How To Get Over A Win

You probably just read the title and are now very confused. Isn’t winning a good thing? Why should anyone ever care about how they react to their wins, shouldn’t we care more about dealing with losses? Is Vedic crazy? Although it’s true that learning how to deal with your losses is a very important characteristic to develop as a chess player, so is learning how to respond to your wins. This article will cover why that is and how to respond appropriately to your wins.

When you are first taught how to move the pieces, you are told that in chess, you either win, draw, or lose. It doesn’t get more simple than that, right? However, chess is so much more than that. In my opinion, in chess, psychology is a huge factor in determining how well you play. At the end of the day, it’s what your head tells you that decides the moves that you play. Because of this, it’s extremely important that you keep a cool, calm, and collected mindset throughout your game. However, not being able to get over a win can affect the calmness that you should have. Winning can have the positive effect of making you happy,  but it also can have negative effects. For example, winning a chess game may lead to you getting overconfident. As a result, you might be too full of yourself the next game you play and rush through variations that could be critical. In fact, if you’re too excited and confident with yourself, you might not even take the next game seriously. I see this so often in the tournaments I play. For example, something I see a lot is that a player just scored a huge upset but then just completely self-destructs his next game. Why did this happen? Perhaps it’s because he was playing a stronger player, or maybe, it was because he was nervous. But perhaps it was also because he let his emotions get the best of him. Maybe because he was so overconfident because of his win against his previous significantly higher rated opponent that he simply did not take his next opponent seriously.

We’ve just seen how winning can actually negatively impact you. How exactly should we deal with our wins then? While I’m not saying it’s bad to get happy after a chess game, you can’t get too happy. Winning is great as a morale booster but that’s all should do. It’s critical to not allow your wins to fuel your ego. I approach my response to wins nearly the same way I approach my losses. I allow myself to feel happy about it, but I also try to keep in mind that my wins have no effect on my next game. Keeping this simple idea in my head helps me keep things in perspective. Although it is hard, treating each game as a fresh start and new opportunity to show your opponent what you got is always the best way to deal with really any result. Overconfidence is the Achilles heel of all chess players.  but hopefully, by reading this article, you have a better understanding of how best effectively to react to your wins and hopefully help you win some more games :). That’s all from me this week. Until next time!

 

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An Unstoppable Maghsoodloo Clinches First Place at World Juniors

With one round to spare, a world junior champion has already been crowned. Although he started out as the top seed and a heavy favorite, no one could have predicted such a dominating performance. 18-year-old, Iranian Grandmaster Parham Maghsoodloo destroyed the field and currently has 9.5/10. This score puts him 2 points over 2nd place and notches him a live performance rating of 2976.

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Becoming champion grants Maghsoodloo both automatic entry to the 2019 World Cup as well a spot in the Challengers section of Tata Steel. With a live rating of 2691 (after gaining over 100 points this year), only bright things can be expected of this young Iranian talent.

What impresses me the most about Maghsoodloo besides his amazing performance is his dedication to chess. Allegedly, Parham studies chess for 20 hours a day!! Although this might be a far-fetched estimate, the serious time he devotes to chess cannot be overlooked as a serious factor that has attributed to his success in becoming the World Junior Champion. Another thing I like Parham is his determination to fight every game. In positions that could be considered equal Parham did what he does best. He found the best plans, understood complicated positions better than his opponents and overall played extremely accurate. In no game did he actively go for a draw. Instead, he gave every game his all which is really shown in the fact that he “only” drew one game against fellow Iranian prodigy Alireza Firouzja.

While Maghsoodloo has already clinched first place, the tournament is not over yet. Today he is paired against the 16-year-old Russian grandmaster Andrey Esipenko. Will the young Russian talent be able to put a halt to a seemingly unstoppable Maghsoodloo? Only time will tell.

Live and previous games can be found in the link below:

https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-fide-world-junior-open-championships-u20

 

 

 

How To Play Against The Vienna Game

Hello everyone. Today I will be discussing how to play against one of the trickiest openings that I’ve ever encountered and played myself. This opening is known as the Vienna Game. the Vienna starts off with the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3. In my opinion, the Vienna game is one of the most dangerous openings to play against if you’re unprepared.  Although 2. Nc3 looks fairly harmless, it can be a vicious opening. Let’s look at a sample line to see what I’m talking about.

