Yesterday we had the second game analysis session with my coach. The first session was a revelation in the sense that I never was aware of how big the role of time trouble was in the results of my games. I thought I had overcome this problem by changing my repertoire from solely gambits to a positional repertoire a few years ago. What I effectively did by then was that I changed my time trouble from extreme++ to beyond average. That felt as an improvement, which it was, but it made me unaware of the fact that my time trouble was far from over. Apparently my bias that the time trouble problem was solved created a blind spot.
I was already aware of the fact that a lot of time was spilled by irrelevant thoughts, so when the conclusion was that I spilled much points because of time trouble and my coach encouraged me to get rid of it rigorously, I decided to simply drop the irrelevant thoughts. By every move where I have to decide between two candidates I ask myself "can I decide this by calculation?". If not, I play the most logical move without further ado.
The result was way beyond my and his expectation. I played 9 OTB games against opponents with an average rating +100. I scored 4 wins and 5 draws. I haven't been in time trouble in any of the games. It can of course be a statistical oscilation, time have to prove that. But if not, it is very promising.
Yesterday we went over the games. My coach seemed to be content over my openings and middlegame play in general. Since there hadn't been serious time trouble, my games became longer. That revealed another problem: I reached positions where I had no idea how to get any further. So I offered a draw. Which was usually accepted. Or I played trough and drawed, since I had no idea how the convert an advantage into a win. When you blunder under time trouble, you don't get to this point. Which is why I hardly have played an endgame the past 14 years.
We concluded that I have to work on my endgame. So I started with Silmans brick and fired up the endgame module of CT.
To be continued. . .
The Curse of the Top Seed
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