Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mistake Check-in #1

The Mistakes

Poor Concentration – Nearly all of my losses have come from a loss of concentration. I lose interest in the position as time passes and lose my grip on what is needed. This has resulted in disaster (the game against IM Ronald Burnett at the smokey mountain open) as well as narrow escapes. My game against Woodward at Winter Sucks and the game against Deshpande at the smokey mountain open are great examples.

Playing Without a Plan – I find myself many times questioning what I'm doing in a given position. I may play objectively the best move and then on the very next move I'll miss the idea behind the previous move and flounder about. I find this in blitz as well … I tend to push the pieces around a few moves sometimes before finding the right idea.

Time Management – I find in blitz situations I save too much time by moving too quickly in key positions. This is ironically the opposite problem form what most people associate with time trouble.

King Safety – I still have issues with my king's safety. This mostly occurs in blitz. I often miss long-range tactics involving queens, bishops, and rooks against my king.

Pawn Weaknesses – This is a bad habit I have gotten from blitz. It can be seen in a few games previously. Pawn structure has taken a back seat in my mind in place of piece activity. So far I have won games by making piece moves that were unexpected. In positions where there are no comfortable piece moves I often make embarrassing pawn moves that destabilize the position.


Planlessness (if that's a word), time issues, and even king safety boils down to the problem of concentration. It is worth researching concentration training methods outside of chess. When I find a direction for concentration training I will share it with the readers and put it into action.

I know I have some books and other study materials on pawn structure. It is time to dust those off and reignite my connection to the “soul of chess” as Philidor called the pawns.

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