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

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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

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Relentless Technique by Hikaru

In the recently concluded World Rapid and Blitz Championships Super GM Hikaru Nakamura represented his home country of the USA quite nicely taking home the bronze (on tiebreaks as he finished in a tie for second) in the Rapid and the silver (on tiebreaks as he finished in a tie for first) in the Blitz.

In this game against Russian GM Alexander Riazantsev he shows relentess technique in grinding his opponent down.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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Marshall Marshall Marshall

Yeah, OK…most of those reading this won’t get the Brady Bunch reference. I get it. But I do them for me, not you! 🙂

Here is an example of a game in the Marshall Attack in the Spanish that perfectly illustrates how to handle these positions.

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.

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%MCEPASTEBIN%

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.

Steinitz – von Bardeleben 1-0

Yesterday I was speaking with a friend of mine about this game. This is one that EVERYONE should be aware of. It’s that good.

Here’s YouTube sensation Agadmator commenting on the game, even though he inadvertently says “1985” instead of 1895 for the year.

I hope you enjoy this game as much as I do.

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.

What a Game! Nakamura – Andreikin 1-0

One of my students has this problem with passivity. He often gets his pieces out quickly in the opening, but then founders a bit and simply hands the initiative over to his opponent.

After seeing and hearing of many good positions being spoiled this way I started showing him some King’s Gambit games. Not because I think he should play the opening, but because I think that so many of those games are famous for teaching about the importance of speed and initiative.

Of course we looked at games like the immortal game:

And more modern games like Nakamura – Adams:

So tonight I was thinking…I wonder f there are any other games Hikaru has played in the KG that would be worth showing my student. I messaged Hikaru to ask him if he had any good ones and he said “My game against Andreikin in the World Blitz.”

And that’s where I discovered this amazing game. Enjoy!

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.