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Diary of a 10 Week Chess Improvement Student

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KevinOSh

I signed up for Mat's 10 week chess improvement course run.

Each week a new email is sent out with information and homework for chess improvement.

In the introductory email he says

"Remember, it is crucial to take action and do exercises (it is not enough
to read an email). If you want to improve quickly, you have to learn some
good habits. You can get them only by exercising every day."

Based on this I decided to do a diary so that it would commit me to the necessary work and also produce a record of achievement over the 70 days.

A little bit of background on me for context: I started playing in December 2020 and at that point most of what I knew about chess was what I had just seen in the Netflix Queen's Gambit limited series. I signed up to chess.com and my rapid rating dropped from 400 to 200, and then within the next few days climbed back up to 500. A couple of months later I was stuck in the 700s. I mostly stopped playing live chess and played daily chess instead. I reached 1000 in daily chess in March and 1300 earlier this month. I joined an OTB club last month so started taking live chess more seriously again.

At the start of this experiment: my rapid rating was 960. My main goal is to increase this by 200 points over the 70 days spent doing Mat's course.

The first week is about tactics. There are several exercises:

  • puzzles
  • puzzle rush
  • memorization of positions
  • a composed chess study

The first week of the course allows quite a lot of flexibility to train as you like as long as you are practicing tactics. It is a framework for study and you can devise your own specifics within it.

I decided on this plan for the first week. It is varied to keep things interesting:

Day 1 Monday: 5 minute Puzzle Rush

Day 2 Tuesday: Rated Puzzles

Day 3 Wednesday: Memorization/Visualisation

Day 4 Thursday: Lucas Chess Puzzles

Day 5 Friday: Rated Puzzles

Day 6 Saturday: Laszlo Polgar Puzzles (5334 book)

Day 7 Sunday: Chess King Puzzles

Here's how the first day went:

Day 1

  • Attempt 1: 14
  • Attempt 2: 16
  • Attempt 3: 11
  • Attempt 4: 11
  • Attempt 5: 12
  • Attempt 6: 17 Best Ever!

Two Rapid Wins, 78.7% and 66.4% CAPS, Rating up to 975.

Mood: happy.png

MatBobula

Nice happy.png

Good luck!

KevinOSh

Day 2 Tuesday: Rated Puzzles

3 weeks ago I had a rating of 1707 but it since crashed down to 1624. So need to claw my way back up again.

Had a good with 9 out of 10 correct. Back up to 1674 again. The one I messed up looked like it was a back rank mate in one threat but actually my bishop could have retreated to protect the King. Need to look out for that in future.

Then played 5 Rapid games. 3 defeats. 1 win due to abandonment. 1 draw. Back down to 958. Bummer.

Went back to the puzzles and did 12 more. Now up to 1708 personal best.

Mood: meh.png

KevinOSh

Day 3 Wednesday: Memorization and Visualization

Firstly, I want to share this video in case you haven't seen it. It's astonishing.

Needless it say, I do not share these supernatural memory powers. In fact I find anything more than 5 pieces pretty hard to memorize.

Lucas chess has "Check your memory on a chess board" feature

I have been doing this on the Beginner Level

Level 1) 3 pieces - 15 secs
Level 2) 4 pieces - 17 secs
Level 3) 5 pieces - 15 secs
Level 4) 6 pieces - a few failed attempts, then correct in 30 seconds
Level 5) 7 pieces - 30 secs
Level 6) 8 pieces - 20 secs
Level 7) 9 pieces - Failed several times, then correct in 51 seconds.
The 9 piece position that I remembered was simpler than the others because of the 3 black pawns all adjacent to the black king. It was something like this:

It is a lot harder to memorize than it looks. When you can see it it looks easy but after you stop looking some of the little details quickly start getting blurry. I found it helped to identify and make a mental note of some rules about the position. Like in the position above the relationship between the King and the pawns made 4 pieces easy to remember and then I just had to remember the other 5 pieces in addition to that. Knowing which ranks and files do not have any pieces on them also helps quite a bit.

In the email Mat says "

  1. pick any game with a notation (I like to use chessgames.com where you can find a lot of grandmaster's games).

  2. pick any position from this game (f.e. after move 30.) and memorize it

  3. open a new tab, go to the analysis board (f.e. on chess.com), set up this position from your memory and check is that correct (if everything is fine, clear the board, if not repeat it)

  4. go back to the game and read a couple of moves (f.e. 5) that happened from that position, do not move it there, just read notation and visualize it in your mind

  5. go to the analysis board, try to set the position after those moves and check is that correct (if not, repeat)

It is a good idea to start with positions with only a couple of pieces and only 2-3 moves, once you practice and do not make mistakes, you can pick the more complicated position and longer lines."

 

I had a look at some Bobby Fischer games but at move 30 there are still about 25 pieces on the board, so I don't know whether I will ever be able to memorize that many, but I will try to gradually remember one additional piece.

The position that I would most like to memorize is known as "de Groot A". This is a position that chess master and psychologist Adrian de Groot used to study Grandmasters' thinking processes.

 

Wikipedia says "Memory is particularly important, according to de Groot (1965) in that there are no ‘new’ moves in chess and, so those from personal experience or, from the experience of others can be committed to memory."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adriaan_de_Groot

 

Another Lucas Chess memory test feature is called "The board at a glance". You get about 10 or less to glance at the board, and then can answer questions such as which the square each piece was on, whether each piece is being attacked, etc.

 

There is (yet) another Lucas Chess feature that I just discovered called "Moves between two positions". This is a sort of visualization exercise where you are given the before and after positions and are asked to supply the moves to go from the original position to the final one.

Level 1 is just a single move (very easy). Level 10 is ten moves (very hard)

 

I also played the Mind Mirage mini-game in the Magnus Trainer tonight. I passed Level 9 but didn't get a great score.

Mood: meh.png to happy.png

Inglaterra

Good luck Kevin. This is cool, I will check out Mat's site! happy.png

KevinOSh

Day 4 Thursday: Lucas Chess Puzzles

I found another good feature in Lucas Chess this morning "Daily Test"

It gives you 5 middlegame positions and you make the next move in each of them. It tells you how close to the best move it is.

My overall score today was 75.8 centipawns lost, 43 seconds

My main task today was the "learn tactics by repetition" puzzles. More specifically I am continuing the UNED school "annihilation of defense" puzzles. These are typically pseudo-sacrifices that lead to checkmate. Here is an easy one:

 

The same puzzles are repeated up to 10 times over the long term. Once all of the annihilation of defense puzzles are done it will move onto other tactical motifs/themes. There are 5400 puzzles altogether and I am up to 145. It has taken 3 hours 8 mins and I've made 32 errors so far.

A bit low on confidence after Tuesday's disastrous live session so played against the boxbox bot (1400 rated) with a 15|10 time limit. Managed to Queen first and trade off the last rooks and deliver K+Q mate. Had about 10 minutes left on the clock; it is difficult to treat the lower rated bots as seriously as real opponents.

In the evening I went to the OTB chess club and played three games against an experienced older gentleman with a penchant for playing unusual openings.

In the first game, I was Black, He played Bird's Opening, Dutch Variation. A lot of weak moves, 79% to 69% CAPS. Lucas chess gives me an Elo performance of 910 and gives him 1550.

Second Game, I played 1.e4 and he played the Duras Gambit. I misplayed it but after the game we went over it and we both agreed that it was a very unsound gambit against anyone who knows how to play against it. The computer analysis shows that I was still ahead in the opening but didn't deal with the pawn storm on my castled king correctly so the game ended pretty quickly. 58% vs 79% accuracy, Elo performance 826 vs 1660.