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. f4

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Boom! With f4 on the board, things are starting to get exciting. Already at this point, Black really has one move that doesn’t leave him immediately worse.

3. exf4 4. e5!

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exf4 seems natural. A pawn is a pawn, right? This is not the case. Take a closer look at this position. Black already has almost no moves with his knight. The poor knight on f6 has to retreat back to where it started, g8. White might still be down a pawn, but he will get it back easily.

3. Ng8 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. d4

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As we can see, it is a relatively simple task for white to get back his f4 pawn. In addition, white has far superior development, and black’s king is unsafe and will have to deal with a ton of pressure for the remainder of the game.

As we just saw, things can easily turn ugly for black. What is the best move then? While in my practice of playing this opening I mainly see 3. d6 (This move, although better than 3.exf4 still leaves white better as often, white places his bishop on c4, castles kingside, and attacks the black with pawn storms like h3 g4 when possible), the best move is the thematic pawn break, 3. d5!

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Let’s take a look. How does this move work? Mainly due to the king weakness created with f4. By playing f4, White has opened up the sensitive diagonals around his king. By playing d5, black seeks to rapidly open up the position in order to take advantage of this weak king. For example, after 4. exd5 black simply can take back with the knight. After a series of exchanges, black has superior piece development and white has a weak king. Black can simply continue developing his pieces and try to attack the white king.

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If white plays 4. Fxe5 Black now responds with Nxe4.

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As we see in this position, in contrast with the 3. exf4 variation, black’s knight is actively placed, his pieces have a future, and whites king is again weak. Black will often follow up in this position with be7, 0-0, and c5 to control the center. Although the position is still double-edged, black is totally fine and has his own chances as does white.

Another variation is another line a black player should familiarize himself with is 2. Nc6 in response to 2. Nc3. Often, when playing lower rated players, I have found a tendency that when they don’t know what to do, they copy the moves I make. For example, nc6 in response to nc3. Nc6 is a respectable and perfectly playable move. However, things can become tricky after 3. Bc4. Although after 3. Nf6 white has nothing substantial and black is fine, the same cannot be said if black continues to mimic white by going 3. Bc5. After 4. Qg4 it is very awkward for black to defend the g pawn. After the best move, 4. g6, white simply should play 5. Qd1(to avoid any discoveries with the d pawn) and black has serious dark square weaknesses.

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now you might be asking yourself, what happens after 4. Qf6 instead of 4. g6.

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This looks very scary for White. Not only is black defending the g7 square, he is also attacking f2 and threatening d5. However, the threat on f2 is not a problem. White can simply ignore this with nd5! You might be thinking, “Wait WHAT?” after qf2 kd1 it looks scary for white right?

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However, black has no good follow up. Every square around the white King is covered. And black has his own problems. Already, in this position, both c7 and g7 are hanging now.

As we can see, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the many lines of the Vienna game. It’s important to note, the point of this article was not to provide a repertoire against it, rather just to show you the dangers this opening can hold as well as give you some ideas on what positions you should look at. It’s up to you to decide where you continue from here.  I hope by reading this article, you have learned something about the importance of knowing your openings, not just in the Vienna game, but in all openings. Until next time!

Rating Is Just A Number

Have you ever asked your opponent, what’s their chess rating? By definition, a chess rating is a system used to estimate the approximate strength of a chess player based on their performances in tournaments, games, and likewise. However, often, chess players will take rating too far to either overestimate or underestimate their opponents. My goal today is to explain to you why this is a bad idea and how to get out of this mindset.

