Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2 more games of chess

Heisman recommends playing at least 2 slow games per week. I haven't kept up with that pace, but I have managed to get a few more 45/45 games in since my last post.

A few notes:
  1. I need to do a better job at development
  2. I need to do a better job at controlling the center/respecting a strong pawn center
I also have a question:  After move 23 I have 3 minor pieces and a Rook vs 1 minor piece and 2 Rooks.  I'm also about to win a pawn.  I know that generally you want to exchange pieces when up material, but if I could only exchange off one of my pieces for his, would it be better to trade the minor pieces or the Rooks?  IOW, 2 minor pieces + Rook vs 2 Rooks or 3 minor pieces vs 1 minor Piece and 1 Rook.  Does it matter?  Am I overthinking it?  I have to assume my opponent won't want to trade.  I guess my best strategy is to just untangle a bit and start pushing Queenside pawns and force the trades anyway.

After this game, we decided to play another game in a few days with me as Black again so I could get practice in the Grünfeld.  I spent the next few days booking up and I learned something important; I don't like it!  I went over several games in Aagaard's Starting Out: The Grünfeld and each game I felt like I didn't like Black's position.  However, I felt like that could be due to unfamiliarity and decided to go with the Grünfeld for our return game.  Of course, I spent that time going over the Classical and Modern Exchange variations and he avoided that entirely this time...

A few more notes:

  1. Play real chess every move!  Include all possible CCT until quiescence
  2. Give critical positions the time they deserve
I still don't like the Grünfeld, so it's shelved for now.  I think I need to stay away from hypermodern openings in general.  For now, I'm sticking with the classical Queen's Gambit Declined.  I'm reading Sadler's "Queen's Gambit Declined" book and I find it to be excellent for a beginner.  The format of the book is something like a cross Between Fine's "Ideas Behind the Chess Openings" and Chernev's "Logical Chess Move by Move".  Each chapter covers a variation of the QGD with several annotated games in the format of a hypothetical student asking questions about the moves with Sadler giving the explanations for the moves.  Multiple annotated games are included each chapter to cover the main choices White or Black has at various points.  Between this and Fine's book as a supplement, I feel like I'm getting a good grounding on the ideas and strategies of a particular opening and what I should be looking for.  I've seen the book recommended many times, generally along the lines of  "the theory is outdated but the base knowledge is excellent".  I definitely feel that is true.  Does anyone know of any other books that follow a similar format that are good for a beginner other than Sadler's other books on the Slav and Semi-Slav?  

1 comment:

  1. Im only a 1900 so dont trust my words too much ;)
    About your "trade" question:
    The general idea of endgames is to promote a pawn, so you need a passer. A passer can/should be blockaded by a minor piece, so you want to exchange minor pieces. And you usually need at least 1 rook or queen to keep the opponents king away. But in the endgame bishops get stronger and a bishoppair is of very! high value.The knight gets not! stronger in the endgame. So you want to exchange your knight against the opponents bishop. Bxd4 was not as good as Kxd4. But first of alll you need to create a passer. And with Rxb4 you did create quick and easy connected passer!!! So Bxd4 was ok. Houdini might have seen that the b4 is lost anyway..??

    CCT takes to long in timepreassure, you need to do many easy tactics to prevent blunders. With more material your opponent can do only one thing: attack your king so its very important to exchange dangerous pieces like the queen and watch carefully!! for your king