phorku's chess blog

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Balanced Play / Planning

I have recently suffered a playing slump. After a few successful and warranted ultra-aggressive games I started wanting every game to be like that and suffered a playing slump.

Luckily it mostly impacted my FICS blitz rating which I don't give a crap about. It is a good measure of my playing performance though. I have lost some other points to but they will come back.

Just to put it in perspective I lost about 120 blitz rating points in a couple weeks. I took a good hard look at my play and decided that the positional trade offs I was making for aggressive play were killing me. I gained it all back and more in a couple days.

It is so very interesting, this learning process. Not so long ago I was in the same situation only with material sacrifices.

I also need to continue work on my end game. In my last 45 45 game my opponent and observers were all whispering about the drawn game. I thought I had a win with my extra pawn... by time I realized it was a draw I played for the wrong kind. Being short on time I missed that he would end up with the opposition and I would not be able to get the rook pawn draw. I missed that we could have just ate each others pawns. I also failed to offer a draw. I never do... maybe I should get over it. Anyway it was horribly embarrasing.

Coincidentally just before this aggressive spurt I had a game where my opponent had so many positional weaknesses I thought I had an easy end game. His pawns were like swiss cheese. Well with his 2 rooks on the board plus at least one other piece he quickly got some counter play and whooped me good.

So now I am winning many of my games by planning or losing by planning poorly. If your opponent has any kind of counter play, decent development, or decent defense it is probably a bad idea to make positional sacrifices for an attack.

It is summer, the weather is nice and I am spending time on other hobbies so the posts will slow down as well as the training though it will not stop. I am trying desperately to get on a schedule and am shooting for quality instead of quantity.