Welcome Message

Feedback is welcome. If you see something that I am missing, you have a suggestion or just want to say hello, please comment.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stafford Gambit 2

Another Stafford Gambit from an online game. My opponent played quite well against me when he had black. I attribute the result of this game to the surprise sudden attack that can come out of this opening.

Lesson learned: Openings are dangerous. Take special care as soon as it varies from your known positions.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Endgame Training Progress

No club game to analyze this week, so I thought I would share my progress in the endgame practice on chesstempo.com. Every day for the last 2 months, I have attempted to solve 5 of the endgame studies that Chess Tempo selects. This is a chart of my progress.

At the bottom of this blog is an explanation of my current training activities. So far, this seems to work better than other regimens that I have tried. I was stuck in the 1400 rating range for over 3 years and I just crossed the 1500 rating threshhold (to be the published rating for January, 2012).

Chess is a combination of logic, pattern recognition and desire. I reached 1400 on the first. My regimen is based on adding the second. The third is what propelled Bobby Fischer to the top of this sport.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

French Rubinstein

Another online game. My opponent was probably expecting a Queen's Gambit, but 2.Nc3 quickly transposed into a French. As mentioned in a previous posting, many Black opponents are quite surprised to find themselves playing a French Defense.

Lesson learned: Always be on the alert for a trapped Queen ... or any other piece.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Missed Zugzwang

This is from my daily game against Fritz and is being posted, not to illustrate skill, but to show that there may be two methods of winning with an outside passed pawn. On moves #36 & 37, Fritz makes the mistakes typical of sparring mode and I capitalize on them to get a distant passed pawn. On move #43, I hustle back to capture black's pawns. A better alternative is to continue to push with c2+ and if White blocks on c1, Black can simply wait for White's pawns to self-destruct or to release the block. The comments are Fritz' analysis of Black's moves.

Lesson learned: There is more ways to win with an outside passed pawn than just for the King to hustle back & capture the opponent's pawns.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Budapest Gambit 4

This is a short online game where the Budapest Gambit pays dividends. I seem to be playing a lot of gambits this fall. I dumped my Alekhine e4 response, my Dutch d4 response & my white Bird to take up new and exciting openings. These openings are mainstream but unpopular and have several gambit opportunities in the lines that I play.

Lesson learned: The Budapest Gambit is dangerous against an opponent who is not prepared and is not careful.