phorku's chess blog

Friday, November 03, 2006

Weak master moves....

When I was perusing the Boylston Chess Blog I came across this game BCC Champ Rd. 6: Chase-Rihel 0-1.

Chase,C (2292) - Rihel,J (1953) [B82]
BCC Championship (6), 16.09.2006

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 e6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.Nf3 Qc7 9.a4 Nc6 10.0-0 0-0 11.Qe2 Rd8 12.Kh1 b6 13.e5 Nd7 14.exd6 Bxd6 15.Ne4 Bf8 16.Neg5 g6 17.Nxf7 Re8 18.f5 gxf5 19.Bxf5 Nf6 20.Bd3 Qxf7 21.Ng5 Qe7 22.Bd2 Bg7 23.Bc3 e5 24.Bc4+ Kh8 25.Nf7+ Kg8 26.Ng5+ Kh8 27.Rxf6 Bxf6 28.Nf7+ Kg7 29.Qh5 Be6 30.Qh6+ Kxf7 31.Qxh7+ Kf8 0-1

I was shocked at Chase's move in this position. I like Be3 or 0-0. Crafty likes Ng5. a4? a4? I can't see what the point of that move is. I never would have considered it in this position. Anyone have a clue?

What I was trying to say....

Steinitz says much better. I have been studying my tactics like all the Knights. Not as much as some, more than others. My ratings have improved some, but not as much as I had hoped. Every increase in tactical ability has to be tempered by cautious play. My tactical play is definately stronger so why hasn't my rating supported it?

Steinitz has the accumulation theory:
Each advantage, no matter how small, is important becuase a few small advantages added together can mean a winning postion.

Pandolfini explains it well too:
Play positional chess. Seize the opend diagonals with your bishops. Induce weaknesses in your oppenents camp, then use them to launch an invasion. The weight of your accumulated advantages will be too much for your opponent to bear.

These statements basically describe why my play has not been improving much. Rather than making the best move I often play the most aggressive move or moves that are likely to lead to tactical combinations.

When I learned how to play chess I took the tactical path by accident. I am aggressive so maybe it was by nature. Any first I learned how the pieces moved and I thought I could play. I played into my adult life never knowing about tactics or positional chess. When my interest turned serious in college and I started playing on FICS and playing friends I got tired of losing. The combinations were like magic. So I went to the bookstore and browsed the chess books. I found one that was easy to read and interesting and happened to be some book on basic tactics tactics. So I stopped hanging so many pieces, stopped being a victim of cheap tactics and got stronger with discovered attacks, mates and forks. So then I started playing to set up cheap tactics and started winning more games. So I continued on in this fashion buying books on attacking and aggressive chess play and openings. My play continued to improve but then peaked. I discovered the Knights and joined thinking that I would really be a great chess player if I mastered these tactics. But I have discovered just as the cheap tactics stopped working so do the more complicated ones when you play better players. They generally do not give you the same opportunities. So once again I experienced being beaten by magic.... I could not get any tactics going and even had trouble developing my pieces into aggressive postions.... heh, or sometimes at all. Some games I would get constricted and some games there would be this annoying piece that I could not get rid of.

Most of the tactics in my games are in the 10 - 30 level range in CT-Art. Rarely is there a mate/combination in 6 or 10. So what good is it if I can solve all the CT-Art problems? So my plan is to continue tactical study on the Chess tactics server, it serves me the problems I am ready for and continue working the 10-30 problems on CT-Art while I bone up on some positional chess. When I start losing games because I missed 4 or more move combinations then I will work on building my tactical muscle some more.