06 June 2013

Where's the Lesson?

Yesterday, I played five online blitz games, the most since my last binge last week. Today, so far, I have exercised self-discipline. After some work on the Spanish Opening in preparation for my lecture at the Spokane Chess Club this evening, and making my moves in some correspondence games, I played a single game of blitz.

My errors gave me an uncomfortable position where I tried a desperate ploy.

Black to move

I am down a pawn and my opponent's pieces are better coordinated. In hopes of gaining back the pawn, I offered my bishop.


White can easily refute my play with a fork, 22.Qh4, or by defending the knight, 22.Rd3. Instead, he made the worst possible move.


Perhaps there is a lesson for beginners in the resulting position. The resulting checkmate pattern is one that all chess players should know. My opponent might also examine the cause of his chess blindness.

Of more value as a lesson from this game, however, are the series of inaccuracies that gave White a strong advantage, and White's subsequent inaccuracies that kept Black in the game.

I blundered early with 13...Nd5??

White to move
After 13...Nd5??
For a couple of moves, my opponent exploited this error in the correct manner.

14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Nxd5 exd5

Then, however, he missed the simple discovery that leaves me helpless, and that would have provoked my resignation, 16.Ng6!

16.Qxd5 Be6

White to move

Here, again, a simple discovery ends Black's illusions of being in the game. Instead of the correct 17.Nc6 bxc6 18.Qxe6+, White continued with more inaccuracies.

17.Qe4 Qf6 18.Nf3 Bf5 19.Qc4+ Kh8 20.Rad1 b6 21.c3

Here we reach the position in the first diagram. Every one of White's past five moves has been less than precise. The lesson in this game stems from White's failure to finish the job after Black's errors handed him a technical win. There is also a lesson in Black's errors leading up to the blunder on move 13. These are stored in my database.

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