Friday, February 09, 2007

Lines of vulnerability, QGD, and CT-Art

A couple of other points I don't want to forget about the lesson this week. In a tournament game we went over, I missed a beautiful pin. Coach urged me to imagine not just lines of force emanating from my pieces, but lines of vulnerability from my opponent's pieces. E.g., imagine lines radiating outward from the enemy king, traversing through all the pieces on the board. If that line only intersects one enemy piece, that means a pin might be possible. You get the idea. I'll start trying out these visualization tools in real games.

Also, we've decided I should play the QGD rather than the QGA. This is somewhat of a relief, as the QGA seems like something I should put off until I am have matured more at the game. I got McDonald's book Starting Out: Queen's Gambit Declined, which seems like an excellent introduction. He even explains why in certain lines h6 is played and in others it is not.

I glanced at all the QGD games in Chernev's Logical Chess. There are 10 such games (almost a third of the book!), and every one of them is a win for white. This shows he did not put enough effort into choosing his games. QGD is a solid opening for black, and there are plenty of wins (or at the very least draws) from which he should have chosen. Given his proclivity to describe the game from the winner's perspective, someone reading his book would think the QGD is a slam-dunk for white.

Also, as part of my upping the tactical intensity, I have started working on CT-Art to supplement my circles with CTB. At level 10, the problems are about the same level of difficulty of those in Stage 3 of CTB. When I first began all this, even Level 10 CT-Art was a bit much for me. This is encouraging as it shows I have grown tactically, but I must remember that I am still but a wee pup.


Blogger Jim said...

I would also recommend the Tarrasch against the QG. I wrote an entry just a while back about it. Lots of great GM's play(ed) it.

2/10/2007 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Goeller said...

I think a QGD repertoire is very sound. If you have not already become immersed in Tartakower Variation theory, I suggest you take a look at Lasker's Variation (with an early ...Ne4). It remains quite sound and is well-covered at our website. Check out the Black 1.d4 d5 Repertoire links around the middle of the right column on our Articles page. Lots of good games and such. It makes a great opening for players of your level.

Alternately, the Cambridge Springs is tricky and fun....

2/11/2007 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'll check out the variations, but I'll probably end up with the Tartakower stuff. The Lasker variation looks interesting, though.

2/11/2007 10:21:00 PM  

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