Saturday, October 14, 2006

My second Grand Prix Attack

Yesterday I had the chance to play the GPA for the second time.
It revealed my main problem crystal clear.
After the opening I had a good position. So far I'm pretty happy with the GPA. It hasn't the drawbacks of the Alapin (too slow) or the Smith-Morra (attack at the wrong side of the board).
The attack had come to a hold and there were no clear tactics in the position.
At that moment I started to use time in an uncontrolled manner.
25 minutes for one move!
I have to assume this is a habit of me. I never noticed it before, since when it happens I'm UNAWARE OF THE FLOW OF TIME!
But thanks to Blue Devil, who asked questions about it, I was alert this time.

I always thought I never reached an endgame because of my aggressive style of play.
That is true when I win. But not when I draw or lose.
The average length of my games is somewhere around 25 moves. That is extreme short. It's evident I have found the main reason now.
I have a lot of draws against lower rated people. For the same reason.
You can find the game here.

So it's clear what I have to do. I must overcome my addiction to time consuming moves. I'm just over-ambitious. I start to use time at the moment there is little happening in the position and it suffice to improve the mobility of my worst piece.
This is the only simple part of DLM's thoughtprocess that I don't implement automatically.
So let me think how I can train this. . .mmmm.

Here you have the problem of chess improvement in a nut shell. Or the problem of improvement in any area, for that matter. You have a blind spot, which you don't know. Others don't have that blind spot (not in the same area, I mean) so they can't imagine that you have. That's why they don't get the idea to help you. So you have to look for "circumstancial evidence". Everytime you don't understand something that somebody says, you have to start an investigation if it is part of your blind spot. I remember well that I dismissed the thoughtprocess of DLM as pure nonsense 2 years ago. Which was a signal that I didn't understand what he was saying. Thus revealing that there might be something that I was unaware of. Only by hanging as a pittbull on those incomprehensible things there is a chance that revelation will occur.

That's why I'm always advocating an unbalanced approach. Because by an unbalanced approach the things are less muffled. More pronounced.


  1. I have played about 10 gpa and enjoy it especially the attack on Blacks Castled King. I just posted a GPA game on my blogg you may find of interest.

  2. That is one of those great insights into a problem that doesn't take too much effort to correct. That is, spend less time, if after a reasonable amount of time, if it isn't clear between a couple of moves, just make one of them and let the subsequent play sort things out. It sounds like you just need to make your 'big thinks' a little smaller.

  3. As a Morra Gambiteer I humbly disagree with your view «wrong side of the board». The Morra gives a strong attack in the center, and this is everything else than the wrong side.

  4. Mouse,
    of course you are right. For Morra Gambiteers that is the right side. It is only a subjective opinion that I believe to be true for only me. It's just not my cup of tea. Which says something about me and not about the SM-gambit.

  5. Tempo, according to Nimzowitsch the center is the most important place of the board simply because if you own it you may launch attacks to both wings, impossible to parry.

  6. Hello I've been looking through your blog today and have a question about this gpa game 23.c4 Be6 24.b3 a5 25.a4 on any one of those moves you could have played Qxc5 am i missing some tactic dose Qxc5 fail in some way? I've looked at it and am very puzzled it looks ok to and much better than 25 a4 wich gives you a horrible weakness (backward pawn on a open file), please tell me why you didnt play Qxc5.

  7. "So let me think how I can train this."

    The standard good advice is from Botvinnik: play games where the _primary_ consideration is the clock. I'd implement this by picking goal-times; for example, playing at Game/90 (no increment), you could plan on getting the first 10 moves done in 10 minutes, and then 10 minutes for each block of 5 moves up to move 45, after which you have 10 minutes left for the rest of the game, and just play "slow blitz" (you can never avoid a blitz period in a pure sudden-death game).

    Anyway, when you notice you've exceeded your goal-times, you must blitz until you catch up. After a number of games, you should find yourself automatically playing at a reasonable pace.

  8. Ed,
    thanks for the tip. Usually I'm so concentrated on the board, that I have even difficulty to write down the moves or to interpret the digital clock. But I will experiment with it. It seems that over-ambition works counter-productive here, so I must work at my attitude too.

  9. Anonymous,
    The reason that I left the c5-pawn on the board was that I wanted to restrict his bishops. I have a tremendous respect for the bishop pair. I could pick up the c pawn anytime, so I wanted to do that under more favourable conditions.
    The move a4 is ugly indeed since it creates a backward pawn but a weakness is only a weakness when the opponent can make use of it. The reason for a4 is the same, to prevent black to unleash his bisshops. I estimated that I could force a change of rooks and queens along the d-file. Without the rooks and the queen the b-pawn would no longer be a weakness.