In the third game he played Reti Opening: Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack. This was my best game according to the computer which says I made no blunders and had 82% accuracy vs his 88% accuracy. I lasted 60 moves until he mated me with about 2 minutes left on his clock. Lucas chess gives me an Elo performance of 1551, which is much higher than White's score of 1021.

So I lost all 3 games. He wouldn't say what his rating was but I think probably it is roughly around the 1500 mark.

Mood: meh.png

KevinOSh

Day 5: Is It Safe?

The original plan was to resume the chess.com rated puzzles today, but I have been thinking about why I have been losing games recently and it is because:

  • I have a fairly consistent thinking process in correspondence chess, but it is much more inconsistent in live chess games. This problem is the root of several other problems:
  • My time management is reasonably good when I am putting in a lot of conscious effort into spending the right amount of time on each move, but otherwise I tend to play too fast
  • I see an attacking idea and don't spend enough time thinking about how the opponent could refute it and what the opponent's own attacking ideas could be
  • I make too many unsafe moves

With all of this in mind, I have realized that spending time on the wrong sort of tactics will not help me to improve. I could spend hours learning more sacrificial combinations and get my puzzle rating up to 1800 and still lose games to weak 900s if I neglect the fundamentals.

So today I will be studying the "Is It Safe?" examples which are in Heisman's Guide To Chess Improvement and originally found in this online article:

https://web.archive.org/web/20101206091024/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/heisman65.pdf

 

KevinOSh

Day 6: László Polgár Puzzles

I usually play better at the weekends because I have more time, but I need to get my form back. Before I get going with the puzzles I am playing a few practice games to try to do that.

I played a practice game against the Naycir bot (1300 rated). I managed to win but made a couple of stupid rook moves that blundered a couple of pawns. I set the timer to 15|10 and didn't make use of the time. I think the bot playing so badly was part of it. It blundered a rook early on and the game and happily traded off it last rook.

I got a little distracted finding out who Naycir really is. This video demonstrates how weak the bot is.

I played the Fundy bot next. Fundy is the name of a Minecraft content creator. His bot is 1500 rated. The game felt much more realistic. Game went on for 78 moves. I was in a drawn rook endgame but eventually blundered and resigned. Would have been agreed as a draw if it were a real game. On the 2nd attempt I got into another double rook endgame, and didn't blunder this time.

 

I think the 1500 bots are roughly equivalent to 1000 rated rapid players. So that win gave me a enough confidence back to play another real game. And I managed to win it quite easily! White spent several seconds trying to figure out what to play on move 3 so that told me he was not familiar with the Caro-Kann. And then I found a nice tactic to win his Queen:

Then won another two games. Back up to 982 :-)

There is an interesting endgame position where I blundered. I was lucky because the opponent resigned after thinking that blunder was a better move than even I did, but it was a 59 point losing move.

Black to move. There is a forced mate in 14 here, can you find it?

Okay, onto the László Polgár puzzles. The 5334 book is written by the father of the Polgár sisters. The bulk of the book is mate in one, two or three puzzles. There are more than 4400 of them!! I think I do enough of those in puzzles apps, so I will be doing the f3 (f6) combinations exercises instead.

https://www.chess.com/library/collections/lazlo-polgar-minatures-f3-f6-combinations-aiBifhTt

All of the 600 miniature games in the book are taken from real master games, so studying these can teach you a lot about how different openings are played, as well as how to exploit blunders at the beginning of the middlegame stage.

Mood: happy.png I'm back baby!

KevinOSh

Day 7: Chess King puzzles

Dropped down to 959 after losing three straight games, then won one, lost one and won one. Now at 967 again. In each losing game I made a tactical blunder that cost me the game. I make a lot of best moves, but don't have enough consistency yet and am losing too many games from winning positions.

The new chess.com game review system seems to be a lot kinder than before. It skips over a lot of inaccuracies that it would make a point of showing before. I one game I played I missed mate in one and it categorized it as a good move (not a missed win or a mistake). I made counting blunder that lost me my rook in the last game and it just called that a missed win.

