My Winter Recap

Looking at the snowstorm raging outside, it seems like winter is far from over. But seriously, it’s March!

IMG_3494

You may think that chess isn’t a seasonal sport, but in some ways it is. Essential elements for winter chess in Northeast include:

  • A snow shovel
  • A full tank of gas
  • 4-wheel drive
  • A fully charged phone
  • Snow boots
  • A snow brush
  • An ice scraper

And then you try your best to get to a tournament and sometimes even that isn’t good enough. I ended up missing one round this past Friday, though the 90 mph wind gusts, not snow, were to blame there. Spoiler: it was not the only thing I missed due to bad weather.

As for my chess… My winter went pretty reasonably, minus my epic fails at the Empire City Open and in Charlotte. I regained my rating points and am sitting around my peak rating (fine, a point or two away).

Swindling, swindling, and more swindling

I found myself in some terrible positions against significantly lower rated players but managed to win them. Here are the two main big games:

Huston, Gus (2070 USCF) – Brodsky, David (2483 USCF) Marshall FIDE Premier February 2018

Huston

White to move

Yes, I was black here. After something like 25.Rg1 Rg8 (25…Nxf4? loses to 26.Ng5+!) 26.Rab1 Rab8 27.Rb5, my position is really sad. Fortunately, that didn’t happen…

Here’s the second one:

Brodsky, David (2507 USCF) – Zhou, Liran (2219 USCF) Marshall FIDE Premier March 2018

Liran

Black to move

I was white here, and my position really sucks, though I’m not officially lost. Black’s pieces are much better placed, and it’ll take me time to unravel. Miraculously I managed to swindle my way to a better position, where I grabbed the pawn on b4, survived black’s kingside attack, and grabbed the d6-pawn while I was at it. Liran defended well until he blundered his queen.

Though I received help, I got out… My trade secret? I didn’t give my opponents easy paths to domination or not to mention victory and forced them to make decisions. If you take a look at those positions, you’ll see that my opponents had plenty of choices, none of which appeared to be clearly better than the rest. They had too many good choices. I hung on until they messed up. Though winning games like this was far from ideal, I got repaid for all my bad luck in Charlotte. Otherwise, the rest of my games against much lower rated players were fairly routine wins for me without any real misadventures.

Rough and tough endgames

More of my games than usual have been decided in the endgame. Some were exciting, while others were pretty boring. I got my fair share of wins, draws, and losses. If you want to take a look at a couple, you can skim ahead to the puzzles section. Overall, I’d say my play in that department was pretty good, though there is room for improvement.

What’s next?

Well, I hope to take the snow shovel out of the car in the near future. I may even forgo the gloves and stop checking the weather forecast for more storms. As for the rest… The norm-hunting season is heating up, and I definitely want to go for a GM Norm. Considering my current rating, getting a 2600+ FIDE performance in a 9-round tournament is a longshot, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try. My job now is to do as much prep as I can and hope for the best. At least the weather is likely to be on my side.

Puzzles

As usual, I’ll give you guys something to think about. I’ll post the solutions in the comments on Monday. Enjoy!

Puzzle 1

Erenburg

White to move

How should white maintain his pressure here?

Puzzle 2

Ostrovskiy

Black to move

What extremely strong resource does black have?

Puzzle 3

Quirke

White to move

Time for some booooooring positional chess. Just kidding, what should white play here? White has several good moves, and choose the one you think is best.

I also learned something new. Not only is it hard to play chess in winter, but it is hard to write about chess in winter. I was pretty much done with this article when we lost power, and I wasn’t able to post the article on time. Thanks snowstorm!

Until next time!

Advertisements

One thought on “My Winter Recap

  1. Dan O'Hanlon

    This is the best thing I’ve read about Chess in months! Thank you:

    Though I received help, I got out… My trade secret? I didn’t give my opponents easy paths to domination or not to mention victory and forced them to make decisions. If you take a look at those positions, you’ll see that my opponents had plenty of choices, none of which appeared to be clearly better than the rest. They had too many good choices. I hung on until they messed up. Though winning games like this was far from ideal, I got repaid for all my bad luck in Charlotte. Otherwise, the rest of my games against much lower rated players were fairly routine wins for me without any real misadventures.

    >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s