Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why do I bother?

I played a beautiful opening and was doing great, and the following position emerged on (my) move 12 as white:

What did I do? I captured his pawn on d5. It wasn't that I didn't think about my move. I was so preoccupied with the "key" d5 square that I didn't look at anything else. I suck at chess. Boy oh boy do I suck at chess. I ended up losing the game.

This is the type of problem I could probably solve in seconds if I were in the middle of a set of tactical exercises. This suggests there is a problem with my thought process. Note to self: before getting caught up in details like key squares, make sure I am not missing threats that a 400-rated 3 year-old would see in three seconds.

Man, how depressing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol, missing mate in one is one thing, losing in such position after Nxd5 is another:)

11/16/2006 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for pointing that out Tempo. With friends like you....

11/16/2006 01:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Devil Knight,

Don't sweat it. Nobody expects to see a mate in one after move 12. It's really rare. Just burn this one in your memory and I guaranteee you won't forget next time. It's all part of the learning experience. I had a known K+Q endgame win in a tourney a few weeks ago that I shouldn't have missed even though I was low on time (12 seconds on the clock)

We've all missed mates like this in games. . .even Tempo [grin].

11/16/2006 04:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, about that. . .
I produced this little gem with white at the club when I was trying to learn the Bird.
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.h3??? Bg3#

Once I didn't see a mate in on not even 3 moves before it appeared. My opponent, who was totally lost already, made 3 idiot moves with his bishop before he could deliver a backrank mate in one with his rook. I was quite focussed at my own moves.

11/16/2006 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

In the light of morning, things are looking better and the post seems a bit self-indulgent (imagine a blog post being self-indulgent). I wrote that right after the game, when my discouragement and frustration were peaking. I will learn from this mistake.

Jim: I think you've nailed it. I didn't expect a mating possility at move 12 (with an opponent rated 1367) and this affected my move search dramatically. I was in total middle-game mode. A mistake I hope to avoid in the future.

After posting, I forced myself to do some drills: about 140 mate in one problems last night. I even picked up The Polgar Brick for the first time and am going to work through those mate in ones to mix things up.

What is really funny is I have been thinking lately, "Man, I never see smothered mate in real games, only in my tactical exercises. Who would be so stupid to close in his king like that?" Perhaps someone with an opponent careless enough to miss it :O

11/16/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Zweiblumen said...

This is a game from the Bishop's opening, yes? I'd be curious to see the whole thing since that's also my e4 e5 opening.....

Speaking of blunders, did you look at my game from Tuesday night? I didn't deserve to win that game, but my opponent deserved it even less. At our level, we're going to drop pieces and miss mates. Forgetting all the previous moves in the game, fighting on, and not getting despondent about bad moves already on the board is one of the most important skills for low rated players, because our opponents are going to give that material back, and plenty of chances to mate them. You have to keep your spirits up so that when you get another mate threat 5 moves later you don't miss that one because of depression.

At least, that's what I tell myself so that I can believe my tenacity and nerves are an asset :P

11/16/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Zweiblumen: luckily I didn't see the mate until the game was over. Even my opponent didn't see it until the game was over :)

The game up to that point went like this:
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 d6 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. f4 Be7 6. f5 O-O 7. a3 a6 8. Nf3 b5 9. Ba2 Kh8 10. O-O Rg8 11. Ng5 d5 12. exd5 (????)

11/16/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My last tournament game ended with a smothered mate. It comes up a LOT. Art of Checkmate says that you never see it in a game between masters, but you DO see it in the unplayed variations...

Maybe your thinking is compartmentalized [I was in total middle-game mode] because your study method is compartmentalized? Complete games is the ticket, hehe.. :) Anyway, to get in such a dominating position in 12 moves, you are obviously playing well. So i agree with Jim-- dont sweat it.

11/16/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try not to be so hard on yourself ;-)

We all blundered one time or another. And still do ;-)

Let the blunder work for you (as in being sharper and even more focussed next time).

Take care!

11/17/2006 04:39:00 AM  
Blogger takchess said...

I should post the scholar mate loss I had on the net. That would cheer you up! I must of been preoccupied with something.

You might enjoy the kga with one of Emms lines I just posted on my blogg.

11/17/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks Edwin and Tak.

Tak: I'll have to look at that game tonight. I will soon start in with the chapter on the Knight's gambit in Emms. Man, these lines are very sharp! Once I learn this opening better, I think I'll start to actually be excited when white plays the KG. Typically I had been scared.

Patrick: yer a damned hippy. :P

11/17/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

That's why I am called "Blunderprone".

Why do we go through this? Is it all worth it? If I was a golfer, I'd be chucking my clubs in the woods I suspect. I enjoy the game. I enjoy the process. Time stops for me when I am OTB. All the stuff from my daily life gets put out of my memory and I am there in a zen like state find the best move... but laughing at my frustrating blunders.

11/19/2006 11:18:00 PM  

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