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  1. 22 Jan '09 14:52
    Lately I feel I have been playing good OTB chess, improving my rating little by little, but over my last three OTB games I have blown clear advantages that should have been wins. All of these against higher rated players. I know it's common and happens, but any advice from the experienced would be great. I came off a heartbreaking loss yesterday that should have been a clear win from an easy overlooked tactic (I'll post it later), so I just wanted to vent a little.

    THanks!
  2. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    22 Jan '09 14:55
    Originally posted by passedpawn22
    Lately I feel I have been playing good OTB chess, improving my rating little by little, but over my last three OTB games I have blown clear advantages that should have been wins. All of these against higher rated players. I know it's common and happens, but any advice from the experienced would be great. I came off a heartbreaking loss yesterday that ...[text shortened]... n easy overlooked tactic (I'll post it later), so I just wanted to vent a little.

    THanks!
    do you use up all of your time?
  3. 22 Jan '09 15:19
    Believe it or not, converting an advantage is one of the most difficult things to do on a consistent basis against a determined foe (particularly if they are rated higher) so don't feel too bad. Just remember that a disciplined player (most strong players) in a losing position will be looking 10X harder for a way to break your advantage. It is very easy to slip into a drawing position or even lose if you are careless. Outside of a clear cut combination that leads to checkmate, limiting counterplay chances is probably the best general advice even if it is not the most beautiful route to a win.

    But yes please post your game(s) and maybe some of the players here can help.
  4. 22 Jan '09 17:03
    Yep, post a game or two and we'll have a look - don't be shy! ; )
  5. 22 Jan '09 18:48
    Originally posted by passedpawn22
    Lately I feel I have been playing good OTB chess, improving my rating little by little, but over my last three OTB games I have blown clear advantages that should have been wins. All of these against higher rated players. I know it's common and happens, but any advice from the experienced would be great. I came off a heartbreaking loss yesterday that ...[text shortened]... n easy overlooked tactic (I'll post it later), so I just wanted to vent a little.

    THanks!
    Firstly, don't worry - slumps are always going to happen. When I feel like I am in a slump I go back to basics. I have an old book on tactics primarily aimed at beginners that has a few gems by Morphy, Andersson etc. I find forgetting about complicated ideas like the theory of corresponding squares etc and by focussing on simple tactical ideas frees my mind from the burden of dogmatic thought. Once you get your creativity back you may find it easier to get out of a slump.
  6. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    22 Jan '09 18:50
    Yeah, I think the most important thing, especially in endings, is having patience and making sure to completely shut down your opponents counterplay before you embark on anything else. When you have a material/long term positional advantage, time is on your side. In general, you should look to use this advantage to increase your positional advantages even further. It's almost like a rolling snowball - You gain some advantages, keep pressing, and those advantages lead to more advantages, etc... until you have a huge snowball (your opponents position just falls apart).

    I used to have a similar problem, where I'd be winning, but just be overeager to win. You have to teach yourself to relish technical situations, where you just get to sit back and play good moves until your opponent runs out of defensive tries. It's important to realize that at some point you have to switch gears from being aggressive and trying to accrue advantages, to winning, and just trying to put your opponent away. In my opinion they are two different mindsets. I'm not saying to relax and think you can play anything, and your opponent will lose just because he's losing. You still have to find the best moves, but realize that winning some positions may take a lot of time, and a lot of slow maneuvering and improving of your position. Time is on your side!
  7. 22 Jan '09 22:44
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    Yeah, I think the most important thing, especially in endings, is having patience and making sure to completely shut down your opponents counterplay before you embark on anything else. When you have a material/long term positional advantage, time is on your side. In general, you should look to use this advantage to increase your positional advantages even f ...[text shortened]... ime, and a lot of slow maneuvering and improving of your position. Time is on your side!
    tony's advice is absolutely correct. I suffer from the same impatience. I think it's the thing I most realize when studying games of grandmasters - how seldom they rush things. I can often pick the right attacking line when looking at their games, but am amazed how it's there are often 3 or 4 more moves they make before they get on with their attack.
  8. 22 Jan '09 23:10
    It's sign you are getting better.

    You go up a bit, back a wee bit. go up higher back a wee bit.

    You say the players were higher graded. So therefore good players.

    It is their job to put down every obstacle in your path to stop you winning.

    You will have to post these games to see if it was sheer clumsiness
    by you or good play by your opponent.

    I've won 100's YES 100's of games I was looking dodgy in by simply
    creating complcations and being tactically aware.

    And if I'm winning I keep myself alert by looking for a pretty finish.

    If you are a piece up. Think:

    "Good that means I can sac two pieces."

    Cannot say more without seeing a game.

    Here is a swindle which I just plucked at random from my games
    collection.
    White is Stuart Hayes. Sandy Bells v Universit 1 2004



    A wee bit lucky there I think.

    (Oh No I'll start another 'is there luck in chess debate' let me say
    this. If people say there is no luck in chess - then they have never
    sat on my side of the board.)
  9. 23 Jan '09 03:18 / 2 edits
    Here's one game. I am white, I'm rated about 1200 OTB. My opponent is about 1600. I felt it was fairly even throughout the game until black blunders with 25...Qxc3. He told me after that he did not see the Bishop check coming on e4. I only have 32 moves recorded because I fell under 5 minutes on the clock (it was a G/60). 32.Bh5 was a blunder on my part, and I pretty much allowed him a perpetual check (the game ended in a draw). The winning move was 32.Bf5, threatening the check-fork in which he would have to sac his queen to avoid mate. Take a look and I welcome comments!

