Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Hi! Been a while. I've actually been doing a fair bit of chess work the last few weeks, but not as much as I'd like. I suspect that a principal advantage of the de la Maza method is that it gives the student a strict schedule to follow.
Anyway, according to my logbook, I've spent more than 12 hours analysing the following game, my third-round loss in the May Open at the Marshall. It was a hard game to analyse, because it wasn't very tactical, so there were a lot of reasonable alternatives for each side.
A word about my opponent. IM Renato Naranja was for years one of the Philippines' best players. In 1970, he played in the 1970 Palma de Majorca Interzonal, where he drew with Fischer and beat a number of strong GMs. The tournament book of that event was the first chess book I bought with my own money, and I remember his games well. Naranja has returned to chess this year after a long absence from the game. I am thrilled to have had a chance to play him.
So, what did I learn from this game? Well, I evaluate potential endgames too superficially; I just assumed that the Bishop ending was tenable. I still haven't conquered my tendency to simplify even when complex alternatives are better. And I re-learned something about Black's move-order in the Stonewall (I used to know that 8...Ne4 was the right move; I played it several times). There was something wrong with the way I evaluated positions in the middle game, as well, but I haven't quite worked out what it was.
Comments on, and corrections of, my analysis are welcome, as always.
Because of the ever-looming specter of the sudden death time control, I try to budget my time for parts of the game. In a slow game, I want to play the first 10 moves in 5 minutes; get to move 15 in 15 more minutes, and to move 20 in 20 more. I hope to get to move 30 with 15 or 20 minutes to spare; that's usually just a fond dream.
I don't write those milestones down beforehand--that would be a form of using notes during the game--but they're simple enough to remember, and if I'm playing slower than that, I try to speed up. Often that means I'll avoid analysing complicated lines and play something simple instead.