I am running my last game through Lucas Chess and it is labelling a lot more of my moves as blunders.

Lucas Chess says in one of my losing games I made 8 blunders and and 3 mistakes and my Elo performance was 1045, split into 3480 for the opening (LOL!), 907 for the middlegame and 2362 for the endgame.

Overall this week, I have been unable to make much progress in the rapid games. I am in the same situation I was in 7 or 8 months ago when I found my level of incompetency and was losing just as many games as I was winning.

My overall results this week are:

  • 8 wins
  • 7 losses
  • 1 draw

The chess king puzzles should help. There are many different chess king mobile apps. The one I am currently using is "Chess King: From Beginner to Club Player"

They are mostly checkmate puzzles. I have a score of 1752.

Mood: meh.png

KevinOSh

Day 8

The next lesson should be arriving tomorrow so today I did not have a training plan for today. I have been catching up with the daily games and reading the book "The Improving Chess Thinker"

I also did a few puzzles on the Chess Tactics Pro app. I'll tell you more about that in the next few days.

I had a nice win today with 98.5% accuracy. A nice Queen sacrifice:

 

KevinOSh

 

Day 9: received email with the 2nd lesson. There is a video that explains everything in detail here:

This week I will analyze some of the rapid games I played last week using Mat's method, starting with the first one I played after joining this course:

I am quite happy with how I played the opening but I could have played it better.

The move 3.Nf3 is much less common than 3.Nc3 but it has been recommended by Ginger GM and Gothamchess and I have found at this level it is enough to put players a little off balance because they were expecting 3.Nc3

The opening explorer shows that 4.Be2 is a better move than 4.Nc3 so I will remember that in the future. The reason seems to be that Black can gain an advantage with 4...Qh5 I had not thought of that before.

From the opening explorer I am not sure whether or not 5.h3 is better than 5.d4

After 6.h3 Bxf5 7.Qf3 is basically forced

8.Bd2 is a good move

9.Bd3 is one of four moves in the opening explorer

The game then goes out of book with 9...g6

At this point I have a significant advantage, but the evaluation bar drops with I castle short, so this suggests there is at least one better move. I figured out how to turn the evaluation bar off after this.

I was playing this game cautiously and after 10...Bg7 I played 11.Ne2 to defend the isolated queen pawn. I could have played 11.Bf4 attacking the Queen. If I had played that, a couple of likely responses are 11...e5 and 11...Qb6

My advantage slips to almost nothing after 11...Ne7 12.Bb4

My thinking was b4 is a more active square, attacks the knight and prevents castling if the knight moves. 

13.c4 to stop the black knight moving to d5 and allow the pawn to progress to c5 if beneficial

After 13...Na6 I had to decide whether to move the bishop or trade it off. I thought about Bxe7 Qxe7 but thought my position would be better after a3 Nxb5 axb5. Retreating the bishop back to b2 felt a bit too passive.

After 15...a6 I could not see any very good moves. I played b3 mostly because I knew it was safe.

After 16...Qb6 both the b and d pawns are vulnerable. I played Ra4 to protect the b-pawn, but the d-pawn remained under-protected.

After 17...Bxd4 the first move I of course saw was Nxd4, but after Qxd4 the position did not seem good for me. 18.c5 attacks the Queen and makes it safer to capture the bishop.

18...Qd8 meant that it was still not safe to capture the bishop. My thinking was to add a 2nd attacker to the bishop.

After 19...Bg7 my bishop is now vulnerable so I played 20.Rd1 to defend it

20....b5 attacks the rook and there was no other particularly good square to move it to so captured the pawn en passant 21.cxb6

After 21...Qxb6 none of my pieces were in trouble so moved the Queen onto the attacking square d6.

After 22...Nc8 there were not many safe squares for the Queen. I figured although I was down a pawn trading Queens would be good for me because a pawn on d5 limits the movement of the knight on c8.

I did not expect 23...Rd8 which gave Black the initiative. I did not have to trade Queens here, it just felt better than the alternatives.

