20 ( +1 | -1 ) controlI find that my biggest enemy in this game is control. It's usually not the big tactical blunders that get me as much as the stupid oversights. Any Advise other than just buck up and practice??
271 ( +1 | -1 ) Well, I'm exactly sure what you mean by 'control' but I did look at your most recent game (excluding the one that lasted 2 moves). I see many tactical opportunities that you let go. Perhaps get a book or online articles or anything that deals with tactics. You need to practice them over and over.
But also, there were some one move tactics that were missed (just taking an undefended piece).This suggests to me that you aren't spending enough time looking at the position. You should check out nearly all of your moves and work through your opponents' responses. It's ok to occassionally make one move blunders (I've done it already, not realizing I walked into an opening trap), but if you check over the entire board every move, these can happen much less.
A few things I noticed in that game with asheon (I didn't spend too much time on this, so I may have made mistakes -- which brings up another point: if you do practice enough, you'll see a lot of these things without having to take so much time, so yeah, practice a lot):
-Opening got weird. All I know is that 4...f6 looks bad. Weakens the black kingside too much. I would have liked 5. dxe5, which also happens to win a pawn. And good for you would be 4...fxe5 5. Nxe5 and 6. Qh5+ if allowed (6...g6 7. Nxg6 and pay attention to that rook on h8).
-For a while you could have won a pawn through the same dxe5 and Nxe5
-The rook lift to a3 was a bit awkward, since the rook didn't have much scope there (just a3 and b3). You could have caslted kingside if you wanted to protect the rook. And as I type this, I see that 14. Ra3 is bad because of 14...Bxa3.
-18. Bxb5 looks fine to me. Another pawn you can take with no risk.
-21. Nc7+ and then 22. Nxa8 would be good. You let this opportunity pass later too.
-24. Bxh6 wins you the bishop.
-Why are you running away at move 36? Notice that black's king and queen are on the same diagonal -- you should immediately think "bishop." And then play 36. Bc5 winning the queen.
-38. Rf2 loses two pieces, as you soon found out. Especially since your opponent just moved his knight, you should have been looking at all the squares it could go to.
-Your last two moves give up material for no compensation.
Overall, you got a good attack going in the game. But you missed many moves that would have won the game, and then allowed your opponent to take advantage of some of your mistakes. Practice, and make sure to check that every piece that need to be defended is defended, and that every opponent piece that is undefended can't be captured.
357 ( +1 | -1 ) What a game!You must have had a ball playing it, cheshire2, a real tactical melee, and extremely complicated into the bargain. I tend to agree that after 38.Rf2 the game began to slip away from you, rather, though you did have at least one possible counterchance (an idea you found, but a few moves too late to be of help). *** To begin, the opening was not a good one for Black. The Philidor (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6) seems fairly popular at the 1200-level, but it isn't that easy to play. 3.d4 is best, but Black's response in the game, 3...d5, loses a tempo that you could have exploited at once by 4.dxe5 and if 4...dxe4 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Ng5 threatening the fork on f7 and the P on e4. To be sure, a queenless game, but such games are not necessarily boring - especially when you have the initiative plus extra material! *** After 7...g5, you had the opportunity to sac: 8.Nxg5 e.g: 8...fxg5 9.Qh5+ Ke7 10.Bxg5+ Nf6 11.dxe5 etc. If 8...exd4 (attacking 2 pieces at once) 9.Qh5+ Ke7 10.Qf7+ Kd6 11.Bf4+ Kc5 12.Na4+! Kb4 13.Bd2+ Kxa4 14.Qb3# ... a nice King hunt. Not so easy to spot, but the "beginner's idea" of Qh5+ is always worth a look. Now and then it leads to good things... *** 14.0-0 seems OK. Though neither flank looks well protected, Black's K-side is the more fixed, making it harder for him to develop a quick attack there. *** You had an opportunity at move 22 to trap the Black Q with 22.c3! Black can try this wriggle: 22...Bxe3+ 23.Qxe3 Qxb2 but 24.Rb1 seems to leave no escape. *** Though you missed 24.Bxh6 winning the bishop, the opportunity to do some good here persisted for some moves. E.g. 25.Rxg6 Nxg6 26.Bxh6 or 25.Rxg6 Bxe3+ 26.Qxe3 Nxg6 27.gxh5, with an imposing K-side pawn phalanx. Even as late as move 29 Bxh6 looks pretty useful! *** ganstaman is right to point out the pin at move 36. The preceding sequence looks for all the world as though that was your plan! (I have a feeling, though, that Black could have avoided this earlier - your idea looked a bit risky to begin with) *** Instead of 38.Rf2, you might have considered 38.Qf2. This not only attacks the N on c2, but also renews the threat to pin the Q by 39.Bc5. Possibly Black has a saving move, I haven't investigated very closely... But given the double threat, well worth a look. *** You still had a chance late in the game with 42.Rbxf7. E.g. 42.Rbxf7 Qxb6 43.Rxg7 Qb1+ 44.Nf1 Ne7 45.Rxg6 (or you can go all extravagant and play 45.Rf8+, hoping for 45...Kxf8 46.Qh8+ Ng8 47.Qxg8#, though Black has instead 45...Kd7 46.Rxb8 Qxb8 47.Qxg6...) What counterchances Black has other than 42.Qxb6 seems problematical. *** By move 43, Black was beginning to consolidate, but you could still have tried 43.Rxf7 If 43...Kxf7 44.Nxe5+ Ke6?? 45.Qxg6+ Kxe5 46.Qf5# or 43...Kxf7 44.Nxe5+ Kf8?? 45.Nxg6+ Ke8 46.Nh8+ with checkmate or winning the Q to come. Black's best in this line is 43...Kxf7 44.Nxe5+ Ke8 45.Qxg6 (I can't seem to find anything better) Qxg6 46.Nxg6 when White has a considerable assortment of pawns for the bishop, and ought at least not to lose from here, considering that Black has no pawns at all!
OK we've found ways that White, at least, could have improved. But it did turn into a fiendishly complicated game, and, cheshire2, you were finding plausible moves, if not the best. I did wonder whether you were avoiding fairly straightforward continuations in order to maintain a very high level of tension. Not a bad concept in the kinds of positions this game produced. It does, and did, give rise to all sorts of possibilities. The trick is to spot them, and take advantage of them. Cheers, Ion