Improving My Rating

Mar 9, 2012, 4:58 PM |

My current rating is 1813, and like everyone else, I want to live to the next century. It occurred to me that if I want to play at the 1900 level, ie win some games at that level, then I should see what is involved. Accordingly, I had a look at some high-rated games and sought for the critical moment in each game, ie the point at which the game was won. My theory is that many games hinge on a single move, ie a mistake by the losing side.

The first diagram shows the position just before Black's 37th move. I believe this is the move that decided the outcome. Black is about to play 37.... Re8 and probably does not expect White's reply. Note that White has an extra passed pawn and that his pieces are more active, but how would you exploit this advantage?

The game continued

37…          Re8

38 g4+       Bxg4      As the bishop is lost anyway if the king moves back.

39 hxg4+   Kg6

40 Bd6      Nxd6      Hoping to equalise material.

41 exd6     Rxe2

42 d7                       

Black resigned, as the pawn cannot be stopped after 42… Rd2 43 Rd3.


In the second position, White is just about to play 13 c3, little realising that the continuation costs him a piece:

 13.c3                d5

14.Nc5              e4

15.Nxd7            Bxd7

16.Be2              exf3

17.gxf3              b5



I guess there is not a lot to be learned from these two games, except that even highly rated players make blunders. You are not alone!