Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Latest Winter OCL Game

I won ... but there is plenty of room for improvement.

I thought I did some pretty good thinking during the game, but Fritz didn't agree ... suprise, suprise!

As for the thought process ... I think I did a pretty good job. I find it very difficult to find all the candidate moves and apply the 3-ply to each one given the amount of time for each game. In a 60 15 game with an average of 40 moves in these games, I have about one minute and forty-five seconds per move to come up with a list of candidate moves, find my opponent's best reply and then my best reply for each move and then decide which one of all those candidate moves is best (if there are lines that are equal). That is difficult for me. Sometimes when I'm looking at a new tactical problem in CT-ART where I know there is a solution, I take upwards to 2 or 3 minutes. And now I have to make a move in less than 2 minutes where there is no definite solution in most cases ... difficult indeed.

The way I see it is I simply need to practice my thought process more and more to become efficient. I also need to keep up with the tactical training so I can spot tactics quickly.

As for this game, I realized (again) that I am not as safty-minded as I think I am. My smoke and mirrors are what saved me this game. Even with the smoke and mirrors, I missed a tactic.

On 16. ... Qh4, I intended to simply have a chance at getting a rook back. But Fritz disagreed with my line of thinking. Fritz suggests 17. Bxf8 Be6 18. Bxe6 fxe6 19. Be7 Qxe7 20. Qxg4 Bxe1 21. Rxe1 and White is up a knight ... that is where I missed my safety analysis.

Instead, my opponent moved 17. h3. I take the rook (17. ... Bxe1 18. Kg1) and this is where I missed the tactic that would have secured the game for me much earlier.

I moved 18. ... Bg3 I wanted to just get out of there up couple of pawns (which is what happened). But Fritz suggests 18. ... Bf2+. I went on to analyze this with 19. Kh1 Be3 20. Qg3 Nf2+ 21. Kh2 Qxg3+ 22. Bxg3 Nxd1 23. Nxd1 Bd4 and Black is up a rook.

I finished the game with about 5 minutes on my clock ... the game went to 44 moves. This is the biggest dilemma I face ... I want to be careful and not blunder and so I feel like I really need to check and double-check and sometimes triple-check my moves and my opponents replies ... all this takes lots of time and I think I'm using too much time ... it's so nerve-racking.

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