Saturday, January 13, 2007

Drastic changes.

My play is changing drastically. I'm playing faster now, which is a very good thing. I have no longer problems with quiet positions. Improving piece activity gives the clue in those positions. Since I no longer try to force matters in positions that aren't really suited for tactics, my games become longer. I was used to big squiggly lines in my games from +1.7 to -1.7, but now they tend to be from +0.17 to - 0.17.

It's evident that I have to learn a lot to decide a game with subtler means. Those do or die tactics give me just much too many draws and losses on time, so it is really time for subtler means. New tools have to be found, and the technique to use those new tools have to develop.

A new tool I tried to use yesterday was the "favourable trade". Of course I always try to weaken the opponents pawnstructure by trading pieces, as everybody does. But that's not what I mean. A gross part of the games of Capablanca are won just by a good knight against a bad bishop or by a good bishop against a bad knight and the like. I'm mapping the trade-schemes he used.

This type of play isn't "in stead of" tactics, it is just an extra means. I tried this kind of play 8 years ago, but back then I was so bad in tactics that that was utterly nonsense. But now the time is ripe.

What I don't understand is that MDLM got to 2041 by tactics alone. If I already got rid of the big squiggly lines at 1743, what will be my chance to improve by tactics alone? Must be close to zero. On the other hand I don't have the feeling that 2041 is that far away.

My play is still in a very experimental phase, so I can't expect too much results from Corus this year I'm afraid (allthough I hope for miracles, of course). What I do expect though is to learn a lot.

The 9-round event at Corus starts january 19th, 2007.


  1. Go and kick some butt!
    Good Luck to you and Margriet!

    Keep us posted!

  2. id also be VERY surprised if 2000 elo wasnt that far away:

    endings, opening reporatore, and further planning refinement, among tactics...

    best regards, dk

  3. Congrats on your consistent antisquiggling.

    I've said it many times, but I'll say it again: MDLM most likely got very lucky with his junk openings and quit because he realized he couldn't keep it up and still have his "tactics-only" plan look good.

    I still want to find his "complete games" sometime so I can verify this theory.

  4. Under,
    His last tournament looks like a lucky shot with 8/9. Sometimes you have such tournaments, where your opponent decides to go to the dentist at move 5. If I take that as a statistic anomaly, and forget the 79 points he got with this last tournament, and don't take his provisional rating -which is unreliable- into account, he improved from 1421 to 1962 in less than two years. 541 points in two years is impressive, but not uncommon.

  5. all i can say is, he had already studied chess for a long time and just needed that last piece of the puzzle to get him to 2000. his weakest area was tactics, so when he finally paid attention to it, he improved dramatically. that's what i would guess.

  6. I just played the Corus 3-round weekend tourn. Pretty exhausting, so good luck in the 9-rounder.