The last time I was at the club was back in May since school demanded almost all my time and when it didn’t frazzling my brain was the last thing I wanted to do. I’ve had been playing some 3/5 blitz and 10 minute games every day along with tactics for the last couple months which has clearly helped. My girlfriend and a friend of hers plays chess as well so that was another factor in chess becoming more relevant. Having people to talk and play with makes anything better. As for my last two tournaments I went 1/3 and then 2/3 but the most recent was 2.5/3. A steady increase over time and really the first game I played I should have won since I had a winning position from the opening but playing over the board after so long took some getting used too. That game ended in a draw with my Knight forking the opponents King and passed pawn.
This game I was looking to win quickly and end the night. I played the Italian looking for an attack on the f7 pawn, usually I would play a solid d4 Queen’s gambit instead. I kept the option of castling short or long open but after Black played Bg4 pinning the Knight as normal I played h3 and g4 to kick the Bishop around. I then proceeded with an attack on the c5 Bishop with c3 and b4, it was an all out assault from both side. My King stayed in the middle surrounded by defenders while took Black’s castling rights away and battered the already weakened King side. It lead to a double Rook mate with the Black King on h5.
I really enjoy intuitive and fast paced games, having the general knowledge needed to make moves or decisions on the fly is more attractive to me than being able to mull over a position and figure it out. Any one can figure out what to do when they have enough time but to inherently understand and have a plan worked out while making changes in an instant is what real calculation is. My first foray into the 3minute super blitz world was last night and my rating is surprisingly strong there, over 1522 after 14 games. The accuracy of play didn’t suffer as I expected, the game below had 4 inaccuracies and one mistake for an average centi-pawn loss of only 25ish.
Admittedly I find 5 minute games to be a little long when I’m really looking to get in an exciting chess game or looking for the equivalent of a first person shooter over the board. 5 minute offers the opponent too much time to consider and I lose the rapid and consistent calculation stream that a 3 minute match offers. This game highlighted use of principles and general knowledge to attain a strong position from the opening, how to take advantage of tactical opportunities and show cased some end game knowledge. The game ended with me having 1:20 on the clock still, a total of 1 minute 40 seconds used.
I’ve played the GQ exclusively for awhile now and there was always one aspect that wasn’t as fluid as the rest. It was the dark squared Bishop, either it wasn’t developed early enough, it was blocked in by a pawn or a Knight or simply not influencing the game. I set out to find some other move orders in the QG to help fix the issue of the bad Bishop and I found that b3 fit into most of my games without any down sides. This game was the first time employing the move into my opening and it worked incredibly well and felt fluid just as I was looking for.
Below is the position after Black played 1…Bb4+ 2. Bd2 Bxd2 3. Nxd3
White’s opening position is incredibly solid and active while Black is lacking in space for the Queen’s Knight and the light squared Bishop is blocked by a pawn. From here Black play Ne7 and I push e5 blowing the center open supported by the Knight on d2. Black had a chronic problem of being behind in development and cramped for positions, it lead to a smooth conversation and too much pressure on a pawn lead to a collapse in Blacks territory.