Learning From Blunders

Aug 12, 2011, 4:07 PM |

In this blog post I'm documenting all of my blunders so that I can find the root cause of the blunders. The typical cause of the blunder should be the main weakness and will be fixed right away.

So far, here is what I think the cause of the blunders:

1) Evaluate the position long before the exact position takes place. Here I often failed to re-evaluate when the position becomes simpler, I just trust my previous analysis. I should have always do the re-calculation. AFAIK this is the root cause of my major blunders (Game: #1, #2)

2) Unsound thought process, weak analysis. When I have picked 2 candidate moves (picking candidate moves prevents blunder!) but after 90% of the calculation time non of these candidate moves satisfy me, I will desperately take another move that is calculated only a fraction of the calculation time (10%). (Game: #5)

3) Psychological upset after making small mistake (Game: #5)

4) I was sick (Game: #) --> Nothing I can do about it

Game#1: Here I offered a draw in a winning situation. If only I had evaluated this position after my last move, I wouldn't have offered a draw. I offered a draw before my last move, after which it is easier to see that the Bishop can easily be blocked by the Knight. But I evaluated the position long before the last position took place and I thought "There's no way I can save my Rook, and without it I will have a losing endgame, so I will make sure that he knows how to defend before offering a draw".

Game#2: Here I attacked with undefended attacker.This kind of blunder has happened a lot in the past 
Game#3: Here I missed a Bishop sacrificed.
I'm very scared of any kind of Bishop attack, when it aims at a pawn covering my King. Even the "unsound" Colle-Zukertort makes me sweat. I know about this possibility in the Caro-Kann variation I played. Along the game I have paid attention to the Bishop sacrifice possibility, but I failed to reasses the situation when the Queen moved in.

Game#4: Here I miss-calculated in a complex pawn exchange.
Calculation skill for complex pawn exchange combination is useful for playing a (closed) game where there is often pawn push variation to consider. I usually don't have a problem with that. This time, it is a bit complex because there are Knight and Bishop captures involved.

Game#5: Here I miss-calculated and missed a checkmate.
The first one is simply weak tactics (actually my confusion about the unfamiliar opening because I failed to understand one key "theme" in the position), the second one is about unsound thought process I believe, or simply desperation (I couldn't find a drawish line, nor sharp line, that will save me after previous mistake).