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Relentless self-criticism

May 4, 2009, 6:58 PM 1

When on the attack, I often settle for gaining a safe, concrete, and small material advantage and then seek to

simplify into an easily winnable endgame. To improve, I need to work on not settling for less than optimal chess. I should learn how to ratchet up the pressure on my opponent so that I win in the middlegame with a decisive attack. Correspondence games can help me develop these skills as I can take all the time I need to calculate my way through the complications of an attack. Something of my less-than-optimal approach to attacking can be seen in the following game. In moves 16 and 17, I attack the b3 pawn when I should have gone directly for the attack on the king with 16...Ra2! To be sure, the result was a quick win in either case, but the only path to chess improvement is relentless self-criticism. To see my variations and comments click on "move list."

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