27 November, 2012

T55 Round 2 : Missed opportunities

I missed out on Round 1 because of incompatible times, so this was my first standard game in a while.

I could give the excuse that I lost because I wasn't 100% fit ( echoing  Zsusza Polgar's remark that she "never won a game against a healthy man" according to her sister, Judit's recent interview :)  but that wouldn't be entirely true.

I have to confess that recently ( er, read last couple of months ! ) I have not put much effort into keeping up the key part of chess improvement at my level ( ie tactics ), but there again I've done quite a few other things outside of chess in "real life".

That means it's not just "work-home" balance to strive after, but "chess-others", or even more accurately chess as part of a range of things I want to do that are not work : sometimes that quite a few things !

So reasons to lose ? Plenty, and mainly around missing tactics.

Reasons to win ? Not too many, and mainly around knowing the opening and resultant positions better than my opponent.

Here's a "win reason"...

9. Qf3
Not really sure why Qf3 was played here. At the time, I assumed it was to allow prompt Queenside castling, with the added benefit of defending e4, but since he castled King-side later, I wonder !

Better would be Nf3 or even 0-0.

I didn't capitalise on this, which leads neatly to a reason to lose ( or maybe one not to win, being slightly pedantic :)
10. h3  What should Black play ?
Considering my plan with Nc5 was targeting e4, how come I didn't follow through ?

Much later in the game (move 40 ! ) I have a chance, not only to regain the pawn I am down, but also to strike a rapier-like psychological blow, just when White must feel he has me on the ropes.
40. Qd4 Black to play and at least equalise !
Its obvious in hindsight, but I missed it at the time.   I'm sure all my avid readers will spot it in under 2 seconds and embarrass me !

Never mind. Make an effort to play through the game and see what can be learned.

Next round, I will be more ready !


coderyder said...

I didn't see it in 2sec but the missed opportunity at move 40 hurts.

At move 10, well, White's king is still in the center but he has many pieces developed. The basic idea is usually to open the center immediately - and surprisingly this is possible with some forcing moves. I would have missed it myself.

-ScotchYeti :-)

Signalman said...

Yep, it did hurt afterwards :(

Strangely, as I felt I was running out of good moves, I almost just took on f6 anyway, since what else could that bishop do ?

Glad it took you more than two seconds though !

It might be that I don't play next round either as the time difference now is 9 hours between me and my opponent.

I don't fancy starting a game after midnight, but we will see !

coderyder said...

What usually happens is that you move the queen to a square and think "now this would pin the pawn/piece and allows a tactic in case of ". So when the position actually occurs you have already done the thinking and can just check the idea if it still works.

I actually run into a similar situation in my game. I was fighting for a draw for 20+ moves and finally, after 3h, missed that my opponent overpressed and blundered! Proper thinking matters - even when you think nothing can happen, look for possible tactics and be ready for them. Easier said than done of course. :-)