Monday, 12 March 2012

Reti opening

I played in a chess congress about a month ago. In my first game I faced a kind of Reti opening. I think that my knowledge of the Catalan opening as Black meant that I was able to bang the first few moves out confidently. I was slightly ahead on time during the game and happily accepted the draw offer ... Any constructive comments very welcome!

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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dragon: Not castling is my undoing

I had plenty of opportunities to castle in this Sicilian Dragon, but I procrastinated and decided it wasn't necessary. This eventually led to my downfall as will be revealed ... All my pieces got tied down to the defense of the King due to mate threats! I managed to turn the game around during the time scramble to a win - but blundered my rook in the ensuing Rook and Pawn ending to a simple tactic (not shown here because you are not obliged to record the moves in the last 5 minutes). There was only 40 seconds left on my clock and I couldn't think straight ... !

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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Robbed with the Grob!

This latest clubgame turned out to be very instructive for many reasons ...

It proved that:

a) Sharp openings can throw a player off guard.

b) As a competent chess player you have to be ready for anything thrown at you (there is little mileage in revising your pet line in the Sicilian when your opponent plays 1.g4!?)

c) Not castling more often than not proves fatal.

d) Spending inadequate time looking at all possibilities for your opponent leads to disaster.

e) A badly positioned Queen can can allow simple tactics to be exploited against it.

I lost this game because of a simple blunder towards then end but it was possibly lost anyway .... Why didn't I play Qb7! on my last move ... ?? - went off to get a glass of water and lost my concentration - but not a valid excuse :)

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Note about the opening:

I incorrectly assumed that a d5 and c6 set up for Black was enough to defend against the Grob, but alas, this falls in beautifully with White's plans. White gangs up on d5 with c4, Nc3 and Qb3 (as well as having their White squared Bishop on g2) and there is tremendous pressure on the c6 and b7 squares. If Black manages to defend c6 and d5 then he must try and castle queenside quickly and attempt to get some pressure down the g-file before white does. White in turn will try the same and castle queenside.

A different plan for Black is to play 1..e5 against the Grob and aim to place the Knight on g6 via e7. The Knight will be looking to attack the bishop on g2 via h4 or f4. Nc6 can be played in this setup with a possible Bd7 and Bd6 and maybe Rb8.

As usual, any comments welcome.

Note: Here is an excellent reference for anti-Grob officianados.,mt_plsh_grb.html

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Grand Prix Attack - Won game, lost on time !

This is my first post for a while, and the reason I haven't been posting is simply because I've been playing chess constantly for the last 2 or 3 weeks!! Here I have a nice won game as White - but I went on to lose on time unfortunately :( - This happens occasionally. Incidentally I went on to win my opponents Queen for a Rook but the flag dropped ...

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