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  1. 29 Jan '06 21:07 / 1 edit
    I have only been playing seriously for about 4 months. I have always been interested in chess from a young age but I only played against my father, with bad results. I remember as a child thinking for minutes and not getting anywhere. My dad also played poor chess but I just couldn't understand the game, though the rules itself were very clear (well, actually we both didn't really know about castling and en passant. I just mean that I didn't have any problem at all finding a legal move.)

    I am now 22 and I have improved tremendously. I am probably rated 1400 but I have some problems. I think that in CC I may be close to 1800, at least I have the potential. I now know exactly what is happening in a position, what is a good move, I can make very clear plans, etc.

    I have played some internet blitz games, 10 to 25 minutes per game and I have gotten some dramatic results. I often face opponents where I feel I am by far the superior player and where my opponent just shows total lack of understanding of the position. But then I just make a stupid move, I see instantly it wasn't a good move and I lose terribly, to my own amazing.

    Lets take this game. I was black and I think it was a 15 minute game. I analysed it a bit shallowly with Fritz 9:

    {B20: Sicilian: Unusual White 2nd moves}

    1. e4 c5 2. Be2 d6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. d3 g6 {last book move}

    5. Bg5 Bg7 6. c3 Nc6 7. Bxf6 Bxf6 8. O-O {White castles and improves king safety}

    8...O-O 9. a3 a6 10. Ra2 Be6 11. Ra1 Qb6 12. Nbd2 Rab8?? {Black loses the upper hand}
    (12... Qxb2 13. e5 Nxe5 14. Ne4-+)

    I guess I played a flawless opening, I have most of these moves memorised through experience and I know what effect they have on the position. But then I have the chance to play 12...Qbx2. I played Qb6 to have this threat, but now I get scared of 12...Qbx2 13. Rb1 Qxa3 13.Rxb6. Here I missed Qxc3. I didn't have time to look this deep, or I think too disordered and slow. I didn't think that picking off those pawns was a good idea considering my much better position.
    In CC I would have comfortably played this line.

    13. b4 Bxc3 14. Rb1 cxb4 15. Ng5 Bc8
    (15... Ba2!? {keeps an even firmer grip} 16. Rc1 Bf6 17. Ra1 Bxa1 18. Qxa1-+)

    Again I saw this move before I had the oppertunity to play it. But when I could play it I was scared because of the lack of good squares on this diagonal for the bishop. I saw this would be very uncomfortable for white, but I didn't see it would win an exchange. I just chickened out. lack of confidence in my skill OTB?

    16. Ndf3 Qc7
    (16... h6!? {makes it even easier for Black} 17. Nh3 Bxh3 18. gxh3-+)

    Now Fritz keeps suggesting h6. I was just not interested in this move. I didn't feel the knight had any threat and I didn't feel like compromising my king pawns. I must say that at this point I do not understand my queen move Qc7

    17. axb4 Nxb4
    (17... h6!? 18. Nh3 g5 19. Nhxg5 hxg5 20. d4-+)

    18. Rc1 Na2 19. Rc2 Bd7?? {not a good decision, because now the opponent is right back in the game}
    (19...h6 20. Rxa2 hxg5-=)

    Again h6. My move Bd7, I think I desperately tried to give it a good square. But it was unnecessary. After my move I immediately saw that my knight was hanging. To my own shock my opponent didn't even see it. That didn't feel very good. My opponent should be able to punish me for this mistake.

    20. Qb1 {White threats to win material: Qb1xa2}

    20...Nb4 21. Rcc1

    My opponent misses the tactical shot, and how. Instead of feeling there is something in the position he makes a total non-sense move, Rcc1. I think I felt insulted by this move, yes I guess I am way too arrogant deep inside.. I did see the combination but I had failed to avoid it.
    According to Fritz winning the knight would equalise. He misses his chance and my game is just much much better. I think I also had about 4 minutes more on my clock. Because of my aduquate knowledge of this closed sicilian position I was able to really blitz the first 15 moves.

    21...Rbc8 22. Nd4 Qb6 23. Ndf3 Bg7 24. Rxc8 Rxc8

    25. Qb3 Be6?? (25... e6-+ {and Black takes home the point})

    Amazing blunder. I remember I played this move instantly. I missed the knight, the one I thought was totally insignificant, how ironic. Why didn't I play the simple 25...e6 ? I was shocked. Here I just gave up.

    26. Nxe6 fxe6?? 27. Qxe6+ Kh8 28. Qxc8+ 1-0

    Just walking into a mate because of 'shell shock'. I couldn't even think anymore. To my amazement my opponent just gets a mating attack thrown in his face after I blunder while he has been playing a very poor game which for some reason I wasn't able to exploit.

    I have quite a collection of games like this but I don't think any more are required.


    Could anyone comment on this?

    To me it seems that I have a few problems.
    First, concentration. I always thought I could concentrate quite good though my concentration does get easily disrupted.
    Second, while I can see combinations on the board without much trouble I do seem to lack calculation ability. That what isn't visually obvious I can't see through calculation. I may have a very flexible mind with very good memorisation, I don't seem to have a lot of raw brain power. I am alreadt working on calculation excersizes.
    And last, I think I must just accept I am an anatural at chess. I remember I couldn't even see which free squares a king had and which one had to be guarded in order to checkmate. This way back when I was a child and teenager. Through hard work my chess is now pretty decent.
  2. 29 Jan '06 21:14
    Play some games on here it will help you.

    Read some chess books

    If you really want to improve you chess, then play Over the Board chess at a chess club. That helped me way more then playing blitz games.

    Being good at blitz means nothing when you are playing OTB with a 2 hour timer each side when you don't have the patiences and have a lack of concentration.
  3. 29 Jan '06 21:50
    I am sorry that I am only using this board. I play CC on another site.

    Yes, I never played a game in classic time control. I will certainly join a chess club in the (near) future.

    Reading chess books, what do you mean exactly?

    Maybe I just want to go too fast and be more patient.
  4. 29 Jan '06 23:11 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Daevren
    I am sorry that I am only using this board. I play CC on another site.

    Yes, I never played a game in classic time control. I will certainly join a chess club in the (near) future.

    Reading chess books, what do you mean exactly?

    Maybe I just want to go too fast and be more patient.
    Read chess books to improve. They also have some such as Amauters Mind by Silman which goes through the thinking and concentration. It might help you. There's another book like this also which I recall the name of.

    Redhotpawn isn't good enought for you ?

    JJ
  5. 31 Jan '06 17:33
    Originally posted by RahimK
    Read chess books to improve. They also have some such as Amauters Mind by Silman which goes through the thinking and concentration. It might help you. There's another book like this also which I recall the name of.
    Do you have titles? There are many books out there. Opening books, general chess books and puzzle books won't help.

    Books on how to think positionally and strategically aren't the ones that I need. I need books on how to think tactically, I guess.