Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wild swings of over-optimism, over-pessimism and under-focus!

Did I just make up a few words? Probably. My game on Monday night had all the usual trademarks of players who learn chess from computers:

  • Move 13: Be8. Wild over-confidence: "Queenside is tied up, this child will now strategically crack like an egg. Just play slowly and wait for the inevitable strategic crumble."
  • Move 22: Ne2! Wild pessimism: "Holy crap. Ne2. How did I miss that? I've just wasted 2+ moves in a King's Indian. I am boned. Look for dodgy attacks."
  • and of course, "under-focus", another new word more commonly known as "not concentrating hard enough" which lead to this whole schemozzle with 22. Nh4?

I noticed William as a new addition at the club a couple of weeks ago. 10 moves into my game against Efrain Tionko, I got up to grab a coffee and noticed a young kid rated in the 1500's already in a drawn rook and pawn ending with Mehmedalija Dizdarevic. Given the game had only gone for 20 minutes or so, I assumed Mehmedalija had taken him lightly. Appears I was wrong, and even if that were the case it's still an impressive result against a very strong player.

With younger players you expect to see them develop tactically first (like Jack Puccini, the Dales, Max Chew-Lee and a few others who are now very strong players). William appears more of a Ray Yang type however who seems to be developing strategically much earlier than one usually expects with juniors. William was impressive in that he showed a strong understanding of colour complexes, good and bad pieces and strategy in our game. His play with his Bishops was spot on I think. 

As for me, I don't know what's happening with my concentration but on move 21 I didn't do myself any favours. h5 is the move I intended however at the last minute I decided on Nh4? because I thought it would force: Nh4, 0-0?!, Ng3, Rook moves then h5. I completely overlooked the simple Ne2, after which I think white has an advantage on the QS and black has stupidly slowed down his KS play for 2 moves by denying himself h5. I haven't had time to analyse the game so I don't know if:
  • Pushing KS pawns was correct given white hasn't castled. 
  • If black is doing as badly as I thought on the QS when I sacced a pawn with Ng3?
  • Whether I should play axb4. Actually. This is obviously wrong. I should allow bxa5. 
  • If I put the wrong knight on c5. Again, I'm fairly sure I did and it's the a6 knight that belongs there. I'd assumed in the game that the a6 knight would help control b4.
Anyway, here's the game. I thought 31. Bd2! was a really calm and impressive move for a junior to make. 


  1. 29. Bxa6 was a mistake because of the long tactical response 29...gxf3, restoring the position to equal, but complex. I was lucky we both missed this response as 29...Rxa6 made me much better; almost winning according to the computer.
    Thank you for the nice compliments Paul!

    William Maligin

    1. No worries William! Good to see you enjoying your chess at the club.
      Leaving the Bishop on move 29 is a bad miss from me. Definitely chances to complicate.
      I remember during the game I was only thinking about whether your a1 rook was a better defensive piece than my a8 rook was an attacking piece. Oh well- hopefully I'll see more tonight!