After 24...Nxb6 the rook is attacked and I decide that moving the rook to the d2 square would give me the basis for a strong attack.

After 25...Bf8 I can see there is no point trying to defend the b4 pawn anymore. My knight has been passively placed the whole game so move it onto a more attacking square, which also defends the bishop, with Nf4

I decide against moving the rook to d2 and instead move it to c2 to attack the weak c-pawn.

After 27...c5 I have a bad position. The rook on d1 is doing nothing so I connect the rooks with Rc1.

28...Rdc8 moves the rook off the open-file, so my plan changes to taking over this file. 29.Be4 attacks the knight in the corner.

After the rook moves, I see that the c-pawn is undefended if I remove the bishop and that the pawn is also pinned. This is the tactic that took me from a losing position to winning the game. I was surprised but not disappointed to see him resign immediately when he realized his mistake.

I ran the engine analysis immediately after the game last Monday but I don't remember what the recommendations were. It gave me 78% CAPS so that tells me most of the moves were best or excellent but there were maybe 3 mistakes made, possibly a blunder made somewhere.

The first question in my mind is, why was it a mistake to castle? The only thing I can think of is it was a missed opportunity to play Bf4

11.Ne2 is also a missed opportunity to play Bf4

Possibly Bf4 would have been better on move 12 as well. I am not sure.

Okay let's look at some lines.

Bf4 only looks really good if Black then blunders with e5 letting me play Bxe5 forking the rook and the Queen. If Black responds with Qb6 then I probably want to defend the b-pawn with b3 and don't see much of an advantage for White.

Na4 followed by Bf4 would be more trappy but Black could play b5 attacking the knight

10.Na4 b5 11.Bf4 Qb7 12.Nc5 Bxc5 13.dxc5 White's position is better but the material is still even

 

KevinOSh

This process of analyzing a game on your own feels a lot like playing a daily chess game.

The only big difference being the method is performed after rather than during the game!

KevinOSh

Looking over the same game in analysis mode with show lines turned on:

  • Yes 4.Be2 is better than 4.Nc3. This position will likely come up again many times so I consider this to be the most important lesson
  • 5.h3 is better than 5.d4 and 5.b4 attacking the Queen is a good move. If Queen captures the pawn then it is good for White. Not sure why yet.
  • The engines like long castling with 9.O-O-O and push 9.g4. The pawn push seems to go against general opening principles.
  • It is 10.Bf4 which is best. Black can defend with Bd6 and then white can play Nb5! I would have never seen this. The idea is to sacrifice the knight, trade off the bishops and then play Qxb7 followed by Qxa8. Crushing!
  • 12.Bf4 would have been better than 12.Bb4
  • It is a mistake to allow the weak knight to trade with the bishop. Should have retreated the bishop to c3 or d2 or a3
  • 16.b3 was a mistake. Either Be4 or Rfd1 should have been played
  • 19.Nxd4 Qxd4 is good for White, because White can then make a discovered attack on the Queen with b5 (rook attacks Queen and is protected by pawn)

In summary, there are lots of tactics that I did not see. I will come up with a plan for the next week that involves both tactics training and analysis of past games.

KevinOSh

Day 10: More Tactics

Attempted puzzle rush survival this morning. Did not do well at all. 12, followed by 14. In a bit of a rush before work. Will try again this evening.

I read the start of Heisman's book Back to Basics: Tactics last night. The three tactical motives that come up most often in lower rated games are double attacks, removal of the guard, and pins. So it makes sense to do those kinds of tactical puzzles more often than the rarer ones.

Had one more go before starting work: 18 with 29 secs AVG per puzzle. Need more time.

One more go at lunch break: 21

This evening: 19

5 minute rush: 16

KevinOSh

Day 11: More Puzzle Rush

Did another puzzle rush survival and scored 17. I seem to have regressed in tactical ability somehow. I used to regularly get scores in the high 20s.

