Tag Archives: defence

SmithyQ-Themis-Neo, April 2017: My First Loss of 2017

Well, here it is, my first loss of the new year, and my first loss in months.  Most of that is because I’ve only played a handful of games in those months, but still, that’s a good streak.  Time to start another one.

I believe in studying your own games, and this is especially true of your losses.  As such, this analysis is more directed at me personally than as for educational or entertainment value.  I need to learn from this game, and so the content is presented differently.  Mostly the information is concentrated in the critical positions, where I’ve made mistakes, and so there is less general analysis in other places.

If you dare to look anyway, though, you’ll see a smashing game from my opponent: he bravely sacrifices material for a devastating attack, and he then converts after a tough endgame.  A lovely game, one I wish I could have played as Black.  Alas, I was the victim, but I learned a great deal.  Let’s take a look. Continue reading

Breaking Down How I Win Chess Games

First, let me celebrate.  I recently reached the 2100 rating mark … and then immediately lost a game to fall below it … then had a few draws … then I won and now I’m back over 2100!  It’s by exactly one point, but I’ll take it.

Over 2100

Just a few years ago, I had been stuck at 1800 most of my life. To have my rating now over 2000, let alone over 2100, is like a dream come true.

When I broke the 2000 barrier for the first time last year, I wrote a post examining exactly how I did it.  That is, I looked at every single victory and classified it by type.  For instance, sometimes I won by a mating attack, sometimes by an endgame advantage, and sometimes my opponents just hung material and I took it.  It was a good experience, and quite eye-opening.  I learned a lot about myself…

… and then I wondered, if this were so useful only looking at one year’s worth of games, how much more insight would I get from looking at ALL my games?  The thought never left my head, and after nearly three months of work, I present to you my findings.  It’s pretty awesome. Continue reading

Examples of Winning via Defence

If you look at chess literature, you can find entire libraries devoted to the art of attack … and almost nothing on the art of defence.  Defending is much harder than attacking.  Often a defender only had one move to save the position, whereas the attacker can just throw pieces at the King and hope for the best.

I believe defence is at least twice as hard as attacking, if not more.  It is probably my weakest link, but I’ve still won a few games with accurate defence.  In general, the opponent will overreach himself, usually with an incorrect sacrifice, and then an accurate series of moves proves my advantage.

In what follows, I present three games in which I refute my opponent’s aggressive overtures.  Again, I’m not Petrosian, so my defending skills aren’t 100%, but they do the job for my level. Continue reading

Chess Game of the Month August 2015: Defending the Sacrifice

I’ve started to play more games the past few weeks, but I only managed to finish one of them. Fortunately, it was an interesting, double-edged game in which both sides made mistakes, and the game became sharp right from the opening. I will analyze the game, highlight the key moments and ask questions to you, the reader. You can thus be entertained and, hopefully, learn something, too.

Some background: I played Black in a NimzoIndian against an opponent rated in the high 1800s at the time, and his rating has crept up to the mid 1900s since this game. White makes a lot of pawn moves in the opening, which lets me get some initiative. Let’s take a look.  Here is the chess.com link, so you can move the pieces around on the board if you so wish.  There’s also a dynamic board at the bottom of the page. Continue reading

July 2015 Chess Game of the Month

I figure once a month I will analyze one of my games.  This will be good practice, as analysis is perhaps the best way improve your chess game, especially if you can find and correct your mistakes.  I won’t just put down variations but will explain key and interesting positions, as that seems more useful.

This month I only played one game, so the choice is easy.  It was played at chess.com, and you find the whole game here.  I played the Black side of the Colle system, and despite getting a slightly better endgame, I could not finish off the game.  My opponent, though roughly 150 points lower rated than me, defended very well.

Without further ado, let’s look at the game. Continue reading