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  1. 23 Oct '12 11:01
    I've been trying to play a rated OTB game once a fortnight, and as I'm not in my club side for their match next Monday, I thought I'd volunteer to play for our North Wales league against a South Wales league on Saturday. The game is in South Wales and we were short of volunteers willing to travel, so I'm only there because I'm marginally better than an empty seat, however I intend to make the best fist of it I can. So far I've played three rated games this season and won them all, so this is likely to be my first clash with reality. My opponent is likely to be rated around 1700-1800 OTB, I'd guess at my rating being about 1450 once the season is over, though my current official grade is 1350, based on an initial estimation of 1290 when I was added to the WCU system three games ago.

    I don't yet know what colour I'm going to be playing, though I'm trying to find out. I'd be over the moon with a draw. How do you think I'm best spending the maybe one hour a night (4 hours total) I can spend on practice between now and then?

    Tactical problems? I've noticed a decent improvement in my tactical sharpness since taking that suggestion on board a couple of months ago.

    Analysing my own games? I still have two OTB games from this season to analyse.

    Studying my openings of choice? Kings Indian Attack, Kings Indian Defence and Centre Counter (Scando).

    Endgames? I'm strong on king and pawn endings, ok on rook endings, poor at others. I have an excellent book 'essential chess endings'

    Or read my 'how to beat your dad at chess' for mating patterns?
  2. 23 Oct '12 11:02
    Or some other suggestion obviously.
  3. 23 Oct '12 11:32
    Originally posted by Dewi Jones
    I'd be over the moon with a draw.
    I can’t help thinking that you’re too obsessed with ratings.

    Here’s my advice. Forget about ratings. Instead, you’ve got an opportunity to play a good training session with an opponent who may be generally stronger. I say “generally” because anything can happen in a single game. Stop thinking of wanting a draw. If he were to blunder on move 4 and resign, don’t think “yeah! rating points!”, think “damn, there goes a good training opportunity”. A loss can improve your chess even if it doesn’t improve your rating, so think longer term. Aim to do the best training you can and let the rating take care of itself.
  4. 23 Oct '12 14:43
    Originally posted by Dewi Jones
    I've been trying to play a rated OTB game once a fortnight, and as I'm not in my club side for their match next Monday, I thought I'd volunteer to play for our North Wales league against a South Wales league on Saturday. The game is in South Wales and we were short of volunteers willing to travel, so I'm only there because I'm marginally better than an em ...[text shortened]... ss endings'

    Or read my 'how to beat your dad at chess' for mating patterns?
    Varenka is spot on.

    It's no good supposing what your opponent is going to play, you will just end up tiring yourself out!

    As white, he/she will probably open c4,d4,e4,f4 or either knight, so that won't be a surprise for you. Sit on your hands, that'll stop you making impulsive moves and, as Greenpawn34 says,'check all checks'.

    Assuming it is a four board match and you are on 4, then you will have the white pieces. (I'm also sure you've already worked that out).

    You may be wildly overestimating your future opponent anyway, so, relax, think about your moves when playing and let him/her worry about you!

    And post the game here, win or lose.

    regards

    Mike
  5. 23 Oct '12 15:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by michael liddle

    And post the game here, win or lose.

    Certainly.
  6. 23 Oct '12 15:22
    Originally posted by Varenka
    I can’t help thinking that you’re too obsessed with ratings.

    Here’s my advice. Forget about ratings. Instead, you’ve got an opportunity to play a good training session with an opponent who may be generally stronger. I say “generally” because anything can happen in a single game. Stop thinking of wanting a draw. If he were to blunder on move 4 and res ...[text shortened]... think longer term. Aim to do the best training you can and let the rating take care of itself.
    yes this is awesome advice. It appears to me that worrying about rating adds an extra
    psychological pressure that is simply superfluous to requirements. Surely one should
    focus on the quality of ones moves. I noticed that after the last world championship
    match, Gelfand, after losing the shortest game in recorded history of a world
    championship match was not phased at all, he simply put it behind him, as you say,
    stuff happens, so there will be winners and losers regardless, this we cannot control,
    but our moves we can
  7. 23 Oct '12 15:23
    Originally posted by michael liddle

    Assuming it is a four board match and you are on 4, then you will have the white pieces. (I'm also sure you've already worked that out).
    Why do you say that Dewi will be White if he is on board 4? Unless I've misread his first post, he will be playing for the away team. In every match I've ever played in, either the away team is White on the odd boards, or the colours are decided on the day with a coin toss (only one coin toss to decide which team have White on the odd boards).