There's even this 681 rated puzzle that I didn't see.

https://www.chess.com/puzzles/problem/509568

I don't know why this is happening to me!

Tried again, got 12 cry.png followed by 21.

Had a better rush this lunch time with 25: https://www.chess.com/puzzles/rush/KevinOSh/5Fnpvr

I went to the local chess club and played two games against an inexperienced player. He asked to play without a clock because he prefers to spend time thinking without worrying about time trouble. I agreed. The first game lasted about an hour and the second game about an hour and 40 minutes. I won both games.

I will follow Mat's advice and not look at the engine until I have done my own analysis on the games.

I will post them here this weekend.

KevinOSh

Day 12: Analyzing games and more Puzzle Rush Survival

Here is the first game I played last night. I was Black.

Second game where I played as White:

Self analysis to follow after I finish work.

Scored 23 at Puzzle Rush Survival. Generally I am happy with a score of 20+ although I want to be getting up to 30 again soon.

Right so let's start with the Caro-Kann main line 4...Nf6 game. The response 5.Qe2 is very rare. I found one game that was won by Black and he played the 5...Qxd5

Black is Garcia Cervigon. He was rated over 2000 at the time the game was played

https://ratings.fide.com/profile/2222558

In the first C-K game, my move 7...Qa5+ was also hope chess and Qb6 would have been better, but move 5 was the big blunder and so that position should never come up again.

13...Be7 or 13...b6 would have been better than 13...h6, I needed to get castled and get rid of that c5 pawn a.s.a.p.

16.Rc4 is clearly a mistake by my opponent, and 16...Ba6 would have been a much better response. I was worried about 17.Rxc5 but needn't have been because I could have then played 17...Bxc5.

I think 18.Be4 was a strong move by my opponent and 18...Qd6 was the only move.

18.Bb4 doesn't make much sense though, and taking the rook was an easy decision. From here I had a winning position and it was just about avoiding any more blunders and trying to trade down and win.

From this game it is obvious that my opponent is very disinclined to trade Queens so I using that understanding I could have saved myself some time.

I will analyze the second game tomorrow...

KevinOSh

Day 13: Analyzing OTB games continued, playing online, puzzle rush

In the second OTB game that I played on Thursday evening, I had previously played the Vienna Gambit against him pretty successfully, so went for the same again. This time he played 2...d6 and so I changed approach to standard opening principles with 3.Nf3

I decided to capture the knight instead of retreating the bishop on move 5. Probably a small inaccuracy in theory but I have found the game is easier to play when you don't need to worry about the bishop getting trapped.

On move 8 I wasn't sure whether to push the pawn or even play Nxc3, but I figured exd5 would not jeopardise by opening advantage.

8...Bb4 has to be a mistake because it loses a pawn instead of winning one.

After 9...Bd6 Black threatens mate in one and there are three possible defenses:

  • f4
  • g3
  • Nf3

I played Nf3 because I didn't want to weaken the pawn structure in front of my King.

I then turned on the Stockfish engine and was pleasantly surprised by the analysis, which says I made only 2 mistakes and no blunders. 15 best moves and 14 excellent. 83.9% CAPS.

The 8.Nxc3 move that I had been considering but chickened out of playing is a much stronger move than 8.exd5 as it attacks the Queen and allows exd5 as a follow up move.

I had a second chance to play Nxc3 after 9...Bb4? but missed that as well. I should have won the game more easily than I did. I should have played more aggressively.

I played worse in the first game, the Caro-Kann game with two blunders.

5...Nd7?? I think I will remember never to play again, if I ever see 5.Qe2 again

The other blunder was also a Nd7 move, 16...Nd7?? I should have played 16...Ba6 instead.

Played 7 games. 6 5|5 blitz games and one 30 minute game. I won 3 lost 3 on the blitz games, and won the 30 min game.

There are so many setbacks in chess it is important to remember that I am making gradual progress.

Rapid rating is now 975, up 15 from when I started. Blitz is 637.

