Here we go. SmithyQ presents YouTube video number two!
This one may become a regular series. I adore chess miniatures. These are games under 25 moves, usually finishing with a crushing attack or fancy tactics. In order to lose in under 25 moves, one side has to make some decisive mistakes. Studying miniatures teaches us both to recognize when these mistakes happen and how to punish them most effectively. Your opening and early middlegame attacking skills will increase tremendously after even just a few games.
On my chess.com account, I currently have 8 losses out of just over 100 games. I should have many more, but I have a few miracle draws and swindles to my name. The one I show today, though, might take the cake.
I should have known this game would be a tragicomedy when, somehow, I ended up playing the French defence. I play well and win a pawn … and then I start hallucinating and think White has major threats. I overreact to these threats, and the next thing you know I’m in a losing endgame where White is up several pawns, one of which is two moves from Queening and mating.
And I escape. Beware, I evidently possess dark mystical powers, because that’s the best explanation for what you are about to witness. Continue reading →
Let me start with a simple question: can you solve Lucena’s Position?
This is perhaps the most well-known endgame position in all of chess. If you’ve studied endgames even the slightest, you likely know this position. You can win this with your eyes closed, I’m sure. You just follow the standard winning maneuver and collect your Queen. Absolutely no problem, right?
Up until now, you might accuse me of being a show-off, as my blog has only featured my best games of chess. Sure, I have posted a few losses, but they have been ‘good’ loses, where I play well but my opponent plays better. In no games have I been flatly outplayed.
That all changes today. Watch me make about eighteen thousand mistakes and get thoroughly manhandled … by a 1300 player. It was a miracle I didn’t lose.
There were many reasons for my poor performance. This was only my seventh game since getting back into chess, so I was rusty. It was a French defence, perhaps my least favourite and least studied opening. Simply put, though, I wasn’t a 2000-level player back in 2015, and on my worse days I was well below that.
Though it’s only 25 moves, this will be a long analysis, simply because of the huge amount of mistakes. Buckle up and witness me at my worst. Continue reading →
April has not been the kindest chess month for me. It should have been my best, as I was one move away from beating a titled player … and then I blundered. I threw the game away in the most heartbreaking, disappointing way possible. Seriously, I spent about three days wondering whether I should just give chess up rather than dealing with such disappointment.
I rebounded, in a way. I beat two players with rating over 2000, one over 2100, but I still felt unmotivated. I stopped studying and took a break. That time off seemed to energize me, as I’m back to normal now, more or less. That loss will forever haunt my dreams, though … Continue reading →