It’s generally not a good idea to judge someone based purely based on their rating, after all, it is really only an estimate and not a true indicator of their actual strength. This may seem like common sense, yet I see both kids and adults at tournaments when looking at their pairings either relax or start stressing when they see that their opponents are either much lower are much higher rated than them. Why do we do this? Let’s get into it. Often, when chess players see their opponent’s rating two things might happen, cockiness or fear. Either the higher rated opponent sees someone 200+ points lower than them and starts relaxing and estimating how long it will take him to win, or the lower rated opponent starts brainstorming how many moves he thinks he can last against his godly higher rated opponent. As we can see, in both cases, the difference in rating is what causes these feelings of overconfidence or fear to occur. However, there is no reason why a chess player should feel these things. While statistically speaking the higher rated player should win every time, this by no mean happens. Higher rated players get “upset” all the time. One might even argue that part of the reason why higher rated players get upset is because they underestimated their lower rated opponent.

It takes a lot of practice to avoid getting out of these mindsets, but the first step is to stop seeing rating as a sign of how you think your game is going to turn out. Instead, treat rating just like a number. It’s okay to know the rating of your opponent, but you should come into each game prepared for a fight regardless of your opponent’s rating. If you’re a higher rated chess player playing a lower rated opponent, it’s important to give the respect your opponent deserves. You should come to the game confident in your chances to win, but should not come into the game expecting a massacre. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you’re the lower rated playing someone much higher rated than you, it’s important not to overestimate your higher rated opponent. They are human too, and as long as you believe in yourself and your chances, anything is possible.  

A final topic I should discuss related to rating is how chess players judge themselves because of their rating. As I discussed in my last article covering chess plateaus, chess players often judge themselves based on their rating, and again, this should not be the case. It’s easy to be upset at yourself if you’re lower rated and wanting to become higher rated. However, these things take a lot of time and practice. Instead, it’s important to enjoy the playing aspect of chess and not pay too much attention to your rating. As long as you have fun playing chess, and put in the appropriate work, your rating increase will come in no time.

And that’s all of my thoughts for this week. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try to respond as soon as I can. See you next week!

 

Conquering the Plateau

Hello everyone. My name is Vedic Panda. I’m 16 years old and a National Master from the state of Georgia, and I’m humbled to be your newest Chess Summit author! I’ve decided that for my first Chess Summit article to do my best to cover the interesting and very relatable problem that all chess players at some point go through, chess plateaus.

Firstly, I should fully explain what I mean by a chess plateau for our less informed readers. A chess plateau is when your rating or level of play stagnates or remains around the same for a long period of time. An example of this would be a player who has had a rating of around 1700 for several months. Chess plateaus are something that every chess player at some point in his career has faced and are often discouraging to the player going through it. This article will be discussing tips on how one can overcome a chess plateau.

  1. Keep on being optimistic and don’t get discouraged

Being stuck around the same rating for weeks, months, and even years can be extremely frustrating for a person. It’s easy to get upset and want to quit. However, in order to get out of a chess plateau, you have to understand that these things take time. It’s important that even after bad or lackluster tournaments you keep a positive mindset. Chess is a tough game but being positive even when you’re not doing well can help it stay fun for you. If you don’t believe me about the importance of positivity, listen to what the current world champion Magnus Carlsen himself had to say about this:   

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  1. Study

Getting better at chess is not a simple process. While it might be easy at first to climb the ranks and gain rating, getting to higher levels like Class A, Expert, and Master requires that you learn new things. For example, you can’t become an expert without knowing your king and pawn endgames. It’s important to note that chess improvement doesn’t necessarily always mean instant rating increase. Nothing is guaranteed in chess, but if you continue to work hard, your chess understanding along with your rating will increase.

  1. Take A Break

When things aren’t going well it’s always good to take a break from chess. It’s easy to get for someone to get frustrated at chess when things aren’t going well. Taking temporary breaks can help you recollect yourself, remotivate, and can even help you enjoy playing chess more.

  1. Have Fun

At the end of the day, it’s important to have fun while playing chess. No matter what your rating in chess is, if you’re having fun while playing, that’s all that really matters. It’s easy to define yourself based on what your rating is but, no matter what, how you feel about chess shouldn’t be affected by it. As long as you enjoy playing, your rating will increase eventually.

Going through chess plateaus is a tough experience. But in those tough times, it’s important to stay motivated and never give up. As long as you continue to have fun and keep up your chess studies, I can guarantee that you will be out of your rating slump in no time! I hope this article was helpful and if you have any personal questions relating to this topic, feel free to comment below and I’d be glad to answer. Until next time!