Thursday, February 08, 2007

TNM: Round 5

I think I need to learn to be more vindictive at the chessboard. Not necessarily to my opponents, but to his moves. I think I definitely let my opponent off the hook for a couple of strange looking moves which just yielded an endgame which was probably superficially better for me, but should have been drawn. This is actually how I beat him last time as well. This time we went into a pawn endgame that should have been a draw, but offered me better chances (kind of a strange thing to say about a pawn endgame). Sure enough he didn't find the most accurate moves (although I will admit the only defense I've found is kind of ugly-looking) and he lost the game.

I'm a little upset with myself lately, I haven't been studying chess as much as I should, but I've been a little preoccupied with my social life, strange to say that as a chess player. This game kind of made me think of something interesting. In many chess positions we play, we have no sense absolutely as to whether the position is a win or a draw, but we can normally quantify some kind of "advantage", when is it okay to go into a position we know objectively is a draw, but will very often be a win in practice. For example the endgame K+R+B vs K + R is a theoretical draw, but given the opportunity to play this endgame from the attacking side or maintain some small, but definite advantage in an endgame I would probably choose to be the attacking side in K+R+B vs K + R as in practice the defender does very poorly. But then of course I would feel guilty that I simply ignored the "chess truth" in the position and instead took an overly practical point of view. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I think it's an interesting discussion. I guess the day some opening is worked out to a K+R+B vs K+R endgame we will see how much chess truth matters where we see if either 1, the white side avoids it or 2) the black side avoids it. Although I guess in a sense, neither side can be too happy. White didn't maintain a theoretical advantage and black gave a position where his losing chances are high and his winning chances are nil.

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