Wednesday, March 12, 2008


LEP Round 5

Double Ouch! Two short rounds ago I was 3-0 in the LEP Tourney and now I am 3-2. In my two losses my opponents have played well and deserved the win. This round five loss was to the tourney sponsor. What can I learn about me (naturally, it's all about me) from my losses to improve in the future?

Black to move

What I "intended" may be best and consolidates and wins. Yeah, black will have to pay attention, watch the two bishops, avoid checkmate and repetition but this is winning. Black is up the exchange, has a better pawn structure and White's attack has stalled. But, I (black) blundered here and lost. What did I do? All of my games in this tournament can be replayed in your browser here.

This mistake was due to moving based on a hypothetical future position I was analyzing instead of the actual current position. It is a type of mistake I used to make frequently but have not made in OTB play for a long time. Is this bad habit slipping back into my play or has this always been more of an issue for me with online games? I'm not sure ...

My round 4 loss against RLP was due to executing a bad plan. Overall, I think that is a harder problem to address.

Blunder or the wrong plan? Which is worse? At least I think that correcting the blunder problem in the future is likely to be easier than formulating better plans. What do you think?

Improving at chess requires brutal honesty about one's strengths and weaknesses. I am just scratching the surface here and being somewhat facile about the weakness in my play. But it's a start.


It's probably more important to come up with good plans, because those require an understanding of chess.

Blunders happen to everyone, and isn't any indication of how well one knows the game. It's an easier problem to fix.
I think blunders are easier to fix. "Drat! I missed a 3-move tactic. Back to the puzzle book!" But when plans fail and a position slips from good to bad, it's harder to diagnose and correct.
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