Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fertile battle grounds in the French Tarrasch or my sixth round game of the Western States Open

I know I said that I would post my third round game next but I actually was pretty interested to go over this game. That's one of the most important part of looking over your game is to actually be motivated and this one intrigued me by what i might find. The distinguished gentleman in the above picture is Tarrasch himself. Old school chess master whom this line of the French gets its name.

One of the things that was interesting in the opening of this game is that we both knew the ideas pretty well. I think both of us were in book theory for 12 moves, I was sublimely aware of the book moves for 15 moves. Which brings me to a point I wanted to make. There is an interesting dogma in chess that I hear alot, "they" say you shouldn't study opening play/lines. As i've looked over more and more chess games i've found that this is simply bad advice. The only thing you shouldn't do in regard to openings is rote memorization, other than that openings have really enhanced my game in several ways.

First, I can choose openings based on style of play, pawn structure, piece strength, etc. The games might not always follow and allow for this but in general you can have some say in dictating what type of game you get into.

Secondly, by going over the opening you get a feel for different ideas in similar positions from the game you have studied, which is the same thing you are trying to do when going over middlegame and tactics, endgame, etc.

Thridly, you will get into the same or near to the same position in many of your games. This helps you develop a sense for taking an advantage when an opponent makes a subpar move.

Fourthly, you don't have to waste so much thinking time/clock time on the first few moves of the game.Therefore extending the time you can spend on the moves from the point of unknown position to the next time control.

Here is the game = )

Chris Harrington 1600 vs. John Locke 1729

Monday, October 26, 2009

Western States Open Round 1

My first game of the western States Open. This was also my first time playing in a class B tournament. Even though my score was so poor (+1 -4), I enjoyed several of the games this weekend.

Greg Sarafian 1723 vs. Chris Harrington 1600
Nimzo-Indian 4.f3 variation

After the game I wasn't upset by the loss. I had taken my time and played hard. I just couldn't quite come up with many good moves in the middle game.

My second game was a disaster based on moving fast like I was playing blitz or something.I threw away a good advantage with white and got mated quickly. I wont be analyzing it because my in-game effort was so lazy. Round three will be coming next!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Western States Open

Strongly considering playing in the Western States Open this weekend...