Artemiev Showing he Belongs

On day two of the Tata Steel Masters group in Wijk an Zee. Vladislav Artemiev showed that not only does he belong in the top group, but that he can contend as well.

On the White side of the English the young Russian ground down his more experience countryman Nikita Vitiugov.

Here is a position that shows some things I’m really trying to refine in my own games:

How often would a club player either trade or not trade queens almost automatically as a matter of personal preference? Well here Artemiev trades queens, but for a specific reason.

After 16.Qxd8+ Rxd8 17.Be3 0-0 18.Bb6 it becomes clear that White will now control the d file as Black has difficulty challenging that control since White controls the d8 square.

At the same time, should Black recapture the queen with a move such as 16…Bxd8 then after 17.Bf4 White has a much better position:

Here is the entire game:

All in all a good performance by Artemiev and proof that he’s a got a bright future.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

%MCEPASTEBIN%

Blitz as a Tool

I’m trying to use blitz as more of a tool than I had been up until recently.

In the nine years since my return to chess I have played *maybe* 1,ooo games combined across all the servers.

This year I need to get somewhere around 1,000-1,500 games in. I should be averaging 3-5 per day, and giving them at least a brief analysis.

I hear all the reasons that people say blitz is a useful tool, and they are correct. Practicing openings and quick tactics are useful skills to hone in blitz.

I also find that playing more blitz helps me think more strategically as positional errors seem much easier to exploit in blitz since it’s harder (at least for me) to find accurate defensive moves quickly during a blitz game.

Let’s take this position from a game I just finished:

Here I should be on high alert because my queen is undefended. But I’m not.

My opponent plays 12…Nbd7 and after four seconds I play 13.Ne5??

I realize instantly what I’ve done, and wait for the inevitable 13…Nxe5 which wins on the spot.

Luckily my opponent misses it. We trade some strategic errors back and forth, along with some missed tactics such as this:

I miss the crushing 21.Bd6 here.

I also miss an easy mate in two here:

24.Qxf7+ Kg8 25.Qxg7# So easy, a caveman could do it. There is no excuse for missing these kinds of things.

Here’s one I miss one move later:

Let’s be honest, if I’m going to get to 1900 this year I can’t miss stuff like this. I’m thinking that my opponent did good here with 24…Ra7 because it prevents 25.Rxg7+ so I chop the rook with 25.Rxa7. However, 25.Bxg7 again would have won on the spot.

Here if my opponent plays 25…Rxf7 I simply mate on h8.

We get to this position where almost anything is winning for me…almost.

29.Bd6?? not only doesn’t win, but loses on the spot to 29…Qxd4!

Here is the entire game:

My opponent and I play again, and this time I win with a nice smothered mate:

In this game I made fewer errors, but they were still there.

I know that a lot of people have a tendency to say “Well, it’s only blitz.” or “You have to expect these kinds of errors in blitz.”

I think that is probably more wrong thinking.  I think that if I play more blitz that I’ll start to see things much faster which should help some of my board vision issues.

I’m not sure if I can put a rating on it, but I think that perhaps another goal of mine should be to get to around 2000 in online blitz as that would be more of an indicator that my strategic instincts are being honed and that tactical patters are also much more ingrained.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Nice Finish to My Blitz Game

Here’s the end to a game I just played. I’m Black and it’s my move…

Here’s the entire game:

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Stop Wrong Thinking

Something I need to work on is putting an end to wrong thinking during games. Here’s an excellent example of that.

This is the position from my game Thursday. My opponent is a kid playing his first rated game. His strength is perhaps 500-600, so clearly the game is a mismatch.

My opponent castles

This hangs the e pawn, so I immediately give up the bishop pair

Except…I played 7.Bg5 here. Why? Here is the answer from my notes to the game:

“This is just wrong thinking. After chopping the knight to win the pawn I chose not to follow up properly because I feel that perhaps the extra tempi aren’t worth giving up. But there’s no place for feelings here. Just calculation. Which of course tells us that winning the pawn is the correct way to go since the extra tempi count for nothing in a position where Black can’t get to White and White controls the entire enter.”

