Friday, April 20, 2007

"Hall of Fame" Databases

No sooner do I post my intent to not clutter my blog with my own ICC blitz games, than I play another game that's actually demonstrates my previous advice.

I'm testing out the Chess Publisher web tool for posting entire games. Here's why I'm posting this game:

1. I've said that you can use a chess engine such as Fritz to "mine" your blitz games for tactics, but emphasized the "Hall of Shame" databases of your errors. "Hall of Fame" databases, where you successfully executed a tactic, are also a good idea, and a morale booster as well. Sometimes, after focusing on all your shortcomings, it's nice to go over examples where you did play the best moves. This game demonstrates the theme of the back rank weakness. It's a cute example, because there were two separate weaknesses on d8 and e8 that were exploited. You can find similar examples in tactics books, but when the position occurs in your own game I think it has greater impact.

I've been a bit lazy lately, but I'm trying to routinely dissect my blitz games and save the tactics in their own files. I separate them by "tactics I successfully executed" and "errors where I missed a tactic", and I further separate them into 1, 2, 3, and >3-move tactics (grabbing an en prise piece, or leaving a piece en prise would go into the 1-move folder; a knight fork would go into the 2-move, and a "Chernev and Reinfeld: How to See Three Moves Ahead"-style tactic would go into the 3-move). When they get sizeable enough I'll have my own databases of real-world, simple tactics that I can use for drills.

2. The game demonstrated how understanding is more valuable than opening preparation. I was actually out of book on move 4, more or less. Even though I've played the French as Black for over a decade, I rarely face the Tarrasch, and I've only recently started playing it as White. I'm sure I've had the position before, but never bother memorizing the continuation. However, I have a decent understanding of how to play against an IQP (Isolated Queen's Pawn) and played according to the position. A quick check with Fritz and Chessbase shows that I actually played the opening quite credibly. I knew that I was supposed to play Bb5 at some point, but since I don't really understand why (yet...I'm going to check out this move order when I have time)I played my own moves and still got a good middlegame.

This game was a really, really rare example of error-free play on my part (error-free meaning my move never differed from Fritz's best move at about 10 ply by more than about 0.3 pawns).

My opponent was rated in the mid-1400s at blitz, about 80 points higher than me.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 Nc6 5. exd5 exd5 6. dxc5 Bxc5 7. Nb3 b6 8. Be2 Be6 9. c3 Nge7 10. O-O O-O 11. Bg5 Qc7 12. Bxe7 Nxe7 13. Nbd4 Rad8 14. Re1 Nc6 15. Qd2 Nxd4 16. Nxd4 Kh8 17. Rad1 Be7 18. Bf3 Rd6? 19. Nb5! Qb8 20. Nxd6 Bxd6 .

A point-count comparison indicates that White is only up 1.25 pawns
at this point (the exchange is worth 1.75 pawns, but Black's bishop pair is
worth 0.5 pawn). However, white's pieces are actively placed, whereas Black's
are defensively placed. Fritz's evaluation of about +2.9 pawns for White is
probably more accurate. Fritz probably sees that the d pawn is indefensible
in the long run. However, with two bishops pointed at the kingside, White has to be careful about a kingside attack, especially after the next move (I'm always worried about moves like...Bxh3). 21. h3 Bf4 22. Qd3 Rd8 23. Qb5! Setting up the following tactical opportunity...Qd6?

24. Bxd5! Bxd5? 25. Rxd5! Qf6 26. Re8+ (26.Qe8+ and 26.Rxd8+ also lead to mate.) 1-0.

Note that, on Black's part, this is an example of both a counting error and a quiescence error. It seems like Black has just enough defenders of the d-pawn, but if Black were to capture three times on d5 the position is not yet quiet because Re8 would mate.


Grandpatzer said...

I tried to edit the post for a minor tweak. The text would briefly appear in the composition menu, then vanish. You could still see the content in the preview mode though. Anyone know what the deal with this would be?

Ryan Emmett said...

Hi. Interesting game, I enjoyed playing through it. I also use the chesspublisher tool and it seems to work pretty well.

Regrading you issue with amending the posts - I have EXACTLY the same problem and it's driving me mad. I used to be able to amend my posts, but not any more. There must be some kind of bug with blogger.

I'm not sure how to contact blogger about this. Any ideas?