    My advice to Dewi is to ensure that you get a good night's sleep on the night before the match and, if possible, on the night before that as well. Everyone plays better when they are well rested!
  8. 23 Oct '12 15:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    My advice to Dewi is to ensure that you get a good night's sleep on the night before the match and, if possible, on the night before that as well. Everyone plays better when they are well rested!
    That's a bit of a bugger as I have two 14 hour days before the match, and then a 3 hour drive from London to the match in Builth Wells on the morning of the match. But that is excellent advice. I always try and have an easy day on the day of serious chess matches, maybe a lie in, cooked breakfast and make sure I have a good meal, long enough before my match that it's all digested and gone down, then a nice little bar of chocolate with the excuse that it's brain food just before the match. I also have a little thermos full of hot ribena at the game. If chess wasn't cool before I started playing it, it surely is now that I have my train spotting flask!!

    The benefit of being my own boss is that I can usually arrange stuff in that fashion, the down side is that when work needs doing, as in the two days before this match, it just needs doing !
  9. 23 Oct '12 15:34 / 1 edit
    And as to white and black, we usually play white on odd boards for an away match. But I've just found out the format of this match. All the leagues in Wales are sending teams, and it will be decided by only one game. So there's some kind of lottery system for who plays who, and we won't know until the day what colour we are playing.

    I'm on board 5.
  10. Standard member cadwah
    ¯\_(^.^)_/¯
    23 Oct '12 21:18
    Play something gambity with lots of opening traps.
  11. 23 Oct '12 21:43
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    Why do you say that Dewi will be White if he is on board 4? Unless I've misread his first post, he will be playing for the away team. In every match I've ever played in, either the away team is White on the odd boards, or the colours are decided on the day with a coin toss (only one coin toss to decide which team have White on the odd boards).

    My advice ...[text shortened]... possible, on the night before that as well. Everyone plays better when they are well rested!
    Based on my home club matches, our boards 1 + 3 play white, with the visitors white on 2 + 4. I assumed that applies in this case.

    Mike
  12. 01 Nov '12 20:50
    Originally posted by Dewi Jones
    Certainly.
    Well he (it's always a he) wasn't much stronger than me, but he still crushed me. I'm terribly embarassed by my performance but I'll post it on here, in case anyone wants to comment on my strengths or weaknesses and help me to improve.

    As I said earlier, I 100% agree with the advice Fat Lady gave about being in the right place mentally when playing, but sometimes real life gets in the way. My only excuse for this shambles is that I worked two 12 hour days in the days before, then had to drive four hours to London after work on Friday night and four and a half hours to the game on Saturday morning. I arrived late, stressed and worrying about getting back to London by 7pm for a family party (not a problem as it turned out ). I rushed my first 5 moves, and by the time I started thinking about my moves, had basically already lost the game. Apart obviously from missing my opponents mating attack, I'm not too gutted about my play after move 5, but move 5 just killed me.

    I can't seem to make the pgn work here, but it's available on this page if anyone wants to look at it, and if you can make i work on the rhp forum, that'd be a bonus, thanks in advance.

    http://www.welshchessunion.org.uk/national/569-inter-league-championship-2012
  13. 01 Nov '12 22:43
  14. 01 Nov '12 23:56 / 2 edits
    Your body language in this picture says it all!
    http://www.welshchessunion.org.uk/images/images/photos/2012/interleague/IL_6.jpg

    Why 3. ... Qd8? Both Qa5 and Qd6 are better. I even played Qe5+ for a season with pretty good results! 3. ... Qc6 is, however, not quite as strong.

    After 5. ... Bg4??? the game was all but over, and there's little point in analysing anything after that. I can't help but thinking that 6. Ne5 might have been even stronger than Bxf7+. In a similar position in one of my games Black played 6. ... Bh5 and after 7. Qxh5 he resigned in disgust.

    So, the lesson to learn from this one is that white bishops go to c4 for a reason - to attack f7!
  15. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    02 Nov '12 00:09 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Dewi Jones
    That's a bit of a bugger as I have two 14 hour days before the match, and then a 3 hour drive from London to the match in Builth Wells on the morning of the match. But that is excellent advice. I always try and have an easy day on the day of serious chess matches, maybe a lie in, cooked breakfast and make sure I have a good meal, long enough before my mat is that when work needs doing, as in the two days before this match, it just needs doing !
    Ratings and results are incidental. When I read about your life leading up to the game, I recognized the passion of someone who wants to play.

    Dewi, you are a chess player.

    We play sick, we play broke, we play tired, we play where it's hot, cold, loud, whatever. We win or we lose, but every game ends with a re-set of the pieces and the start of another one.

    Carry on!