Wednesday, 15 August 2007

End game weaknesses

I've identified the endgame as the major weakness of my game at this point. I played four 15mins games last night in a pairs competition at Spondon Chess club. I won the first when my opponent, Malcolm Somers, thought his rook was defended by a pawn, but the pawn was pinned to his king by my bishop. So just took it, and managed to force mate later in the game.

Second game I played Philip Sheldon for the first time. It came down to an evenish pawns and kings endgame, but he broke through and queened a pawn. But after speaking to people afterwards, I could have defended his break-throughs with my king and broke through myself. But I just didn't see or understand it.

Third I played against Mick Orridge, and was a few pawns ahead, but he launched an attack on the king, and I didn't defend correctly, mainly because I didn't know how to.

Fourth game was another first against Sally McIntosh, got down to another very even rook and bishop endgame, but I didn't know what to do and she ended up pinning my bishop against the king.

So I want to work on my endgame, but not sure how to practically do it. I've got Silmans endgame book and will work through it, and have had a quick look through the Averbak (sp.) book. But I'm not sure if they'll help me in practical games.

I might try endgame exercises in Personal Chess Trainer and Chessmaster. I'm not really trying to learn mates with the various pieces, but what strategies to use in general.

Any tips from other bloggers would be appreciated.

I think I'll concentrate on the endgame for a while (but still keep sharp with Chess Tactics Server). I've got a basic opening repertoire now, and it gets me to evenish middle games. My tactical awareness is much better, and I try to develop all my pieces and get good outposts. But when it comes to the endgame I tend to be lost.

I've heard that the endgame is where experience most counts, so am not sure what I can do apart from keep losing winning positions and trying to learn from them. Or perhaps it's just that I'm not calculating correctly and identifying tactics properly when there are fewer pieces on the board.

Apparently the endgame is a lot about 'technique'. But how do I learn this?

Monday, 13 August 2007

Fried Liver Attack

Won a teamleague game with the Fried Liver:

[Event "rated standard match"]
[Site "Free Internet Chess Server"]
[Date "2007.08.13"]
[Round "?"]
[White "deanmadden"]
[Black "varunk"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1436"]
[BlackElo "1447"]
[ECO "C57"]
[TimeControl "2700+45"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Nxf7 Kxf7 7. Qf3+ Ke6 8. Nc3 Nd4 9. Bxd5+ Ke7 10. Qe4 Bf5 11. Qxe5+ Ne6 12. Qxf5 Qd7 13. Qxe6+ Qxe6+ 14. Bxe6 Kxe6 15. Nb5 Kd7 16. O-O a6 17. Nd4 Rd8 18. d3 Kc8 19. Ne6 Rd6 20. Nxf8 Rxf8 21. f3 Rg6 22. Bd2 Rf5 23. Rf2 h5 24. h3 Rb6 25. b3 g5 26. g4 hxg4 27. fxg4 Rxf2 28. Kxf2 Rf6+ 29. Kg2 Rc6 30. c3 Kd7 31. Rf1 Re6 32. Re1 Rd6 33. d4 c5 34. Be3 cxd4 35. cxd4 b5 36. Rd1 Re6 37. Bxg5 Re2+ 38. Kg3 Rxa2 {varunk resigns} 1-0

I even missed a mate in 2 after the 9th move:

I saw Qf7, and he has to move Kd6, but for whatever reason I only considered Nb5 which isn't any good. But Ne4 is mate!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Latest Stats

Success70.7 %
Highest rating1100
Date of highest rating2007-08-12 12:09:55
Latest action2007-08-12 12:09:55
CountryUnited KingdomUnited Kingdom

Finger of deanmadden:

On for: 2 secs Idle: 0 secs

rating RD win loss draw total best
Blitz 888 65.5 40 112 7 159 980 (27-Mar-2007)
Standard 1436 57.8 66 73 12 151 1436 (05-Aug-2007)
Lightning 1016 108.5 1 19 0 20

Total time online: 10 days, 20 hrs, 1 min
% of life online: 2.9 (since Fri Jul 28, 00:30 PDT 2006)

I've been spending more time on Chess Tactics Server, and it seems to be helping, I can now see tactics a lot quicker and constantly look for the signs. I think this will at least help my blitz rating improve, and will help me calculate the things worth calculating in the longer games.

I've added all the blogs I read to Bloglines, so can easily check the updated ones, I'll try and update my sidebar to include the ones I read.

I haven't played any standard fics games for a week, but aren't overly concerned as I know my game is still improving with the studying, and don't want to be one of those people who get a grade then hover around the same mark for twenty years. I hope to keep on improving year on year, even if by little amounts.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Graham Pace

On Tuesday I played Graham Pace in a club championship match:

[Event "Spondon Championship 2006/07"]
[Date "2007.08.07"]
[White "Graham Pace"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A48"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c3 Bg7 4. e3 d6 5. Nbd2 O-O 6. Bd3 Nbd7 7. e4 e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. O-O Re8 10. Re1 Nc5 11. Bc2 Bg4 12. h3 Bd7 13. Nb3 Qe7 14. Bg5 Rad8 15. Qc1 Bb5 16. Nxc5 Qxc5 17. Be3 Qe7 18. Bh6 Bxh6 19. Qxh6 Qf8 20. Qxf8+ Kxf8 21. Rad1 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Be2 23. Re1 Bxf3 24. gxf3 Rd8 25. Re2 Nh5 26. h4 Nf4 27. Re1 Rd2 28. Bb3 Nd3 29. Rd1 Rxd1+ 30. Bxd1 Nxb2 31. Bb3 Kg7 32. Kf1 Nd3 33. Kg2 Nf4+ 34. Kg3 Ne2+ 35. Kg2 Nxc3 36. Kf1 f6 37. Kg2 a5 38. Kh3 a4 39. Be6 a3 40. Kg4 Kh6 41. Bb3 Kg7 42. h5 gxh5+ 43. Kxh5 h6 44. Kg4 c5 45. f4 exf4 46. Kxf4 b5 47. Be6 b4 48. Bc4 Na4 49. e5 fxe5+ 50. Kxe5 Nb6 51. Be6 c4 52. Kd4 c3 53. Bb3 h5 54. Kc5 h4 55. Kxb4 Nd5+ 56. Kxa3 h3 57. Bxd5 c2 58. Kb2 h2 59. Kxc2 1-0

I played Kings Indian defence and got to an even material but better positionally point by whites move 28:

I then played Nd3, but better would have been Rxd2, I think I was trying to be too clever and should have just played the obvious move.

I worked the position and after whites move 36 I got here:

At this point I wasn't really sure about how to finish off this winning position. The general idea was to obviously push up the a,b&c pawns but I just couldn't get the strategy right. I understand in rook endings you should get the rook behind the passed pawns, but had no idea what to do here.

Anyway the crucial point I went wrong was after whites move 47:

What now looks obvious to me is playing c4, but for some reason I played b4, keeping my pawns on the opposite colour to his bishop. Even after that I got to the position below on move 52:

I should have played b3 and then whatever he does, I queen the pawn.

I'd love to hear anyone's opinion on what my plans should have been. I've obviously fritzed it to death and know individual moves I could have played better, but am still in the dark a bit about the concepts.

I think what I should learn from it is to concentrate more on calculating the variations and taking more time to make sure I get it right.