Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Oops. Just spent a whole day playing chess! Don't tell the boss.

Luckily there is no boss to tell. Phew. However, the gradually shrinking wallet is definitely complaining, each day a bit louder. I've played back to back 15|10 games since 9AM. It is now 9:30PM and I want to play more. So fun!

I should have it out of the system by the end of tonight. I'm sure. There is only so much losing I can do. The opposition, ranked in the 98-99th percentile of players, is proving really tough. I only win about 1 in 4 games. These games are won by playing almost completely blunder free, at least until the endgame. I am now flirting with a ranking of 97.5th percentile, which makes me feel great, yay!

I had a game against an opponent rated 2,000 (I'm rated around 1,600). I worked so hard, but in the end, the fact I was up an exchange, was only enough to get a draw from the game. I noticed in the computer analysis, that some very subtle moves, reduced my advantage from +3pts, to eventually just +1pt. This small advantage my opponent defended skilfully in the endgame. At least I didn't fall for one of this many shifty knight forks throughout the 50 or so moves in the end game.

I've concluded, that the key to my increased rating, is definitely how much theory I can remember to get out with a small advantage from the opening. The more theory I remember, the more time I have on my clock to find good moves once I do not know the theory. Most of the games that I've lost, seem to be because the opponent still has 12+ minutes on the clock while I am starting to feel the pressure with no more than 4 minutes on mine. I've almost lost a few because opponents have played rare openings, in which I'm out of theory I know by move 7. Ouch.

Don't get me wrong, I realise that I should be able to find the best move in any position, without knowing theory. I know that! But it's bloody hard work!!! It's definitely impossible to do so in blitz games, at least at my current level. I am going to have to play some more on-line "correspondence" chess, in order to build up my knowledge of theory by practice. I am also going to try what "Chess for Zebras" suggests and find interesting positions, and then practice finding the best move and do an analysis, within 20 minutes. Then compare my results with the actual GM facts. This is meant to improve my concentration and help me solve similar positions faster in the future. We'll see about that.

The TLDR; play bloody slower paced games until I learn more theory and have more practice under my belt. Playing a whole day of fast chess is not gonna get me anywhere!!! But at least it was fun.

My rating on 15|10 now is exactly 1,600. I promise to myself I won't play another 15|10 until I hit 1,850 on Correspondence Chess.

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