Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Next to last mistake

Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.
Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower, Chess Master

While working on the engine evaluation I thought it might be helpful for me to play some games against other real players to get some fresh ideas. It's been a while since I did that.

I went to yahoo chess and played a few games. As a noob I was given a low provisional score and engaged games with players that had a comparable score. To my surprise there were players with a low score like me that played already thousands sometimes more than ten thousands games. I don't think I played ten thousand games in my whole life and if I had I would probably have a better score.

Anyway the last game was a real challenge for me. My opponent played very aggressive and I was somehow intimidated by that. I thought I was screwed but I just wasn't able to find the best moves. I performed an analysis of the game after wards with the help of my engine and it showed that we both played terrible. His gambit offers were incorrect so was my declining, I overlooked easy tactical combination's.

Here is the game (I'm playing White)

1.  e2-e4 e7-e5
2.  g1-f3 b8-c6
3.  f1-c4 g8-f6
4.  d2-d3 f8-c5
5.  o-o   f6-g4
6.  d1-e2 d7-d6
7.  h2-h3 h7-h5

I thought it is too dangerous to accept the gambit and take the knight, because of the open h-file with blacks rook on it. But after 9. Ng5 it would probably be ok to take it. Instead
8.  b1-c3 c8-e6
9.  c3-d5 c6-d4
10. e2-d2 d4xf3+
11. g2xf3 d8-h4
12. d2-g5 

Black is too greedy
12. ... h4xh3
13. g5-e7++

At the end he was so occupied with his assault that he overlooked the Mate in 1 threat and this one time I was aware of it, so I won luckily. But I take this a s a warning, I need more discipline. Calculate better and consider all alternatives. Play a bit like my engine plays.