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.


  • I have just entered the phase where I am playing more aggressively: it is fun! But like you say here, I have also started to incur positional weaknesses. Oh well: this is the only way I'll learn when the attacks are sound.

    By Blogger Blue Devil Knight, at 1:23 PM  

  • A fellow FICS player, cool! I'm also going through an "aggressive phase" brought on by reading Euwe's Master vs Amateur. I'm using blitz as my experimentation vehicle since it lets you get alot of experience relatively quickly... and, I admit... I didn't want to kill my hard-earned standard rating. ;-)

    By Blogger likesforests, at 7:50 PM  

  • hi phorku :)

    In our last 45 45 game, you had won position (according to hugozver). My feeling during the game was the same, as you will see in the comments when I say "still losing, but hope never dies" .Your king side pawn majority was sufficient to win. Only after exchanging my Q side passer for one of your king side pawns game was drawn. Also after rook exchange you should have gone after my g pawn, and it would be draw.
    best regards gile :)

    By Blogger Giga Moravac, at 3:41 AM  

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