Positional Pawn Sac: Smyslov-Euwe Zurich 53

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Here is a game that I was looking at this morning in 300 Most Important Chess Positions which is one of my four books for 2022.

In this position Black has just played 6…h6, which allows White to open the game immediately with a pawn sac with 7.e4 which gains the initiative.

My pgn editor isn’t working currently, so here is a link to the game.

Vasily Smyslov vs Max Euwe (1953) (chessgames.com)

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Updates are Coming

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Sorry for my relative inactivity here. I have been busy working, both in the chess world, and in the corporate world.

I am on a business trip to Denver next week, and will have some time to work on the blog, so I hope to post a lot more of my game analysis and some other training updates.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Round Three USATN – Win vs a 1595

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Round three saw me play a quick game again. My opponent dropped two pawns in the opening due to a move order trick and the game lasted all of 90 minutes.

Meanwhile our board two drew, and the other two are still playing.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Round Two USATN – Win vs 1482

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I was the first to finish in round two, so no idea if the team will win or not.

I played a 1482 who did me a favor by dropping a piece. I feel that perhaps there was something off with my play here, but I haven’t had time to analyze yet, so we’ll see.

A milestone was achieved with this win as it was my 250th rated win (since US Chess started tracking this. I have a bunch of tournaments from prior to the MSA.)

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Round One USATN – Draw vs 2066

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I am playing in the US Amateur Team Tournament and in round one my team faced the top seed.

I am on board four and was playing a kid rated 2066. I absolutely should have won this game. Here it is with no real notes. I’ll annotate and re-publish later.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Draw vs a NM

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Last night I played my weekly club game against NM Ethan Allen. Fortunately for me he is returning to chess after a long layoff, and so is a bit on the rusty side. He used an awful lot of time, and when we agreed a draw I was ahead by about 40 minutes on the clock.

Now on to the US Amateur Team tournament starting tonight in Chicago.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Update – I Have Been Working

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While I haven’t updated much on here lately, I did want to assure everyone that I have been working. Perhaps not as much as I’d like but working indeed.

I’m on pace in terms of reading Chess Strategy for Club Players by Grooten, and I have been working some on analyzing my games. I will start posting them in the very near future.

I will be playing in the US Amateur Team tournament this weekend, and in a four round G/60 next Saturday, so there will be a lot of info to come.

The Chessable streak is still going strong.

Together, we’re going to get through this journey and make this happen!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Interview on Chess Journeys Podcast

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After my recent spin at guest hosting Perpetual Chess and interviewing Ben Johnson, the tables were then turned as I was interviewed by Dr. Scull.

Ep. 29 Chris Wainscott (1700 USCF) by Chess Journeys: Tales of Adult Improvement (anchor.fm)

Here I explain my plans for the year, and the journey so far.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Guest Hosting Perpetual Chess

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If you feel like helping me out, and if you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me continue this project.

Recently I took a spin as guest host for Ben Johnson’s wildly successful Perpetual Chess podcast.

I interviewed Ben about the first five years of the show as we celebrated the shows anniversary.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

New Year Resolutions, Such as They Are

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I’m not a super big believer in making New Year resolutions since I think that if you’re going to do something then you’re likely to just do it, and if you’re not, then saying “I’ll make that my New Year’s Resolution” is just a way to put off the decision and then to tell yourself it’s OK when you fail.

Having said that, I do believe that a calendar year is a good time frame to decide if something is working, should be changed, etc.

So here are my resolutions for 2022, which just so happens to be one calendar year.

  1. Annotate and publish those annotations to every classical game I play. This will include me taking a few minutes immediately after every game to jot down a few notes about what I was feeling/thinking, as well as trying to capture the lines I calculated at the board. Yes, I will engine check this analysis, but I will do it by hand prior and will note when there was something critical that I missed that the engine found.
  2. Continue my streak on Chessable. Currently that stands at 626 days, and my intention is to not stop – ever. I don’t use the freeze protect anything. Those are 626 actual days. Some where I might have done all of 1-2 lines just to keep the streak going, and some where I did hundreds to really work.
  3. Work on openings. For real. For 2022 I give myself the goal of being able to competently play the Caro-Kann and the Slav by the time we get out of the year. I really want to get in tune with the Caro-Slav pawn structure and understand those …e5 and …c5 breaks.
  4. Read four books cover to cover, not counting the ones that I read for revies or the ones I pick up and play through a game of two from. The four books are 300 Most Important Chess Positions by Enqvist; Chess Strategy for Club Players by Grooten; What it Takes to Become a Chess Master by Soltis; The Science of Strategy by Kotov. As you can see, strategic/positional play will be the theme of these books.
  5. Get in much better physical shape. I used to enjoy working out and lifting weights in my youth. I need to get back to that. Some of you witnessed me wrestle a former NFL player when I was 44 or 45 🙂 So I’m not afraid of physicality, I just need to get back to wanting to do the hard work/heavy lifting.
  6. Enjoy myself and trust in the process.

You’ll notice that none of the above relates to rating. I have no intention of setting rating related goals at all anymore other than the long-term goal of getting to 2200.

I used to do the “If only I get to rating X this year” and, in fact, I think I did a “If only I get back to 1800 this year” for last year. If the results of only two games of mine at the end of the year had gone the other way, I would have done that. Yet take a moment to reflect on the insanity of that thought process for a moment. Can I really pretend that two games with different results would mean much in the larger scheme of things? Of course not.

Therefore, rating goals are gone. Now, we focus on the process.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott