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  1. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    07 Mar '10 12:19
    I'm having a torrid time with my OTB play this season, one of the main issues that crops up game after game is time trouble. Even in winning positions i've twice this year had to settle for draws because of no time to work it all out. The icing on the cake was a County game yesterday against a junior. We went into the final phase with me a Queen a Knight and 2 pawns against his 2 pawns which weren't going anywhere. That's the thing with these juniors, they play to the death no matter what and he was over an hour ahead on the clock. Yes one lapse of concentration and you've guessed it STALEMATE!!
    Anyway i've decided to liven up my OTB repertoire. My thinking is that the more open the game the more quickly it's likely to be over and i won't constantly be getting into time trouble. A few 17 or 20 movers win or lose must be the remedy to my problem.

    Now this is probably faulty thinking but never the less i was looking to employ the Kings gambit and the smith Morra as white. Does anybody have any good book suggestions covering these openings? Preferably ones with some good annotated games rather than the endless reams of variations you find in some books.

    Cheers
    T
  2. 07 Mar '10 12:35
    Are you sure you want to switch to King's Gambit? I briefly scanned through some of your games. Your openings so far have been quite positional. And several times I have seen you accept (or offer) a draw where there is still a lot to play for with unbalanced material. My guess is that you feel uncertain about your tactical abilities. Playing tactic-prone openings might be a good exercise (but costing you a lot of games), practicing tactics, on the other hand may be more effective, and fun too. Work at your killer instinct, that would be my recommendation.
  3. 07 Mar '10 12:46
    It takes more time to navigate sharp complicated lines not less.
  4. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    07 Mar '10 13:45
    Originally posted by Mephisto2
    Are you sure you want to switch to King's Gambit? I briefly scanned through some of your games. Your openings so far have been quite positional. And several times I have seen you accept (or offer) a draw where there is still a lot to play for with unbalanced material. My guess is that you feel uncertain about your tactical abilities. Playing tactic-prone o ...[text shortened]... be more effective, and fun too. Work at your killer instinct, that would be my recommendation.
    You are correct in your evaluation of my play. I am very unsure about my tactical abilities and it's probably why my opening repertoire both on here and OTB is somewhat stodgy with me constantly trying to avoid critical lines. However there is no doubt this form of play is one of the resons for my OTB time trouble. It's time consuming and I just try and look too deep.

    I really want to sharpen my repertoire even if it means going backwards for a while. I appreciate what you say about training tactics but i do this anyway.

    Time for a change.
  5. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    07 Mar '10 13:51
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    It takes more time to navigate sharp complicated lines not less.
    You make a valid point which is the reason for wanting to get familiar with the opening. If i can knock out the first 12 moves in whatever variation using very litte time i'm ahead on the clock. It's obviously fair to ay this about any opening but i'm sure the sharper open games will ensure a decision long before the 35 move hour and a quater time control. This is not true of the closed type games i mostly play simply sitting behind a row of pawns looking for deep and complex ideas i never seem to come across!
  6. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    07 Mar '10 14:18
    If you can find a copy of GM Joe Gallagher's Winning with the King's Gambit, I highly recommend it. It is in annotated games format, with many of Gallagher's own games in it- including some of his losses with "lessons learned" included. The book is out of print, but I am sure there are copies still around somewhere.

    And here's hoping he has a Starting Out: The King's Gambit in the works!

    Paul
  7. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    07 Mar '10 16:27
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    If you can find a copy of GM Joe Gallagher's Winning with the King's Gambit, I highly recommend it. It is in annotated games format, with many of Gallagher's own games in it- including some of his losses with "lessons learned" included. The book is out of print, but I am sure there are copies still around somewhere.

    And here's hoping he has a Starting Out: The King's Gambit in the works!

    Paul
    Thanks Paul
    I,ve managed to track down a copy on Amazon for ten pounds. looks just the sort of thing i'm after.
  8. 07 Mar '10 17:28 / 1 edit
    Hi.

    Gallagher's books are OK. I have his Pirc and King's Indian.

    But I fail to see how memorising a few tactical variations or any opening book
    is going to cure you of your time trouble disease.

    Try this.

    When you opponent is away from the board pretend to yawn
    and outstretch your arms.

    Slowly slide you hand behind the clock and wind back your time.
    10 minutes should do it. Anymore and that is cheating.

    If it's one of these new fangled digital clocks and it's showing
    somehing like 0:06 for you and 21:00 for him.

    Then simply pick up the clock and move it to the other side of the board.
    You will then have 21:00 and you opponent 0:06



    OK Down to business - A serious Matter

    "Time trouble is not an excuse for losing a game" Alekhine.

    I can give you a 100% honest fact. I have played 700-800 OTB games.
    I have never lost on time. (now you know why).

    Clock management is a skill. It's your 17th piece.

    Do Not Waste Time Thinking on Obvious Forced Moves.

    White to play.



    You are not going to play gxf3 and ruin you pawns giving the f6 Knight
    that f4 square are you?

    No.

    But I've seen White players spending 5,6, 7 minutes pondering positions like this.

    You are most likely analysing every move into dust looking for
    " for deep and complex ideas ".

    Well you must be doing something like this else where does the time go?

    If you are willing, as you stated, to risk a few losses then go with
    your instinct. Usually the move you play OTB will be the first move you think
    of within 10/15 seconds of seeing your opponents move.

    (I think tests have proved it's something 7 out of 10 first choice moves
    are selcted among experienced OTB players).

    Trust yourself, pick your mini- plan and go.
    You will know when it's time to jump into the think tank and sort out a
    critical position that demands caution and 100% exact play.

    Play Blitz 'think' chess with a friend.
    It speeds you up and you get to recognise the 'deep thought' postions.

    Blitz 'think' Chess.
    Normal blitz but a player can stop the clocks and say 'think' he can take
    as long as he likes. ( a few minutes - keep it flowing).

    He makes a move and restarts the clocks. One 'think' per game per player.

    I use to play it a lot with a lad called Rudolf Austin when I was starting out.

    OK I have had a few slips moving too fast but I have won a lot more I should
    have lost because my opponent got into time trouble.

    I can give you a 100% honest fact. I have played 700-800 OTB games.
    I have never lost on time. (and now you know why).
  9. 07 Mar '10 21:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Talisman
    You make a valid point which is the reason for wanting to get familiar with the opening. If i can knock out the first 12 moves in whatever variation using very litte time i'm ahead on the clock. It's obviously fair to ay this about any opening but i'm sure the sharper open games will ensure a decision long before the 35 move hour and a quater time control. ...[text shortened]... sitting behind a row of pawns looking for deep and complex ideas i never seem to come across!
    Maybe. I don't know about that King's Gambit though... its like beating a dead horse its been analysed so much. Maybe try the Guioco piano or other tactical openings that give you a feel of when to open the center first because any opening can be sharp if you play sharp but it really sucks when you gambit that pawn and you're opponent knows ALL the book moves, which is an ocean of notation, and you end up losing in the endgame. I guess what i'm trying to say is just keep playing the openings you know only look for opportunities to bust the center open. edit: also, use your opponents time to think. Meaning think through complex plans and variations during his move too.
  10. 07 Mar '10 21:47
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    Maybe. I don't know about that King's Gambit though... its like beating a dead horse its been analysed so much. Maybe try the Guioco piano or other tactical openings that give you a feel of when to open the center first because any opening can be sharp if you play sharp but it really sucks when you gambit that pawn and you're opponent knows ALL the book m ...[text shortened]... nents time to think. Meaning think through complex plans and variations during his move too.
    I couldn't agree more. NIcely formulated
  11. 07 Mar '10 22:56
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    .. but it really sucks when you gambit that pawn and you're opponent knows ALL the book moves, which is an ocean of notation, and you end up losing in the endgame...
    I don't have that problem with the KG, but I have been experimenting with the Smith-Morra OTB, and against good opposition I have exactly that problem - reaching the endgame a pawn down. I think this is because in the KG, the act of sacrificing the pawn also opens the file where the rook is going to be, so the strategy for white is quite clear. In the couple of times I played the Smith-Morra, however, I had a lead in development but never really knew what to do with it.

    I play the KG whenever possible, and I've never read a book about it. Just play and learn how to deal with Black's common replies.
  12. 08 Mar '10 00:18
    Originally posted by aquatabby
    I don't have that problem with the KG, but I have been experimenting with the Smith-Morra OTB, and against good opposition I have exactly that problem - reaching the endgame a pawn down. I think this is because in the KG, the act of sacrificing the pawn also opens the file where the rook is going to be, so the strategy for white is quite clear. In the coup ...[text shortened]... I've never read a book about it. Just play and learn how to deal with Black's common replies.
    Is that OTB or on here? To put it bluntly that is your fault for not knowing what to do. In the smith morra you have to give material considerations a back seat, actually in all gambits, they're still in the car they just aren't riding shotgun. This means you should be sacrificing more than you are exchanging... you shouldn't end up in an endgame unless you're already winning. You make a statement when you play a gambit and that statement is all or nothing, you have to do just that or you'll be disappointed. Thats why the KG is hard in serious OTB play, because you can't give it all if you're opponent knows how to refute most lines, forcing you to play their game.
  13. 08 Mar '10 00:41
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    Is that OTB or on here? To put it bluntly that is your fault for not knowing what to do. In the smith morra you have to give material considerations a back seat, actually in all gambits, they're still in the car they just aren't riding shotgun. This means you should be sacrificing more than you are exchanging... you shouldn't end up in an endgame unless yo ...[text shortened]... it all if you're opponent knows how to refute most lines, forcing you to play their game.
    I play KG both OTB and here. OTB it works well against lower graded club players, not so well against higher graded players .. but I imagine that would be the result whatever opening I played, the KG just speeds things up a bit, which means I get to go home earlier.

    I totally agree that it's my fault - I wasn't trying to blame Messrs Smith or Morra. My point as that in the KG it's obvious what to do, whereas in SM it isn't. At least, not to me.

    Here, I can play pretty much whatever opening I want, as databases make it almost risk-free, but I try to avoid the sharper lines OTB.
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    08 Mar '10 02:48
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi.

    Gallagher's books are OK. I have his Pirc and King's Indian.

    But I fail to see how memorising a few tactical variations or any opening book
    is going to cure you of your time trouble disease.

    Try this.

    When you opponent is away from the board pretend to yawn
    and outstretch your arms.

    Slowly slide you hand behind the clock and wind bac ...[text shortened]... B games.
    I have never lost on time. (and [b]now
    you know why).[/b]
    Rec'd!

    I have witnessed the same behavior (opponents burning valuable time on forced recaptures, checks where only the king can move, and it only has one move, etc), and it is mind-boggling. Even if the other guy is thinking ahead, he should go ahead and make the move, and start thinking on my time.

    US National Master Dan Heisman argues that an extra 20 minutes on the clock is worth as much as 200 rating points, and I'm not good enough to give up that as a handicap- but I will take it if given to me!

    As an aside, I think Gallagher's best books are his KG book and his classic Beating the Anti-Sicilians

    Paul
  15. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    08 Mar '10 02:52
    Originally posted by aquatabby
    I play KG both OTB and here. OTB it works well against lower graded club players, not so well against higher graded players .. but I imagine that would be the result whatever opening I played, the KG just speeds things up a bit, which means I get to go home earlier.

    I totally agree that it's my fault - I wasn't trying to blame Messrs Smith or Morra. My ...[text shortened]... ing I want, as databases make it almost risk-free, but I try to avoid the sharper lines OTB.
    The KG has a positional plus in that White usually has a very good endgame, with both center pawns intact, and he usually wins back the gambitted pawn as well. Gallagher makes this point in his book, and he cites the endgame plus as a significant reason why the KG made a return to GM practice in the 80's.