Sunday, March 05, 2006

I got to use the "sword"

Alright, I went to the Eastern Class Chanpionship this weekend and had less than stellar results. I was playing at the bottom of the class B section and really didn't expect a whole lot in the first place. I did manage to scalp someone who was 130 higher and I managed to swindle a drawfrom another 100 plus rated player. Other than that ... I lost. Two of those losses were because I was attempting "cowboy" moves ( Improperly calculated tactical shots) when I "should have" played more conservative and positional.

This brings me to my epiphany I had this weekend. The games I typically play tend to be positional battles. One guy was telling me that I should try to play tactical open games to make use of the "training" ( and he was ready to sell me 100 bucks worth of books to me) but after some consultation with others, I realized that I AM A POSITIONAL PLAYER. I *found* my "style" this weekend.

The games I played had me coming out of the opening rather well and even had some play in the middlegame that actually was making sense. I even played into an Isolated Queen Pawn position and actually remembered what to do! I turned development advantages into material pawn advantages and figured how to block in my oponent's Bishops off. Where I went wrong was when I would get ahead of myself and think I see a tactical shot. Both times I did this, I calculated into uncertainty. Had I had my brain with me, the red flag would have gone off and told me not to play it... maybe losing a few rating points will help me do less "cowboying"

So, overall, I will continue the tactical training as prescribed... because I will still have those tactical possibilities eventually in some of my "positional" games. But for now, I will beef up the stategy and positional training. Plus, I want to play sharper lines of the openings I play. End games will also be thrown into my mix.

I'll keep you all posted.


Temposchlucker said...

To conclude that you are a positional player because you suck at tactics sounds somewhat ... premature?.
I mean, you maybe are right, but the message of your story to me is that there is an element of gambling in your approach to tactics. You maybe first have to get rid of that.

I'm a positional player too. The last 3 years I have played gambits and open games. So my tactical skills have increased enormous. But I still notice a tendency to use tactics to get a better position.
Now I am going to concentrate more on positional play and positional openings. But with an extra tool in the bag: tactics.

It is like a positional move in a chess game when you try to improve the position of the worst piece: if tactics are your worst skills, than it seems logical to put an emphasis on it.

BlunderProne said...

Thanks Tempo,
For the record, I am not "giving up tactics" . True, I need to work out the risky plunges that turn into blunders and I believe I am getting closer. I believe that having a sound positional sense and sharp tactical abilities are required to play good chess. Right now, my opening repertoire is one based on closed games. I am comfortable with these at the moment and enjoy looking for subtleties and positional strategies. However, when the position does break open, then I find tactical possibilities increase.

I guess I am not ready to invest more time in learning a new opening repertoire at this stage. I want to finsh the circles first ( targeting may) and see how this year unfolds. I may change my mind come summer.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on finding your style. I found mine once, but have since lost it again; I think it's behind the couch, right next to my sanity.

Anyway, I think the goal of tactical training is to just make those glorious combinations jump out at you when they're there. Like you, and a couple of other ("Silly English") Knights I've talked to, I keep looking for that fabulous tactical stroke as my clock, and my position, wind down to nothingness.

I keep trying to tell myself to play decent moves and let the tactics come. I've played a few games like that over the years. Hopefully more are on the way.

I think it was MDLM who compared doing tactics problems to practicing free throws in basketball. Likewise, you should only take the jumper when you're open; forcing the shot is not a good idea.

How much you wanna bet we'll be paired against each other on Tuesday?



BlunderProne said...


That was my tactical problem on a couple games this weekend. I tried to force a shot that wasn't there.

I did get a couple games where tactics RANG out like a bell in the game I won and the game I drew. That swindle was sweet and it was a level 40 position I recognized on forcing a stalemate!

I will post the game at some later point. But I can show you Tuesday at the Club too!