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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Looking for Trouble

Maybe some viewers have seen my recommendation on Dan Heisman's book web page. This is the game that inspired me to email Dan in praise of his book.

I emailed Dan: "I have bought (too?) many chess books, looking for those that will help. My judging criteria is simple: The book must be worth reading multiple times and what the book teaches must help me win. So, I bought "Looking for Trouble" as a filler to get amazon.com's free shipping. Soon after starting reading, I knew it needed multiple readings. Then, last night, at our club's tournament, I got behind in development because of a dumb move. I asked myself "What does Dan recommend?". I started looking at every opponent move's threats and looked for a good response, that would both answer the threat and improve my position. 90 minutes later, my opponent resigned. Thanks to your book!!!"

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quick Game

This is a 20 minute, sudden death tournament game at the club. Three games were played, but this game was the only one worth annotating. The other two games had foolish mistakes typical of my experience with quick games.

Lesson learned: Quick games are good for experimenting with openings, but for slow thinkers like myself, not good for much else.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Budapest Gambit

What I like about turn-based online games is the ability to sample different openings without affecting your USCF rating. The Budapest Gambit has the potential to mess up White's pawn structure as compensation of a lost Black pawn.

Lesson learned: The books say that Black should not play gambits as he is already behind by a tempo ... but they are kinda cool.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Noah's Ark

Last week, I explained why my Bird Opening should exchange White's good Bishop for Black's Knight. This game, I did not follow my own recommendation because Black could retake with his other Knight. Black showed me why this was a mistake.

My White Bird is getting overexposed, especially with a Class A club member who also touts the opening. I am preparing a change to my primary white opening (one which also does not have a lot of theory to memorize) but will leave the Bird as a secondary, fallback opening.
Lesson learned: Next time take the Knight with the Bishop and advance the a-pawn to keep the other Knight out of my territory.