25 July 2020

Taking Inventory of Games Played

In last month's post, No Quitting Here!, I decided,
According to my records, I played 92 games on Schemingmind, most recently in 2016. I played another 136 games on LSS, where I currently have a half-dozen games underway. With more than 200 games under my belt, I have plenty of examples to choose from -- wins, losses, and draws -- most of which were analyzed fairly deeply while they were being played. All of the LSS games were played with the help of an engine, so I'll start with those. After 12 years of playing chess960, I still don't understand much about its opening theory, making it a logical area to focus on.

So here's the plan: I'll continue to post twice a month. One post will be to keep up with any news; one post will be to learn something about opening theory. Maybe I'll eventually discover how to avoid running into a lost position.

I gathered together all of my LSS games and loaded the PGN header tags into a database. Of the 136 games, four are still in progress. Of the other 132, all were played using a specified start position -- one game as White, one as Black -- against the opponent. My record as White was +36-10=18, as Black, +36-17=11. Those counts don't add up to 66 games, because two opponents defaulted both games before playing a move.

In my first tournament, I finished +8-0=0; in the second, my score was +6-0=2. My third tournament was the preliminary stage of a three stage cup tournament where I finished +6-0=2. In the semifinal stage I finished +1-3=4. Since those three losses were the first on LSS, I'll start with them.

Note that I'm not focusing on losses because of excessive modesty. I generally understand why I won a game. I often don't understand why I lost. Since the objective here is to increase my understanding of chess960, I'll concentrate on the losses. As for the draws, I always play my games until the result is crystal clear. My draws can continue for many moves until the game goes from a probable draw to a theoretical draw like a tablebase position. That makes them less interesting for analysis, but I might recall a few exceptions.

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