I still have a lot to learn. The last couple of games I played at the club I lost due to an abysmal error of not seeing a fatal double attack on a piece after having made my move.
I had black against an 1800 player. I didn’t even consider the potential double attack with white’s Qd4+ because I FORGOT my king was on an open diagonal. Instead I was considering Qc7 to be a weakness because of WHAT? Rxb7? I was tired and not seeing straight. I wanted to move b6 in this position to support the knight. I thought moving the Q to a6 was a safe bet… not even thinking about the the looming double threat. After I dropped the piece, I trudged onward… and made him say checkmate in a 58 move endgame pawn race with a piece down.
On ICC, I am beating up the highest rated WimpB bot and my rating climbed to 1399. It took a nose dive as I challenged myself to the U1500 2 8 blitz tournament. I lost 3 of the 4 games I played… to dropping pieces… after being up material. Should have…could have … would have…Oh well.
While playing the bot repeatedly, it provides for some consistent training. For instance, I learned with WimpB, if I don’t play too erractically, I can usually win in the end game. I also have a chance to throw a tactical shot in the late midgame and pick up material. If I play to forcefully, I drop a piece and get crushed. Its all good. WimpB also gives me opportunities to hone my defense against d4 as it tends to play that a lot.
What transpires though as a I play “real” virtual opponents, is the predictable nature goes away. My opponent may not be too adept to my opening, but is rather sound positionaly or tactically ( or both). The endgame struggles are more challenging.
This all lead me to a great “AHA!” moment. The revelation I had is that I tend to play OTB games better at the club. There is a predictable nature about it very much like how I train with the ICC Bots. I see the parallelism here. Going to a weekend event where my scope of opponents has increased outside the predictable norm, I am adjusting to new styles of play. In those instances I tend to have a poorer OTB performance. Much like what I experienced last night on ICC during the online Blitz tournament.
So what can I learn in all this?
1) My Opponent is faced with the same issue if they never played ME before. I should put any fears or anxieties aside and remove the psychological block preventing my creativity and tactical vision.
2) I am still trying to make stuff happen that isn’t there. ( My funk at the world open). This is BIG for me. This is my greatest stumbling block. I get to thinking, that I MUST do something rather than listen to my inner Nimzovitch make a positional move in quiet positions.
3) Real chess… it all boils back down to the great chess prophet Mr. Dan Heisman. Checks, captures and threats …OH MY!
This is my path. I am destined to repeat the same mistakes until I learn. I’ll be given plenty of learning opportunities I’m sure. For all three of the above, the only way for me to improve is through more “conscious” play. Blogging about this revelation helps keep it in the top of the stack.
Hope you all are well.