I equaled my best puzzle rush survival score of 30: https://www.chess.com/puzzles/rush/KevinOSh/7TJ1mx

The three that I got wrong are:

https://www.chess.com/puzzles/problem/1452706 this is a 1400 rated back rank mate puzzle, I made the wrong Queen move.

https://www.chess.com/puzzles/problem/1288827/ another checkmate puzzle, rated 1550. I saw and struggled to decide between two moves, a Queen move or a rook move. Neither of those options are correct!!

https://www.chess.com/puzzles/problem/1508624 The level 30 puzzle that has beaten me so many times now. A 1789 rated checkmate puzzle. A forced mate in 4.

KevinOSh

Day 14: Step up in tactics, and playing online games

Doing the Step up in tactics chess.com lessons today

I won a blitz game and a 30 min game.

Here is the 30 minute game.

I still had 7 minutes left on the clock at the end. There were a few moves earlier on in the game that I think I played too fast. The other guy was playing very fast for a 30 min game and had 16 minutes left on his clock at the end.

I have not seen the engine analysis yet and will do a self-analysis first.

There was a situation where I was close to promoting but with two rooks defending and I could not see a way to force it to promote so I traded off into a single rook endgame, which then became a King a pawns endgame where I had two extra pawns.

This was the O'Keilly variation of the Sicilian which I had never played before and did not know the theory so went with general opening principles, which worked out okay, but I will check the opening explorer for improvements.

I had a hanging d-pawn after my knight got pinned but opponent made a big blunder by hanging his Queen. Unfortunately I was so concerned about my knight and/or d-pawn getting taken that I didn't see this until one move later and the rest of the game was much more difficult than it should have been.

I played move 16 too fast capturing with the wrong pawn, as soon as I played it I saw the other pawn was hanging, but fortunately for me my opponent didn't see that.

17.f4 was a move that I wasn't sure about. I generally don't like pushing pawns in front of my king, but it seemed like a more permanent solution to defending my e-pawn than playing Bf4 because I wanted the bishop to play a more attacking role.

18.h3 to stop Ng4. I am up in material so have good winning chances here as long as I can avoid any knight forks.

Move 21 was a tactic, removing the guard of the e5 square allowing me to capture on e5 without the recapture. Black now has two weak isolated pawns on the 6th rank.

Move 23 protects the d-pawn. I want to find a way to promote it.

Here I want to push the d-pawn for discovered attack on the rook on f8, but after Rf7 I don't have anything, so instead make a developing move with Rc1. This gives me the option of Bb6 double attack on the d8 rook and the c6 pawn

Move 25 is to stop the Ne2+ fork

Move 26 to protect the e5 pawn.

After 26...h2 I realize he is trying to protect his knight. I decided to trade it off. I might have been better off sticking with the attacking ideas that I had.

29.Ree2 was a wasted move because Black connecting his rooks along the f-file and threatening mate, was an obvious idea that I should have thought of before.

30...R5f7 I thought was a weak move that allowed me to capture the c-pawn comfortably.

I was hoping that Black would trade rooks when I played 32.Rc7

On move 35, I had the option of just pushing other pawns and getting my king into the game. I was fairly confident that I could win by simply trading down.

KevinOSh
A daily game I had against Sholom90 finished today. It was part of a Sicilian Kalashnikov tournament that I organized.
 
I think we both spent well over an hour thinking about the moves to make in this game, and I put down some alternative lines during the game.

I didn't know at the endgame whether it was a theoretical win for me a a theoretical draw. It is now clear that it was a draw with best play from both sides.

I will come back to this game when I have time to do more analysis on it.

KevinOSh

Day 14: Step up in tactics, and playing online games

I won another 30 minute game this evening, although the victory was marred by the opponent abandoning the game with almost 23 minutes remaining and have to sit and watch his clock run down for so long. I am now up to 991 so getting close to my goal of reaching 1000. Two more wins should do it.

Mood: happy.png