Thursday, July 20, 2006

The evolution of my playing style and typical mistakes

As time goes on my chess games evolve, too. At the beginning of my chess endeavors, I was happy if I managed not to loose too many pieces early in the game. Recently, I observed that I don't blunder as frequently as I used to. I hope doing tactics puzzles finally pays off a little. The ratings increase at ChessWorld that comes with that now lets me play in tournaments against stronger players than previously. Therefore, I also can't rely on them happily hanging pieces anymore. But of course chess ability is more complex than being able to solve a few one-move tactics problems. Therefore, I am running in some new (for me) problems.

First of all I think I exchange too many pieces too quickly without gaining anything. This means that many games are decided in a pawn (and rooks) endgame, assuming that neither me or my opponent blundered. This has two major disadvantages: Firstly, these games tend to be rather dull because less pieces on the board also means that there are less chances for an exciting attack. Secondly, I tend to play really bad in the endgame (see my previous post for an example of how to not play in the endgame).

If I want to improve further, I will have to do two things: 1) study endgames. For some reason, I seem to be like the majority of amateur chess players. Most of them realize that endgames are important, but for some reason (almost) nobody seems to like to study endgames. What is it that makes endgame study so much less desirable than, say, tactics? 2) Learn how to attack. In the best spirit of this, I tried to play more aggressive in my current games at ChessWorld. In two games, I sacrificed a knight, only to learn one move later that my ideas for the attacks were easily refutable by responses that I simply overlooked. Seems I have to do more tactics problems to improve my board vision... In the third game, however, things seem to work out - I won a piece and have the initiative, at least until now. That brings me to the real question: how does one learn to attack in chess games? I am not talking about gaining a piece or even winning by checkmate by using some tactics. Rather, how does one put positional pressure on the opponent until the opportunities for tactical moves come up? My current plan is to study a few master games with the openings I usually play to figure that out. Other ideas are of course welcome!

Update: one of the three tries to attack mentioned above worked out for me, see this post.


Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Let us know of any good info you find on attacking principles. I got 'Art of Attack in Chess' and don't like it at all. It is not very well written (it isn't clear and clean in its explanations) and is probably a bit above me.

7:54 PM  

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