Crushing Masters(Blitz)

So here in Atlanta, there are weekly blitz tournaments at the famous Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta that are held on Friday evenings. One of the games I played a couple of hours ago was pretty interesting and thought some of the ideas in the blitz game are instructional for quicker chess games.

Vishal Balyan-Dipro Chakraborty 1-0

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1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nh3 Nd7

So here we are in the opening, I was playing white against my opponent Dipro Chakraborty who is 2334 rated USCF. From the opening, the most common move for white to play in this position is usually Nf3 but usually in blitz sidelines can tend to favor the opponent that is faster, quicker in tactics, and has played dynamic positions. Many players that play the Karo-Kann get confused since this is not a familiar response from white’s end.

 

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8. Nf4 Bh7 9. Bc4 e6 10. O-O Ngf6 11. Re1 Be7???

A couple moves fast-forwarded and we reach this position where white has a critical decision to make, is it best to sacrifice the two pieces for the pawn on e6 immediately or slow play the position and use the space advantage to further increase the winning chances for white. In blitz, I would almost always recommend the first option, which is sacrificing in such a position for lots of play, better-developed pieces, and hopes of getting a time advantage over the opponent. The move Be7 in any such positions always entices the sacrifice on e6 square.

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12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Nxe6 Qa5 14. Nxg7+ Kf7 15. Ne6 Bg8 16. c3 Qb6 

In this position, I had approximately 4 and a half minutes to my opponents 2 minutes and 45 seconds because he had used a significant amount of time in the opening trying to calculate the outs from the messy position black received from whites sacrifice. The goal for white is to keep the king close to the center and make it tough for black to coordinate its pieces into an attack on whites king.

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17. Qe2 Re8 18. Qc4 Qb5 19. Qxb5 cxb5 20. Nc7 Rc8

In the last couple moves, I completely threw away my whole advantage and I realized it during the game exactly a second or two after I played the move. My move Qe2 and then Qc4 were both horrible because they helped black develop and with a slight tempo as well. Also, Qc4 allows the automatic trade of queens which is decent but personally I would have been better off if I could keep the queens on the board.

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21. Nxb5 a6 22. Nf5 axb5 23. Rxe7+ Kf8 24. Re2 Bc4 25. Re1 Ra8

After a forced queen trade because of a couple poor moves that I played, I figured out a way to force black to have a bad pawn structure and get my pieces active. The move Nf5 saves my position from many worries because if I were to play Na3 here, it could be shaky after blacks bishop takes on a3 and then my c3 pawn would be hanging.

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26. b3 Bd5 27. Bxh6+ Kf7 

I set up a nice trap here because some players playing black might take on b3 with the bishop but the in-between move of Bxh6 allows me to pick up the bishop on b3 for free or material one way or another.

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28. Bg5 Ne4 29. Rxe4 Bxe4 30. Nd6+ Kg6 31. Nxe4

After this position, my opponent had only about a minute and blundered this simple tactic where white plays rxe4 and then has the knight fork on d6. We played on for a few more moves, but a large number of pawns and a low amount of time for my opponent made it tough for him to play on. He ended up resigning soon after. A good moral for blitz tournament games or just blitz, in general, is to keep in mind to make moves that others would take time to think for or try to find ways to keep the position complicated. Just a short analysis for a blitz game… I ended up winning a small amount of money(just enough to make back the entry fee and a little more). Also gained some rating and beat two masters.

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Why so Scared?

4 Crucial Methods to Overcome the Fear of playing against Higher Rated Chess Players

  1. Try not to look at the rating of your opponent- This could happen in one more ways. If you are ever at chess tournaments with your parents, it might be a better idea for you to ask them to look at the pairings. This would lead to most chess players having games without as much fear of rating loss, playing better chess, and not playing “hope chess” (Moves that are made on the basis that the opponent would not see them due to their rating).
  2. Play Online chess Against Higher Rated Opponents- Sometimes playing against higher rated opponents online gives you more experience playing against them and you are more likely to be more confident playing against them since you have played similar players. This is crucial because you are able to find weaknesses in your openings without actually playing them out in a tournament chess game.
  3. Think of it as a learning opportunity- Usually playing against higher rated players helps you put your openings to the real test and finding out actually how comfortable you are playing such chess positions. You also lose pretty minimal rating if you lose to higher rated players. Also you can sometimes ask for analysis afterward to get the input of the player and his views of your position throughout the game.
  4. Remember rating is just a number and don’t stress about it! Although you may feel down at times about rating loss and having a bad tournament, keep in mind that if you are dedicated and always playing the best chess moves in the game, your rating will reflect it. Losing is sometimes the best learning experience. At the end of the day playing better players is what makes you a better player.