This is my first win at my first over the board tournament, it was surprisingly more exciting than I thought it would be (the game that is). Usually I play closed, grindy, positional games but in this one I traded a Knight and Rook for the White Queen which left Whites pawn structure a mess and every piece tied to each other or to stopping a mating threat. The game was even until move 18 when I played the suspect Nb4 offering it to be taken by a pawn to only to reveal an attack on the White Queen with the Rook. Point value, I was only up a pawn’s worth but my pieces and especially my Queen were very active. There was the safer Nxd4 to be played and win a pawn, I talk about that in the analysis but this was much sharper and more fun especially on my first night there.
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After an ungodly but purely enjoyable week of nothing but Chess with my spare time, my tactical abilities have started to match my basic knowledge and strategic abilities. This is a 15+10 Rapid game where I saw a tactical line about 10 moves deep that lead to Mate after sacing my Rook and Queen. In the position below, after the fxe5 dxe5, Rf7 and Rf8 I would have 3 pieces lined up against the f2 pawn if the Knight moves. From there 1.Rxf2 Rxf2 2.Qxf2 Kh1 3. Qf1 Rxf1 4. Rf1#. Even if the Knight didn’t move or White played h3, the position is still very strong for Black. The game ended in 22 moves with nearly half being predicted early on.
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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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