Saturday, February 8, 2014

Games #8, #9 and #10

Games #8 and #9 were played in the open section of ICC's monthly 4-round G60 tournament. They feature similar themes and game #9 is my debut against a Class A player.

Overall, I think I made good moves, especially in game #9.  I wasn't intimidated by my opponents and was going for the win the entire time.  If I could make the same moves and use half as much clock time I'd be in pretty good shape.

I'm generally pretty terrible at blitz. At the time games #8 and #9 were played, I had played 11 blitz games with a record of  +2 -9 =0.  And this wasn't against highly rated people either.   And unsurprisingly, even in games when I was up a piece, I'd lose on time.  So with the idea of getting better at seeing the board and playing quickly, I decided to dedicate some time to blitz.

Two of my weaknesses are playing too slowly and not getting fully developed in the opening.  So I decided to focus on those key things using blitz.  My mentality seemed somewhat different going into the games.  I was just going to get my pieces out and look for tactics when my gut said to.  Since game #9, I played 8 games of blitz going +5 -3 =0.  This is against similar competition that I was losing to previously.  I was just trying to get my pieces developed aggressively at all costs and I wasn't afraid to sac pawns to open lines against a king stuck in the center.  It seemed to work out really well.

Game #10 was played in the DHLC Slow Chess Weekly against someone more in my range rating wise.  This was my first game since playing blitz and I made it a point to move quickly when possible and not agonize over simple moves.

I felt like I was in control pretty much from start to finish, even in an opening I was mostly unfamiliar with.

My current game stats:

Class E: +3 -1 =0 75%
Class D: +3 -0 =0 100%
Class C: +1 -2 =1 37.5%
Class B: +1 -2 =0 33.3%
Class A: +0 -1 =0 0%

I definitely need to make it a point to play more people rated over 1400. 

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