Friday, February 22, 2008

A Few Wins to Talk About

"They" (whoever they are) say that we learn more from our losses than from our wins, but nowadays I tend to think we learn from both equally when we take care to consider where we made mistakes and try to understand them; we make mistakes in virtually every one of our wins, too.

Since I'm on a little winning streak right now I'll just chatter a bit about these recent games and then post the annotated games themselves this weekend:

Starting recent and working my way back, last night I defeated Norm Wyatt (1467) in the first round of the Reno Chess Club Championship Qualifier. It's a four-round Swiss for players under 1800, and two of the 12 of us will join the A players and Experts in the next round. Norm was the last club regular that I hadn't previously played, and a very nice guy. I was looking forward to meeting him for the first time and I answered his 1. d4 with the King's Indian (of course) and he played the Fianchetto Variation, which I've rarely met for some reason, though I've been playing the defense in various cities and tournaments for the last 25 years or so. Despite this relative inexperience I did have a few ideas prepared, and when he overlooked some tricky knight hops I won a piece for a pawn, traded down to an endgame and was able to win despite some stout resistance. I think I may have made the win more difficult than necessary so that's something to look at. The game took almost four hours and I was starting to feel a little groggy at the end but I stayed on target and took care of things.

On Saturday I played my second round game in the online Tournament of the LEPers, against the good Sir Rocky Rook, and with me as Black he avoided the King's Indian by going 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3, but I seemed to come out of the opening all right, and then in the early middlegame I captured cxd4 and said to myself "Well, he can't recapture with the queen..." but he did, and got caught in a pin losing a piece. He posted on the game here, including the key position.

Finally, the slugfest of a game three weeks ago that I thought was "lost" along with my score book has been "found" thanks to my gracious opponent Vern Young providing a copy of his score sheet last night. As I said then I didn't know exactly what was going on at times in that game, and my opponent's score sheet has the notation "Mate in 6" just a few moves before he resigned. While I was playing last night Soapstone put the moves into ChessBase and confirmed that, indeed, instead of recapturing a piece White had a mate in 6 by sacrificing most of his army...I haven't had a chance to look yet but that sounds pretty awesome, maybe the position will make it into some future book on tactics.

Like I said, there's as much to learn from wins as from losses, if you want to look!


Anonymous said...
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Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Robert, given White's move order, you could also have played the Pirc Defense. It's similar to the King's Indian, but whereas the King's Indian is a fighting defense, the Pirc is slippery and aims to maneuver close.

A lot of King's Indian Players also play the Pirc.

Eric Shoemaker said...
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Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, the Pirc. Love it and hate it...normally I'm not so interested in not "fighting". It's a little odd that I keep finding players who seem to become a little unsure when playing the Pirc. No one seems to use it, so at our level, sometimes they're sitting over there thinking, "I know this is a legitimate defense, but what is this guy up to?"

ChargingKing said...

Robert congratulations on your win last night!

Question for you by chance know what Sicilian Vern Young plays? I might play him next week and was wondering if you had any idea.

Wahrheit said...

Sorry Chris, but my games against him all started 1. d4.