Smithy’s Videos, August 2017

I only made about three blog posts, but I was very busy throughout August chess-wise.  I’ve studied, I’ve practiced, I’ve played a few games and, most importantly for today, I’ve created a few hours worth of video content. Indeed, about the only thing I haven’t done is write a post.

To make up for that, I’m going to write a post … about all the videos I’ve created.  Hey, it’s better than nothing, and I know most people haven’t subscribed on YouTube, so this may be your first chance to see the following.

Videos on the Centre

I was asked to share my thoughts on the centre, specifically, how do I think about the center?  I created two videos outlining my ideas.  The first is a very classical approach, which is how I approach 90% of my games.  In particular, I focus on how the centre can give both space and time, and then how to use said space and time to convert into something greater, like material or a winning attack.  In addition, I analyze perhaps my favourite game I’ve played, so that’s a highlight.

I then created the logical follow-up, namely, the hypermodern notion of the centre.  If a space advantage is so good, why do hypermodern openings work?  I examine the downsides, so to speak, of the classical approach, and I try to show the typical hypermodern ideas in a general way.  For some reason, this was my least viewed video of the lot.

Miniature Games

I really like studying miniature games, and I’ve done 3 in August.  First is Steinitz showing us how to sacrifice a Queen in fine style (as well as some general ideas on the Evans Gambit).  Second is one of my favourite classic games, Rubinstein’s Immortal, where Akiba sacrifices a Queen and a Rook for a beautiful mating attack.  Finally, I show a game from the 19th century highlighting the power of the Danish Gambit.

Analysis of (Mostly) My Games

I also played a few games, and in the process I’ve analyzed a few of them for videos.  This first one, RalRal3333 from specifically asked for a 2000+ player to play him and give some advice.  I did so.  My video mostly deals with an early endgame, and I show how trying to trade pieces and hope for a draw is a very poor strategy.

I did something similar for Steve, a friend of the blog who gave me some useful tips before I started making YouTube videos.  Steve is about 600 rating points below me … and I blundered a piece on move 7.  Opps.  I fought back, complicated the situation and managed to escape with a draw, but this was still a black eye.

Against another friend of the channel, Policy Debater, I again played poorly in the opening and faced a difficult position.  Again, though, I was able to confuse the issue, or more accurately, my opponent focused on the wrong thing, and in a split second he went from better to worse.  I then finished him off in style, but the real meat of this game is the beginning.

Breaking the pattern, I then played much better in the opening … and ended up losing in 24 moves.  This one hurts, but I learned a lot from it, and I dig in quite deeply.  It’s also the most liked video of the month, so either it’s useful or people just like seeing me lose after posting nothing but wins up until now.

Reverse Engineering a Mating Attack

Finally, saving the best for last perhaps, this is my latest video, technically posted in September but who’s counting?  This was an experiment, where I analyzed a game backwards, starting with the mating attack and working back until we could see exactly where the seeds of defeat were first sowed.  I wasn’t sure about this, but I’ve received positive feedback, one person even so far messaging me on directly to say thanks, so this may be an experiment that gets repeated.


So there you go.  I apologize for not writing anything, but in exchange, you get over 300 minutes of video to look at.  Holy crap.  That’s can’t be right.  Let me recheck my math … nope, that’s correct.  Over five hours of chess analysis.  Wow.  That’s ridiculous.  Don’t say I don’t treat you guys right.

I’ll try to actually write something, or at the very least, add a new blog post for every video, maybe adding the pgn.  We’ll see.  I can’t promise 5 hours every month, or maybe ever again, but enjoy the videos while I’m infatuated with them.

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