The misery of getting positionally outplayed
There have been countless games that I've hung my rook, fallen into a knight fork, given up pawns and banged my head over the walls, but I don't recall getting completely positionally outplayed and facing a slow, torturing death. That is what happened in this very informative game I played the other night.
The good thing is, it's a game of important lessons for me, and I hope to be more alert about these points that cost me the game here. I've put diagrams for several critical positions in the game if you'd like to see what you'd do before looking up the move list.
I should congratulate my opponent for his strong play, and thank him for making me realize what I joke I am in planning and chess psychology.
The game is heavily analyzed, and I hope you can learn from it. Make sure to use the move list to go through variations and be welcome to leave any comments.
So I guess the key lessons to learn from this game are:
-A weakness is only a weakness if you can take advantage of it.I made myself believe that attacking the b pawn would be a good plan because it looked weak and piled up on it using my rook and queen, but a simple knight move took care of things very comfortably for black, and I never had a chance to make anything about in the game.
-Do not make moves just because they make you "comfortable".I'm talking about the h3 move. I played that move because I recall it from previous symmetrical english games, and I just didn't want to be bothered with Bg4 and stuff. Well if you're afraid of being bothered, why play chess, right? That h3 move was unneccessary because 1) Black didn't have a knight on f3 to harass a white bishop on e3 by jumping to g4, 2) I could always play f3 if black ever plays Bg4, 3)it allowed black to gain tempo by playing Qd2 with attack , and 4)it slowed down my chance of playing Bh3 to activate my bishop later in the game.
- Do not let your opponent get to you. Never lose your nerve.
I just did those in the game, and although I saw that the knight sac was promising, I just couldn't collect my calm and analyze it properly. I was thinking how the hell I managed to be outplayed so bad like this, and was intimated by the strong positional play of my opponent. But it's just the last chance to save the game for white, and I can't imagine the satisfaction of saving a lost position with a knight sacrifice. I missed a complete "victory" because of a weak state of mind and lack of disciplined calculation.
I guess this is it. Hope to see you next game!