So if I’m truly going to get to 1900 this year I’m going to have to stop this behavior. The thing is, I’d have snapped the pawn off in an instant against a stronger player.

Something to keep in mind.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Today it Begins

Today is the first day of the new year. As I mentioned in a recent post my goal is to surpass my all time peak rating in 2020.

As of now that number stands at 1896.

So what’s the plan for today? Today I’m going to work on some Chessable opening course lines that I’ve been learning and I’m going to work on solving a couple of endgame studies from Domination in 2,545 Endgame Studies by Kasparian.

This is going to be my year. I’ll will it into being.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The Plan for 2020

As I mentioned a few days ago I need to put together a plan for 2020 since my goal is to get to 1900 for the first time.

However, I have no intentions of putting together one of those pie in the sky projections claiming that I’ll spend 20 hours a week on this and 20 hours a week on that, etc.

The goal here is to start by being realistic about the goal and honest about the process of how to improve.

So let’s start with the easy stuff…things that will be done every day.

Tactics

Unlike in the past where I have said I’d do X number of hours of tactics per day, etc. my plan this time is to do what I’ve been doing. Namely, tactics on my phone using Chessable. I’ve been using the course 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners. Don’t let the title fool you. These aren’t mate in ones or hanging queens, they’re more like tactics aimed around 1200-1600ish level players.

The idea is to get tactics at this level down to reflexive movements. I’ve gone all the way through the book three times and almost halfway through the fourth go  round.

Once I’ve made it through seven times I’ll switch to my next tactics course, which is 1001 Chess Exercises for Club Players. That book seems to be geared more toward the 1400-1800 level. I’ll do the same seven revolutions.

Please note that this concerns quick tactics only. We’re not speaking about calculation, just quick tactics.

Openings

Same as tactics, I’ll be working using Chessable for openings. In fact, I have been. Mostly I’ve been adding my own lines using pgn files which I create, but I’ve also branched out to buy courses.

As for a repertoire I plan on just keeping the same one I’ve had for some time now.

White:  1.e4

Black: Against 1.e4 I’ll stick to 1…e5. Against 1.d4 I’ll stay with the KID. Against 1.c4 I’ll play 1…Nf6 and we’ll go from there.

Ultimately the idea is to just deepen my repertoire after having spent the last several years broadening it.

Endgames

Again, this is something I use Chessable for. I’ve been working through Jesus de la Villa’s 100 Endgames You Must Know.

So for  tactics, openings, and endgames I’ll just be working on them intermittently throughout the day on my phone. Sometimes I sit down for an extended period of time at home for this, but generally between breaks and lunches I’ll get an hour a day in.

Calculation

This is where Chessable and I part ways.

For calculation I plan on solving endgame studies and playing a lot of guess the move.

I spent some time a little over a year and a half ago working through a bit of Domination in 2545 Endgame Studies. I found the work to be extremely rewarding although difficult process.

I’d like to spend at least 30 minutes three times a week on this. The plan would be to spend 15 minutes per exercise, meaning I should be able to get through a minimum of six exercises per week.

Additionally I would like to do at least two full guess the move sessions per month. When I do guess the move it’s usually a three plus hour session, so getting two of these per week would be a serious chunk of time.

So that’s it. That’s the plan. Sure, there will be a lot more, but this is the outline of the plan which will give me the best chance to get to 1900 in 2020.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Guess The Move Filip-Korchnoi 0-1

You may have picked up on a theme recently, which is that I have been working on some Guess the Move games with a friend of mine.

This past Thursday at the chess club my game ended in a quick draw so once again we worked on some Guess the Move..

The intention here was to look at a game more strategic and positional in nature than the tactical maelstrom we reviewed in the Hort -Ribli game.

That gave us this:

So here you go…paste this into Chessbase and put it on training mode and have fun!

[Event “Siegen ol (Men) fin-A”]
[Site “Siegen”]
[Date “1970.09.17”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Filip, Miroslav”]
[Black “Kortschnoj, Viktor”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “E19”]
[WhiteElo “2510”]
[BlackElo “2640”]
[PlyCount “74”]
[EventDate “1970.09.05”]
[EventType “team”]
[EventRounds “11”]
[EventCountry “GER”]
[SourceTitle “OM OTB 201804”]
[Source “Opening Master”]
[SourceDate “2018.04.24”]
[SourceVersion “2”]
[SourceVersionDate “2018.04.24”]
[SourceQuality “1”]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Qc2
Nxc3 9. Qxc3 c5 10. Rd1 d6 11. b3 Bf6 12. Bb2 Qe7 13. Qd2 Rd8 14. Ne1 Bxg2 15.
Nxg2 Nc6 16. d5 exd5 17. cxd5 Bxb2 18. Qxb2 Nd4 19. e3 Nf3+ 20. Kh1 Qe4 21. Qe2
a6 22. Qd3 Qg4 23. Ne1 Re8 24. Nxf3 Qxf3+ 25. Kg1 Re5 26. a4 h5 27. Ra2 g5 28.
Qe2 g4 29. Qxf3 gxf3 30. Rc2 Re4 31. Rc4 f5 32. h3 Kf7 33. Kh2 b5 34. Rxe4 fxe4
35. Ra1 b4 36. g4 h4 37. g5 Rc8 0-1

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Ending the Year on a High Note

Without a doubt this year was a flat one for me from a rating standpoint. I started the year 1774 and I’ll be finishing it 1764.

I haven’t been over 1800 since June 2017, and in fact in September of 2018 I managed to drop all the way to 1621 in what was a horrendous time for me in my personal life.

However, there are green shoots. Many of them.

For one, even though I don’t have as much time to study and work on my own game now that I’m part owner of the International Academy of Chess  I’m managing to spend at least 30-60 minutes a day working on tactics and openings on chessable. This is at least keeping me a bit sharp.

For another, I have learned to maximize my time. I used to have hours available each day and I might spend three hours thinking about what to do and then 30 minutes actually doing something. Often not what I intended. Now that so much more of my time is spoken for I have learned to ensure that I make the most of what little I have.

Lastly, I’m ending the year on a three tournament streak of gaining rating. During that time I’ve gone from 1716 > 1764. It’s not much, but what there is I’m happy to accept.

So now it’s time to work on a plan for 2020. My main goal is to surpass 1900 for the first time ever. My peak is 1896. I have a plan, and I’ll be posting more about it here in the next couple of days.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Hort – Ribli 0-1 Guess The Move

Last Thursday a friend and I spent three hours playing guess the move with this game.

You can get some high quality calculation in during that time if you really try.

Here’s the game.

Now here’s the pgn.

[Event “Hoogovens”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee”]
[Date “1983.01.15”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Hort, Vlastimil”]
[Black “Ribli, Zoltan”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “B82”]
[WhiteElo “2585”]
[BlackElo “2595”]
[PlyCount “98”]
[EventDate “1983.01.14”]
[EventType “tourn”]
[EventRounds “13”]
[EventCountry “NED”]
[EventCategory “12”]
[SourceTitle “OM OTB 201804”]
[Source “Opening Master”]
[SourceDate “2018.04.24”]
[SourceVersion “2”]
[SourceVersionDate “2018.04.24”]
[SourceQuality “1”]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f4 b5 8. Qf3
Bb7 9. Bd3 Nbd7 10. O-O Rc8 11. Nd1 g6 12. Nf2 Bg7 13. Nb3 O-O 14. a4 b4 15. a5
Qc7 16. Qe2 e5 17. fxe5 Nxe5 18. Bb6 Qe7 19. Rae1 Nxd3 20. cxd3 Nd7 21. Bd4 Ne5
22. Bb6 h5 23. Qd2 Qd7 24. Re2 Qa4 25. Qd1 Rfe8 26. Nh3 Nd7 27. Be3 Nc5 28.
Nxc5 Qxd1 29. Rxd1 dxc5 30. b3 f5 31. exf5 Rxe3 32. Rxe3 Bd4 33. Rde1 Re8 34.
Kf2 gxf5 35. Nf4 h4 36. g3 hxg3+ 37. hxg3 Kf7 38. R1e2 Kf6 39. Re1 Kg5 40. R1e2
Kg4 41. Re1 Bf3 42. Ng6 Bd5 43. Nf4 Bxb3 44. Ng2 Bd5 45. Ke2 Rh8 46. Nf4 Bf3+
47. Rxf3 Re8+ 48. Kf1 Rxe1+ 49. Kxe1 Kxf3 0-1

Copy that, put it in Chessbase, set it on Training mode and have fun!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Training Update

First let me say that I need to make a more concerted effort to post information, updates, and positions every day.

In the meantime I have been hard at work. I really can’t stress how much of a godsend Chessable have been with this.

For example, this morning I woke up and solved close to 100 tactics on my phone on the Chessable app.

The courses I have currently are 1001 Exercises for Beginners (tactics for somewhere around 1500-1600ish level) 1001 Exercises for Club Players (tactics for up to 2000-2200 maybe) and 100 Endgames You Must Know.

I have not been solely limited to Chessable however.

Yesterday a friend of mine and I spent a couple of hours working on guess the move with this game:

I recommend this game as it’s not well known and it has some interesting moments. Here is the pgn:

[Event “Novi Sad ol (Men)”]
[Site “Novi Sad”]
[Date “1990.??.??”]
[Round “9”]
[White “Schmidt, Wlodzimierz”]
[Black “Antonio, Rogelio Jr”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “E61”]
[WhiteElo “2455”]
[BlackElo “2445”]
[PlyCount “99”]
[EventDate “1990.11.17”]
[EventType “team-swiss”]
[EventRounds “14”]
[EventCountry “YUG”]
[SourceTitle “OM OTB 201804”]
[Source “Opening Master”]
[SourceDate “2018.04.24”]
[SourceVersion “2”]
[SourceVersionDate “2018.04.24”]
[SourceQuality “1”]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 b6 4. e3 g6 5. d4 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O d6 8. b3 Na6
9. Bb2 Bb7 10. Qd2 Nc7 11. a4 cxd4 12. exd4 d5 13. Rfd1 Ne6 14. Ne5 Rc8 15. Qe3
Qc7 16. Rac1 Qd6 17. Bf3 Rfd8 18. a5 Bf8 19. Ra1 Ng7 20. g4 Qb8 21. axb6 axb6
22. Nxd5 Nxd5 23. cxd5 Rxd5 24. Bxd5 Bxd5 25. Rdc1 Ne6 26. Nd7 Rxc1+ 27. Rxc1
Qb7 28. Nxf8 Nxf8 29. Qe5 Qd7 30. h3 Ne6 31. Qe3 f6 32. Ba3 Kf7 33. Re1 Qb5 34.
Qh6 Kg8 35. Bxe7 Qd3 36. Qe3 Qxd4 37. Qxd4 Nxd4 38. Rd1 Nf3+ 39. Kf1 Bxb3 40.
Rd7 f5 41. gxf5 gxf5 42. Bf6 f4 43. Kg2 Ne1+ 44. Kf1 Nf3 45. Rg7+ Kf8 46. Ke2
Bd5 47. Rxh7 Ng1+ 48. Kd3 Be6 49. Ke4 f3 50. h4 1-0

Copy that, put it in Chessbase, set it on Training mode and have fun!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.