Terrible Game, But Nice Finish

Here is the first game in the Speedy Gonzalez Action Swiss, which I won last night at the Southwest Chess Club.

Please note that the ratings shown are Quick Ratings.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

(all donations go towards lessons)

My Final Round From the USATN

After having a horrendous second day at the USATN I started my Sunday off right with a win.

That brought me to my final game…

I sat down at the board feeling confident, and was quickly up a pawn, and then it went smooth, to quote some Norwegian dude.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

(any donations received go towards lessons)

Push em Baby

Here is a position from the game Wainscott – Haining, K from a couple of days ago.

My opponent has just moved his rook to d8 and my first thought was that my rook was hanging to an x-ray attack as after …Rxe6 dxe6 the d3 rook is attacked twice, but only guarded once.  I find that I notice these types of tactics more easily when I am spending time on tactics training.

My first instinct was to play 27.Ra3 and then work on getting the pawns rolling.  Rather than just play the move I a little voice in my head was telling me to look deeper.  So I did.  And I saw it.  The rook hanging is illusory.

So I decided to play 27.a5

Here I figure I’m better.  It’s not quite winning, but it’s a very pleasant position for me to play.

I figured either my opponent would now see the danger and a5 would essentially have been a free move for me, or he would take the rook.  He took the rook.

27…Rxe6 28.dxe6 Qxd3 29.Qxd3 Rxd3

And what is it that Yasser says about passed pawns?  Oh…right!

30.e7 1-0

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

(any donations will be used to pay for lessons)

Terrible Result at USATN

This weekend saw me participate in the USATN for the fourth consecutive year.  Just like last year I had a pretty miserable performance.

This year I went 2.5-2.5 (the same result as my team) and managed to lose to a 1400 player when I over pressed when my team needed the win, and then in the very next round I blundered a two move mate to an 1136 player.

So the tournament was a disaster, and it’s time to get back to work.

Things did get off to an interesting start on Friday when I played this game and held a draw.

Although we both missed some stuff in the above game, it was nevertheless interesting.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

A Nice Find

Last night at the Southwest Chess Club I played the following game as White against Spencer Pinkston.

On the one hand, the expected result happened.  On the other hand, I’m very pleased to have found 17.h3.  It was the best way to exploit an error in judgment.  It wasn’t particularly difficult to find, but it did require some precision.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

The Quest for Dynamism

Yesterday I played a game at the Southwest Club that I’m proud of.  As you will see, it’s far from perfect, but I’m happy with the fact that I didn’t “play it safe” when it comes to material like I usually do.

I plan on making this the start of a new trend in 2018.  It’s time to get back to my attacking roots and to be much more aggressive as long as I’m not being reckless.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

A Very Nice Endgame Conversion

This game, played a couple of months ago, is a nice example of converting a minor piece ending.  I was up a pawn, but that isn’t always enough in these types of games.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Focus is Key

Chess can be a cruel game.  You can be winning the entire time, and then one slip and you can throw away a half, or even a full point.

This game is a perfect illustration of that.  I was winning a nice game until I got a bit lazy mentally and allowed a perpetual.

My plan to work on this is to solve a lot of “Mate in Two” puzzles from Lazlo Polgar’s book as so many of them deal with restriction themes, which should help me become more aware of which squares are available to pieces.

Til next time,

Chris Wainscott

Was That Not Smooth?

Wednesday I played the final round of the Late Fall Swiss in Waukesha.

I thought that my game went very well, but as it turns out I blundered late and gave up half a point, only to get lucky that my opponent missed it as well.

First, here is the game.  Play through it, then we’ll talk about games like this for a moment.

So let’s talk about games like this.  I outrated my opponent by 360 points or so.  I’ve been told that you should never bother looking at games like this or showing them because, duh, lower rated player, etc.

Yet if you actually take the time to look through a game like this and annotate it sincerely it becomes clear that sometimes you win games like this simply because you weren’t punished for your mistakes.  FM Alex Betaneli once gave a lecture at the Southwest Chess Club where he made the point that you need to look through wins as well to see what you are missing.

You will find that in your wins as well as your losses.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott