Sunday, April 15, 2007

In Preparation against a Strong Class A player

This coming Tuesday I am preliminarily paired against a Class A player. This post is about my preparation against a player 300 points higher than my own.

First I had to figure out what to open with. I am supposed to have white against him. In preparation, I did a sleuthing and found out that he plays the Caro-Kann as Black against 1.e4. This will be interesting since I play the C-K as black I know what throws me off. I thought of preparing either a Panov-Botvinik or an advanced Caro-Kann as described in the book : Caro Kann in Black and White . I Like the Everyman’s Starting out… series

and referenced the Caro-Kann for the mainline: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxd4 Bf5
I know he plays this if allowed.

Second, I wanted to find a good place to throw him out of the book. I searched on this and decided to play 5.Nc5 with a fiery queenside attack. There is only vague references in the 2 books I have already mentioned.

Third , I needed to evaluate if this variation was sound. How to do this without spending more money? DATABASE search… I actually had downloaded a HUGE pgn file on the mainline C-K to build my Bookup repertoire. I discovered it had several master/GM games with the signature move I was looking for. I didn’t feel it necessary to search and download anymore from the online games databases. Instead, over the weekend, I played through each of the games in my database and annotated a few of the games ( two were with Fisher playing white).

The last step in my preparation against a formidable opponent, I discovered that several key positional schemas were common. One involves an Isolated Queen Pawn formation as white. A second strategy was discovering how to make use of a queenside attack on the Black’s weakness of b7 early in the game. Another common theme is a massive king-side pawn advance to blockade the Bishop which involves a thematic pawn sacrifice on f5 to lock him in. I am spending the rest of my time practicing with the computer against these types of positional dynamics to gain more experience.

My hope is to take him out of the comfort zone of the typical C-K game of chase the bishop. I’ll let you all know how I do on Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

first off, good luck on the upcoming battle, i hope you slay him nicely...

you should have a good game, it seems you've done a fair bit of preperation and research. gathering the "intel on the enemy," finding out what he plays, that right there is impressive, the fact that you did that.

your plan sounds pretty solid. you've taken a sniper-like methodical approach, pretty awesome. again, good luck.
i pity tha foo who is your opponent...

oh, thanks for stopping by and noting on my blog, i hope you come back now and again...

Anonymous said...

I envy your focus on preparing for an opponent, although I wonder if you'd be better off using that time (which is finite) in going through tactical exercises. At your (and my 1700) level, playing an opening imperfectly is rarely (if ever) properly punished by an opponent. Instead of focusing on what he may play 8 moves in on some side branch of the Caro-Kan, I think you'd be better off polishing your middlegame know-how; how to make threats, defend against opponent plans, and find tactical blows to win material and/or the game. Just my opinion.
On Monday my chess club met, and I won both rated games - not because I had the opening memorized, but because I took in the position, found where my opponent had a weakness, and found a way to take advantage.
But good luck to you! I enjoy reading your blog.

BlunderProne said...


I have also been continuing my 2nd round of circles on CT-ART. I've been doing about 10-20 level 30 probelms daily.

I am also going over whole games of the variation and paying particular attention to the weaknesses on both sides.