consider many candidate moves that just look "weird": 10. ...d5, 11. ...exf5, 13. ...b4 and 17. ...a5.

The moral to this story, for me, is that I am not thinking broadly enough about the possibilities in each position. I think this happens for several reasons:

  1. Poor tactical strength. Because I'm not familiar with patterns, it takes me a long time to quickly see promising moves. I'm working on this by continuing my daily chesstempo tactics.
  2. Poor thinking habits. In many of my moves, I spent a lot of my time trying to find a reason not to play the variation I'd chosen initially, instead of casting the net wide and looking quickly through a lot of possibilities. I need to push myself to look at many more options while I play, and keep their advantages and disadvantages clearer in my mind.
  3. Poor visualization skills. I have a hard time being certain that I've calculated a line correctly, and am plagued by feelings that I'm overlooking many refutations because I can't clearly "see" the variation that I'm considering.
I have a clear strategy to fix #1, but I'm less clear on #2 and #3. #3 will naturally improve as I work on tactics puzzles, but #2 seems like a very complex problem to solve. Guess I need to go back and try harder to absorb the lessons of all those Novice Nooks!
If you have any comments on this post, please chime in.

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