Here in The Chess Zone, I will be sharing my journey towards chess mastery. Although I oftentimes lack discipline in my chess games, I am passionately devoted to constant improvement!
If you’ve read this far, continue to hold me accountable. Click through some of the games below and follow along on my journey of becoming a Master. Check back to this page frequently for new game analyses, tactic puzzles and other updates in my world of chess.
To become a master of anything in life, you must adhere to the guiding principles that our predecessors have followed.
Masters are motivated by a passionate devotion to excel in spite of their perceived limitations. Strict discipline to your skill must be balanced with a creative imagination. Go forth, and seek to understand every detail in your subject; teach others whatever you discover.
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Please share this page with your chess community! Feel free to leave me a comment & please point out any errors. I’m certainly not a Grandmaster (yet, ha ha).
By learning and sharing together, everyone can achieve more!
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Fall 2018 Club Play
I have joined a few online correspondence leagues this fall to keep sharp while I coach the youngsters at The Knight School. Follow along below for some analysis and monthly recaps.
This first game exploits a few attacking positions from the Scotch line. The Scotch game is essential for any beginner players and especially e4 players. Watch out for scholar mating attempts from White, and always ensure you’ve protected your f7 square when playing as Black. As you can see in the following example, White can apply early pressure with his Queen. If Black fails to counter appropriately, he will never get a chance for equal development. In chess, you must be more prepared and more confident than your opponent.
Check out my (less-than-stellar) performance in the 2018 Austin Chess Club Summer Open. The first 2 rounds (Friday night and Saturday morning respectively) managed to slip away from me. However, I achieved redemption in Round 3 by clinging to a draw late Saturday evening. On Sunday morning I arose full of ambition. Lo-and-behold, my optimism was quickly humbled by a very talented youth player; I’ll chalk it up as a learning experience. The final round held many moments of drama; I was hard-pressed to come away with my only grueling victory. All said and done, I scored 1.5 points in the Reserve Section. Despite making some small mistakes, and some big blunders, I enjoyed a peaceful weekend by having fun with strangers in my local community. Checkmate!
Scroll through the games below to see where I went right, and where I went wrong!
Leave a comment with your USCF rating if you’ve ever made an OTB blunder!
(Click a move from the list on the left to see the corresponding board diagram.)
Bravo to Darshan! Hopefully we meet again!
In Round 2, the blunder-bug bit me again. However, the opening sequence is a great one to remember. I don’t mind making blunders, because they often make for great learning opportunities!
Bound and determined to prove myself worthy of competing in the Reserve section, I returned Saturday evening for Round 3. It was a long fought battle. The entire room was nearly empty and our clocks were running low. Eventually only our Kings were left on the board. Without any supporting troops remaining, the game was drawn. Redemption was hard fought, and ever-so-sweet.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” The old adage was running through my mind as I sat behind the Black pieces Sunday morning before Round 4. After a strong opening sequence from both sides, I failed to secure any countering opportunities. Eventually I was bested by the White pieces and ultimately, the proverb withheld its truth until a later round. See if you can learn from my mistake.
It only takes one positive feeling to spur on a streak of positivity. After humbling experiences through the first 4 rounds, I cleared my mind of my preconceived limitations. Confidence was the key as I carried on into the finale. The local summer open is where all chess players come to prove themselves, and I had no desire to hold back. My aggressive attempt at a tactical endgame failed in execution, but Black’s counter-attack also fell short. When the dust settled, the White pieces were rendered victorious.
Philosophers of chess are often quick to point out that it is “He who makes the last blunder that loses”
-Here we have the evidence-
Cheers until next time, Folks!
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