Tag Archives: equal

Game 22: Mortsdnil-SmithyQ: An Equal Colle Endgame

Let me start by echoing a popular sentiment: I dislike playing Black against the Colle and London setups.  You know what I’m talking about: some White players play the exact same set-up every single game, getting a fairly dry, sterile position.  You know, a snoozefest.

In particular, I dislike when I get ‘tricked’ into playing d5 against said lines.  White has a normal, weakness free position, and if he doesn’t do anything silly the position will remain even, the pawn structure symmetrical and very little winning chances for the second player.  I can be against a much lower-rated player and find it hard to win just because White’s position is so solid and his play so unambitious.  I can play very well and yet never have more than a draw, and that feels like it happens far too often.

This game is a good example.  Most of the game I play very well.  I’m better out of the opening, I’m better as Queens come off and I’m better in the endgame.  The entire time, though, I have only slight winning chances, and in the end, when I might have won after my opponent slipped up, I made one imprecise move and lost all winning chances.

This is clearly the opening’s fault.  Let’s take a look. Continue reading

TheomisNeo-SmithyQ, April 2017: Dull, Symmetrical Positions

If you talk to some chess players, you will find some refuse to play the French or the Slav as Black because of the exchange variations, which lead to symmetrical pawn structures and are notoriously drawish.

First off, yes, these positions ARE more drawish than most openings, but that doesn’t apply to most amateurs.  If you’re under 1700 or so, the draw is practically non-existent.  Here’s what does happen regardless of rating: the pawn structure is symmetrical, piece development is generally symmetrical and the game is pretty colourless.  Not the most fun chess positions.

As I approach expert level, I’ve become keenly aware of the drawish tendencies of these positions.  It’s very hard to win a game without any imbalances, and that’s true regardless of how much I may out-rate my opponent.  In this game, I reach such a position and do my best to give myself winning chances in a dead-equal position. Continue reading