  10. 23 Jan '09 03:30 / 1 edit
    Here's another game...I didn't have so much a clear win as the first posted, but I thought I had a decent advantage out of the opening with a pawn up. Tactical oversights and a major blunder with 19...Rd7?? cost me, the simple and obvious 19...Nc6 was extremely better. I am black in this game; my opponent is rated a 1420. It was a G/80 OTB.

  11. 23 Jan '09 03:52 / 2 edits
    Here is the 3rd game. I'm black and my opponent is rated in the 1400's. This was the game I played yesterday that inspired me to start this thread. I totally overlooked the bishop skewer with 36...Bc8+ and instead played 36...Rf8+. I was looking for a forced mate somewhere after I felt he made a terrible mistake with 34.Kg3. The mistake was that I could have forced the winning of one of his rooks, which should have pretty much ended the game. I knew he had made a mistake and I couldn't capitalize. 40 moves are recorded here because we both went under 5 minutes (G/80). I probably could have still won at one point but I have yet to study the 2 bishop endgame (which will occur this weekend)!!! I blundered in time trouble, allowed him ample play and ended up losing on time. I haven't analyzed this game myself yet, but here it is.

  12. 23 Jan '09 20:26 / 2 edits
    Game one: - Pawn grabbing and missing the two move trick.
    Although at that stage White was preparing an opposite coloured
    Bishop attack (Qf5 & Be4).

    Earlier. 17...Nf6 and contend the open file was one way to go.

    And you let this win slip through your fingers?

    You are correct, better was 32.Bf5! You missed it.

    Game two: Yes 19...Nc6 was the move. the simple discovered
    mate on g7 should have been seen.
    Not to sure if Black is out of the woods after 19...Nc6. Plenty of
    attacking/saccing ideas still in the position.
    Black would still need to be very alert.

    After 19...Rd7? it was over.
    White played well though and grabbed his tactic when it appeared.

    Game 3: A good game this. Yes you were caught up in the heat
    of the battle and missed the skewer.
    NO EXCUSE. Basic elementry tactic.
    Studying the two Bishops won't help.
    Study one Bishop and one move shots.
    The King and Rook on the same diagonal should have lit up like Christmas tree.

    (In the final position 41...Bf5 is very strong, threat Bxh3 and e5+
    ...41.Rc7+ Ke8! 42.Rxf7 Kxf7 0-1)

    I like your overall play. It's good, there is hope.
    You have a nice gun.
    You know how to load the bullets,
    You know where to point the thing.
    Now all you have to do is learn how to pull the trigger.

    You are not in a slump - you are not tatically complete.

    chess is 99% tactics.

    You missed a Queen and Knight mating pattern, A Bishop forking
    King & Queen setting up a mating net and a simple King and Rook Skewer.

    Thse chess books you have, those chapters at the begining you skipped...
    ...get back and look at them. Simple standard tactics.

    And YOU MUST SET THEM UP ON YOUR BOARD so your mind can see
    them, store them and use them.

    So it's tactical puzzles for you my friend.

    Here is one. Set it up on the board

    White to play (it's from an actual game).

    What happens if White takes the Bishop (1.Kxf1)
    What should White play?



    Come back in a few months and post us a tacical brilliancy.

    Good Luck

    (I'm determined to get another thread going about 'Luck in Chess'
  13. Standard member Nowakowski
    10. O-O
    23 Jan '09 20:35
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Game one: - Pawn grabbing and missing the two move trick.
    Although at that stage White was preparing an opposite coloured
    Bishop attack (Qf5 & Be4).

    Earlier. 17...Nf6 and contend the open file was one way to go.

    And you let this win slip through your fingers?

    You are correct, better was 32.Bf5! You missed it.

    Game two: Yes 19...Nc6 was th ...[text shortened]... cy.

    Good Luck

    (I'm determined to get another thread going about 'Luck in Chess'
    greenpawn34

    is setting it up on the board the most important part?
    I do puzzles on the computer quite alot, and sometimes I'll select
    2-3 problems and focus on them in my head, especially 2-3 move mates. Often I can't do them in my head, but when I do, I really feel like I am growing, because that pours out onto the board more easily.

    -GIN
  14. 23 Jan '09 21:06
    But yes set them up on the board.

    At OTB You are not playing chess from a diagram or screen

    (I'm playing live ATM in a game trading blows with another player
    in a cup game I should prectise what I preach - I bet I drop a clanger).

    I am a great advocate of setting up the pieces to study.
  15. 23 Jan '09 21:35 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by greenpawn34

    (I'm playing live ATM in a game trading blows with another player
    in a cup game I should prectise what I preach - I bet I drop a clanger).
    Phew! It's over.

    Always think I'm going to chuck one of the blitz games
    when we both blast out moves at approx 10 secs each.

    I play quick to keep them on line to get the game over.
    The play quick to see if I blunder (it will happen).

    This was good game - I screwed up the attack, I thought I
    would get more out it.

    22...Rxf2? was a bit of bait I set with 20. Kh1.

    22...Rf6 23.Qg8+ Rf8 24.Qe6 and I'm sure I have to take the pertual.
    So this one is hot off the press. It finished a few minutes ago.

    Then it was a case of would he spot the Rook sac on e5?