Month in Review: June 2017
18 games of 15/10 time control.
11 win, 6 loss, 1 draw.
How I win:
- win 1 (51 move). Queening a pawn in Q vs R+B endgame
- win 2 (73 move). Queening a pawn in K+P endgame
- win 3 (58 move). Queening a pawn in R vs N endgame
- win 4 (57 move). Queening a pawn in N endgame
- win 5 (47 move). Queening a pawn in R endgame
- win 6 (93 move). Queening a pawn in B endgame
- win 7 (41 move). getting into winning K+P endgame
- win 8 (30 move). mating him in middlegame
- win 9 (22 move). he blundered his Queen out of nowhere
- win 10 (26 move). he blundered his Queen in a complicated position involving his king safety
- win 11 (45 move). Queening a pawn in K+P endgame
Vast majority of my wins were by queening a pawn in the endgame. Unless my opponent donates a piece in the middlegame, I haven't been able to finish my opponent off in the middlegame. It's no secret to me that technical endgame is where I naturally feel stronger than complicated middlegame, so I must work on mastering complicated middlegame, my main weakness.
How I Lose:
- loss 1 (43 move). (this guy's account is closed now, probably due to cheating) got tactically outplayed, lost some material, fought for a draw, but to no avail.
- loss 2 (32 move). sac'd a piece for kingside attack that was doomed to fail
- loss 3 (35 move). sac'd a piece for kingside attack that was doomed to fail
- loss 4 (28 move). got my Queen trapped
- loss 5 (71 move). missed a tactic involving his passed pawn
- loss 6 (62 move). weakened my king safety, he attacked, lost bunch of material, fought for a draw, but to no avail.
Main culprits to my defeats were lazy calculation, wrong assumptions, and impatience/urge to make something happen, as opposed to slowly letting the position play itself out. Stuff like lazy calculation and wrong assumption is something everybody has problems with. There really is no easy fix to this problem other than just constantly reminding yourself to look for all the possibilities.
The last is the more important problem. I'm very bad at nurturing small advantages in the middlegame and coming up with a plan. I'm comfortable in opposite-side castling position, when the strategy is straightforward, go and checkmate his King. But in symmetrical and quiet position, I have trouble figuring out what to do next. And often times, I have the urge to just 'make something aggressive happen'. This, more often than not, leads to weakening move that does more damage to my position than good. I have to learn how to handle quiet middlegame positions by studying the games of the masters more.