woensdag 19 april 2017

Straight from the newsroom

Chess study

I have to admit that my chess study is almost nihil. One reason is that I am trying to implement what I learned so far from the book How to tune your chess tactics Antenna. I must admit, I am a slow learner. But this book has opened my eyes concerning my chess play, learned lots. The author Emmanuel Nieman is a very good teacher and writer. So far I can only give this book an A+, a must buy/read.

Another reason is that I got extra work at work. I am now also responsable for acountancy and human resource. Not easy jobs to get on your plate, certainly not if you know almost nothing about it and have to start learning those things from scratch. But it's fun learning those things so I dont complain much.

And third and last reason is that I feel very tired when I come home from work. If I dare to sit on my couch for a few minutes I fall asleep. But sitting in front of my computer I also notice that I drift of to dreamland instead of being focussed of what I am doing.

New rating

In Belgium a new rating list comes out every three months. The rating list of march made me drop three points from 1841 to 1838. Only three games were calculated since one of the team tournaments I played in ended to late to be calculated.

With a score of 2.0 out of 3 (wins against 1551, 1583 and a painfull loss against 1805) I expected to be about equal, but helas it seems that a win against 1550+ gives me considerably less points then that I loose points with a loss against 1800.

So now I am in doubt if my 7.0 out of 8 score I had in the team tournament that ended to late will be enough to win some ratingpoints. Will wins against not clasified, 1555, 1605, 1622, 1657 and 1703 rated players be enough to gain more rating points then I lose with draws against 1555 and 1747 rated players? Fingers crossed.

Rapid tournament

The past weekend I played in the rapid tournament (groups of 8 players, single round robin, 15 minutes per game per player) organized by my club. The groups are made by rating points, meaning that the highest eight ratings form group 1, the following eight the second group, ... .

With 1838 elo rating (national rating) I was second seed of group three (ratings between 1850 - 1720) which ment that I had good chances to end first or second in my group and get one of the two prizes for this group (first prize 40 euros, second prize 20 euros). I started well with 3,5/4 and got the sole lead. I misplayed a pawn endgame against the lowest rated player.

A drink and eat break of 15 minutes followed.

As usual, after the break I played a miserable game. Lack of focus? Still kicking myself when I think about it. Helas, this was against the co-leader and so my chances to win my group became very small. With another draw and win I ended my tournament with the score of 4 wins (against seed 1, 3, 6 and 7) 2 draws (against seeds 5 and 8) and 1 loss (against seed 4). A total of 5,0 out of 7. Not a bad score but helas a half point to short for first place. But good enough for second place and the 20 euro prize.

Have fun playing chess!!

dinsdag 11 april 2017

Playing against lower rated opponents

Back online

My computer is back from hospital. After many tests the diagnose was that the hard disk had problems. The doctors had to perform major surgery, handling the scalpel with great precision. I am lucky my computer still fell under the 5 years assurance I got when I bought it. So it didn't cost me a penny to get it fixed.

I am happy I can get this blog rolling again. Not that what I write is so schocking or world changing. Just want to follow the rules of the book challenge as good as I can and is possible.

Playing against lower rated opponents

The last three months I only played against lower rated opponents. In every game I had atleast 100 rating points more. Easy points for you I hear you say. But nothing is further from the thruth. 

Rated below 2100 elorating everybody can win from everybody, it's that simple. It's only when one goes above 2100 rating that a different kind of chess is played. One sees rarely that a 2100+ rated player loose of a 100 points lower rated player while it's not so exceptional that players with a rating below 2100 rating lose of players 100 ratingpoints below them. Atleast that is my experience.

That I scored a result of 9.0/11 is special and unexpected. But I had prepared myself to get a good result. Not by studying 1000 lines of opening theory or studying in great depth the endgame or know by heart all tactical possibilities or ... . No, I just prepared myself mentally.

Don't be stupid, play chess!

Keep in mind that these tips are for players rated under 2100 elo rating.

1. Use your time. Chess is a marathon, not a sprint. Finding good moves, moves dictated by the position dont come immediatly, one has to search for them.

2. Keep it simple! In complicated position it can be that your opponent feels like a fish in water while you have troubles finding good moves and so it's you who make the blunder(s) and not your opponent. If you are really higher rated then your opponent you should be able to out calculate him/her.

3. Never underestimate your opponent! Rating doesn't say everything. Having a lower rated opponent doesn't mean that you will have an easy time at the chess board. Expect a long and hard battle.

A lower rated opponent doesn't mean that you know more about chess then your opponent. His or her knowlegde of chess might be even bigger then yours. I have had lower rated opponents that were better booked in openings and endgame then me. I have played against lower rated opponents that were tactically much better then me. Only when it comes to implementing this knowlegde into playing chess you might be a bit better and hence get a higher rating.

Or it can be that your lower rated opponent just had a bad string of results making his rating lower then yours. Or your opponent is a youth player, who had bad results at the beginning of his chess career but is now taking big steps in improvement with his/her rating swings up to 150 points. Or it can be that your lower rated opponent is an older guy who is slowly going down in rating but in his highdays had a rating of 2100+, who still has the occasional good day of high quality chess playing, but who mostly gets tired around the third hour and then starts to blunder.

So just always play your A-game! Play the best you can! If you then loose you cant blame yourself anything. You did your best but your opponent was stronger. Beter luck next game.

Have fun!