Have a few beers before you play, it will help you to play some crazy games and don't forget some good music in the background!
... I can't drink.
Oh I'm sorry! Tried have some good music in the background, it helps me to get a flow in me blitzgames :>
Example of one of those openings that often leads to sharp positions. And sharp positions sharpen your play!
Except you were losing if your opponent just retreated the queen on the h file.
I would have had a difficult game after 6.Qh3 indeed, but not hopeless. Anyway, OP didn't ask for a strategy how to win more games, he asked for a way to sharpen his style.
One thing you can do that will help right now:
Never play for a draw. If your opponent offers to repeat positions and you have a way to continue the game without losing, take that option.
Never offer a draw, unless the position is completely dead. Do not accept a draw offer, regardless of the rating of the opponent, unless you are certain that the very best you could possibly get from the position is a draw. (In other words, if you are certain you're losing and your opponent offers a draw, take it!)
In the game where you drew by repetition, you had the choice to fight on or draw.
Become a fighter!
I rarely play for a draw. I was bored at that particular moment, and wanted to test my opponent, and it turned out to be drawn. There was one time when my opponent offered a draw on move 10, and I refused. For whatever reason, they were perplexed! I thought to myself, "this position is too interesting to just 'draw.'' I figured that I could use the game as an illustration of my typical positions, not necessarily a "serious" effort :)
Here's the game I'm talking about.
The original question came because my "teacher" (who's not really a teacher in the conventional sense. He's just a Class A player I play 10 minute chess with virtually every Saturday and get a few tips from) said that a player of my strength should avoid openings and positions that may arise from a Caro-Kann opening because they are too "slow"; they don't have enough tactics and fireworks, which are important at my level. That was the original motivation for "fixing" my boring style. I believe in what GM serper here said some years ago, "There aren't boring openings; there are just boring players." (or something like that) Ultimately, I believe my opening choices have something to do with it, but I think the bigger issue here is that my whole style needs to "sharpen"; put the Caro-Kann in the hands of a capable tactical super GM like Anand, and you get fireworks. Put the Sicilian Najdorf in the hands of Petrosian, and the game can turn into a positional "squeeze" session.
Dress in sharp designer clothes for your next tourney.
... Sure... :)
I don't call this boring. Look at the position at move 12. ... Ne4. Wow, what battle and fireworks. And at move 20. Rfb3.
This was never boring.
I had a game where we moved major and minor pieces back and forth for some 20 moves. Each side tried to peneterate opponent stronghold. The pawns were almost static. But it was never boring.
I love it when my opponents are bored by my moves, it almost always means that they don't have a clue what to do!
If you are bored by a position where almost no pieces have been traded off (and it hasn't been locked up), then you know what sort of positions you need to work on to improve. Learn to find ways to fight for the point. This does not mean playing sexy gambits, it means to be willing to play on and make move that meet the needs of the position. You will almost certainly stop finding those positions boring.
Well, here's a game that is not so boring :) After gaining a large material advantage, I decided to sacrifice into a winning pawn ending in time trouble. However, I missed an easily winning tactical strike that would have won on the spot! I guess that's just part of learning.
In my play this year I have yet to run into someone who accepted the pawn. Of my 4 losses this year three had nothing to do with the opening (I actually had winning positions but screwed up, the last in comical fashion snatching defeat from the jaws of victory) the other was not getting out of the opening alive because of not knowing how to deal with the Falkbeer Counter gambit. fwiw it leads to lively play and some fun games.
Study some good chess books. Practice at Game in 20/5 speed, or slower. Read less forum threads. Have yourself a drink, or two.
Improving is not rocket science, but keep in mind that for 90 percent of tournament players (in the U.S.) you'll won't get much higher than 1800 rating, OTB.
These same top ten percent of tournament players account for fully 50 percent of all OTB rated games. Busy Guys.
As per posts above -- dressing in sharp designer clothes and wasting less time in the forums might also help you. But who's listening?
Okay. I usually don't spend a whole lot of time in the forums. Only recently have I been commenting, but for the most part, I'm here to play games. I almost exclusively play 30|0 games with some blitz on the side. In any case, I'll consider adding an increment. As far as books go, I've read Chess Fundamentals and have purchased Capablanca Move by Move by Cyrus Lakdawala. It may be in my best interest to by a book on tactics, given my level. Improving as a whole may not be terribly difficult, but introducing a way of thinking with the purpose of sharpening style to a person such as myself who is, admittedly, not particularly flexible, is fairly comparable to rocket science or even the intricacies of Modular Elliptic Curves or etale cohomology or the proof of the Iwasawa Conjecture. :) In any case, thanks for the advice. :)
Paul Littlewood, Chess Tactics (2005) is a great, short book. But looks like it's becoming a collector's item, so $$.
John Nunn has two great (mid-level) books on Understanding Chess Middlegames, and Understanding Chess Endgames. Both published in the past couple years.
Jeremy Silman, Chess Endings Explained Move by Move, is simple and straightforward. Shereshevsky, Endgame Strategy (1994), is a great (and relatively short) classic book on the endgame. Well worth it.
Lakdawala is a lousy writer, but I admit to having a couple of his game books on the London System and the Modern Defense. Only because I play those systems.
Best Wishes, and Good Luck with It.
Speaking of being a fighter, here's a game a played that had few direct tactics and concentrated on the "art" of maneuver. Of course, my play wasn't perfect, but I fought hard and earned the point :) Right now, I'm in between sharpening my style with the tips I've gained here or simply playing naturally with my "boring" style that, as it turns out, is not so boring to me anymore! :)
EDIT: AND, I've posted it as a puzzle -.- If you don't feel like "figuring out what moves my opponent and I played, simply click Solution and Move List to find my annotations.
Stop playing Caro-Kann if you want more exciting games. Caro-Kann is one of the most solid openings you can play :P Try Sicilian Sveshnikov our sicilian Najdorf insteed :)
Yes, the Caro-Kann is very solid :) That is why I wished for opening recommendations in particular.
The Caro-Kann can be very solid, then again, it can get blown up, as Adams is currently demontrating in his game against Khenkin. No opening is fireproof. It's better to learn how to play an active defense first, and only after you have gained experience play these quieter lines.
I don't like gambits, either King nor Queen. Either decline or accepted. Gambits are for gamblers hoping for opponents goof.
Are you seriously talking about the queen's "gambit" here ?
yes, a gambit is a gambit. Or change the name without gambit.
the queen's gambit is not a real gambit and white can recover the pawn under favorable circumstances.
Pdve, the Queen's Gambit Accepted can be played as a "real gambit" or not, it's up to white. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 is a real gambit, and is one of the main lines.