For 25 moves, I played near perfect. I had a good position, then a better position, and then the tactics worked and I had a winning position. Then I had a less winning position, then merely a drawn position … and then I managed to lose a King and Pawn endgame despite being up a pawn. It’s pretty incredible, really. Seriously, how do you lose this?
When I play my best chess, I make things look simple. I don’t use fancy tactics, I don’t have to sacrifice the kitchen sink. I just improve my position, slowly and gradually, and then I win. Okay, so I’m missing a couple steps in the middle there, but that’s the general outlook.
This game shows this almost perfectly. White makes an early inaccuracy in the Nimzo, and he basically loses a pawn by force. From there I just slowly move forward and suddenly White is in a dire, terrible position. After about move 10, none of my moves are difficult or hard to find, and White gets swept away.
This is positionally outplay, my favourite way to play. Let’s take a look. Continue reading →
The Nizmo-Indian is probably the best opening Black can play. It’s completely sound. It can be super-tactical or pure positional. It introduces imbalances at an early stage, allowing the stronger player to outplay a weaker one. The positions are diverse, and ten games can have ten completely different positions by move 10.
Honestly, the only downside is that White can completely avoid it by not playing an early c4 or Nc3, which is admittedly frustrating.
The following game shows about the worst that can happen to White: an imprecise move leads to a small blunder, and suddenly White is naked facing a flood. Let’s take a look. Continue reading →
I wrote last week about my journey finding a defence to 1.e4. It started with just knowing opening principles, turning into the Sicilian Dragon … then literally every other possible defence. I couldn’t find an opening I liked, as everyone seemed to have some flaw, something that made it unplayable from my perspective.
That said, all of this was minor compared to my problem against 1.d4, or 1.c4 for that matter. At first glance it might not seem bad at all, as there are relatively fewer systems against the closed openings. You can accept or decline the Queen’s Gambit, or you can play a Nimzo structure or a King’s Indian structure. Not many choices, especially compared to 1.e4, where virtually anything goes.
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.