Tag Archives: QGD

SmithyQ-Gringo, April 2017: An Opening Crush

My opponent in this game is Gringo, long-time blog reader.  He offered a challenge, I accepted and the result is what you see here.  I can’t play against everyone who comments, but I’ll do my best, and I promise to analyze each game.  Best to do it now, because once I become a GM I’ll be charging money for this.

I’m joking.  Maybe.

In this blog, I’ve said repeatedly that the opening doesn’t matter and you don’t need to study it.  That’s true… and yet I won this game in 17 moves because of my opening.  What gives?  Some openings work much better at amateur level than professional level.  Most gambits, for instance, and systems like the Alekhine or Pirc score significantly better by those under 2000 rating.

I think the inverse is also true.  That is, there are some openings that masters play and do well with that are nonetheless not suitable for amateurs.  Any opening that leads to a solid but passive position is inherently dangerous at lower levels.  That’s basically what happened here.  Gringo got a normal QGD position, but he doesn’t have the requisite skills to play it properly.  I don’t think I have those skills.  I think the QGD is a terrible opening, but anyway, let’s take a look. Continue reading

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