Planning for Victory (4)

“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”
Sun Tzu

Here is a common scenario we are faced with: we have played a good game and still lost. Analyzing the game postmortem is an absolute must. What you should identify is at what point in the game your plan was not adequate and what you should have done instead. Consider below example from one of my student’s game this past week:

There is a lot to consider given the length of the game line. I decided to show it all the way to the end, to give you the opportunity to feel how the tide turned around. A number of moves were forced, so in reality you should have looked at two or maybe three occasions when Black could have played better. We looked for those in the postmortem analysis. One thing we got out of it is my student needs to improve his annotations. He knows what to look for when asked but if you read them, they are very shallow.

Here are the aspects we discussed about together:

  • In the starting position above, black has a positional advantage. White’s pawn structure is worst and Bb2 is stuck
  • Black’s Nd5 dominates the position in its outpost. This advantage must be maintained moving forward
  • One idea to consider is to reach a knight versus bishop endgame with the existing pawn structure. Black would have the best chance to win it
  • White has no real targets for the moment and it is not clear what he could plan for

What we can notice from the game line is Black saw the outpost but occupied it with one of his rooks. Beside the obvious difference of using a higher value piece to block the isolated pawn, after 37. Rd2 Black looks stuck. In that position he is not taking advantage of the trapped Bb2, nor did he ever do that. He exchanged it for his knight after 41… Nxd4. The worst part of it is once he did that, he also reached a lost endgame after 43. fxg5

The main idea we focused on was the dominance of the knight versus the bishop:

The second idea we looked at was my student’s try to improve his line. It includes his annotations:

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chessessentials/id593013634?mt=8
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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