22 August 2020

Three Sad Stories

I used last month's post, Taking Inventory of Games Played (July 2020), to select some of my own games for further analysis. In that post I wrote,
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.

The following chart shows the start position for each game ('SP') and the position at which the King positions have been established, usually after castling. That's the point where a chess960 game starts to resemble a game using the traditional start position (SP518 RNBQKBNR). The code in parentheses (e.g. 'CAI') identifies my opponent (I'm not going to give their names). I had Black in all three games.

(Can be expanded to WIDTH=800)

SP242 (CAI): In this game, 1.O-O-O is possible on the first move, which is what White played. I don't often do this because I like to keep my choice of castling open for as long as possible. The second diagram shows that I eventually castled ...O-O. This is called 'castling into an attack', after which I got crushed.

SP388 (NOV): In this game, both my opponent and I castled at the same time. The Bishop on the b-file is more dangerous than the Bishop on the c-file. White has managed to exchange the dark-squared Bishops, leaving himself with the more dangerous Bishop. The game lasted 40 moves, but White eventually overwhelmed the Black King and Black had no counterplay.

SP953 (KOE): Note the 'RKR' formation on the abc-files. In this game, neither player castled and the second diagram shows the position just after Black has escaped a check by moving the King; White's King didn't move until the endgame. In the diagram, both players have a Knight en prise and the game became tactical. I was outplayed in the complications.

Three games tell three sad stories about my play. In each game I apparently went wrong before 20 moves had been played. Is there anything I can learn here?


Later: After I wrote the post, I discovered a couple of old posts where I had already discussed two of the games:-

That leaves SP242 (CAI) as the main candidate for any further analysis. A deeper look at castling on the first move might be a good angle.


Even later: Re 'That leaves SP242 (CAI) as the main candidate for any further analysis', it looks like I've been there, done that as well:-

There really is nothing new under the sun -- at least for this blog.

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