Rapid Time #8: Shut’em Down, Open Up Shop

This is a positional game play against a 1396 opponent where I played the Caro-Khann with this goals of locking down the entire board after seeing the way White was choosing to response. They created some long term weaknesses, never focused on King safety and over extended their pawns into the 6 rank. Knights shine in closed positions and my Knights were undoubtedly the most active pieces I had.  They spent the game maneuvering around to pressure points and probe weakness, it was like jungle warfare.

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Rapid Time #7: How to Crush Cookie-Cutter Players

Everyone in the 1200-1600 range seems to want to play 1.e4 and go into the Italian Game, it’s an easy opening for beginners no doubt. Pieces go on the same squares every game, it allows for quick development, castles and an attack. Well, I don’t think I should give White the pleasure of choosing such an opening…after 1.e4 I play c6 and it really really throws a wrench in everything, it’s spectacular. Most players try to play as though nothing has changed, it’s quite funny watching them flail around having no idea what to do or where to place anything. The problem is many players stick to an opening and learn the moves they are supposed to play… well what happens when your opponent decides they don’t want to play your game? Most experienced people say you shouldn’t learn openings but instead learn how to play, to a degree I agree but knowing some mainlines and traps in your favorite opening is a must. The game I want to show today is one of these people who don’t know anything but what they always do and it’s apparent by move 3 by their response to c6-d5.

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Rapid Time #6: How to Punish Early Aggression

This was a rapid game against a lower rated player who went into the Queen’s Gambit Accepted and played a line I had never seen before. Luckily it wasn’t anything too dangerous, they brought the Queen out before any other pieces and it became an easy target for the remainder of the game. Later I forced doubled pawns on the castled King and traded Queen’s into a solid winning endgame where Black couldn’t compete.

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