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Monday, January 7, 2013

Bird’s Opening (2), bad habit

Although I would rather post winning games, it is from losses that we learn the lessons that are most important. Today’s game is my first OTB tournament game of the year, played against a lower-rated opponent. I am using yNotate on my Nexus 7 to record the moves and will also record time per move. The time control was G75 with a 30 second increment, but the clock malfunctioned about move 24. My opponent and I agreed to finish without replacing the clock.

I opened with my resurrected Bird and my opponent played a non-standard response. My opening notes will be updated to anticipate 2...e5 which would transpose to the tactical From Gambit. A prolonged downward slope in the game’s graph indicates a incorrect plan. This occurred before completion of development, starting with 9.d3?! Relinquishing my opening advantage. Note to self: evaluate all Checks, Captures and Threats (CCT) fully. My opponent’s plan appeared to be trading pieces for a drawn endgame. The game concluded with a blunder in the middlegame, unfortunately it was mine.

The variations and move symbols are Houdini’s (1.5 32-bit), diagnosed with ‘Scid vs PC’ at 20 seconds per ply and a 0.5 error threshold. The verbal comments are my thoughts during the game and my interpretations of the analysis provided by Houdini. The score chart is at the bottom of this entry.

A bad habit caused my self-destruction. I find a series of moves which apparently will give me an advantage. Then, I play quickly without bothering to reassess the position at each stage. This has cost me games in the past and I must be more aware of this tendency. Lesson learned!

FEN "6K1/7p/5R2/5p1k/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"

Take the endgame FEN and paste it into your favorite engine and try to repeat the win. It took a couple of tries to win today’s endgame, but the technique is important to learn. The win cannot occur without cooperation of the King and Rook. My opponent was Houdini set at full strength.

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