Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Learning from a Loss

Click here for game

This is my last round loss against Anthony Parker(1982) from the 2007 WCA Veterans tournament. My record against Anthony is now a dismal 0-5. I am sure that the fact that I had lost every previous game against him had some effect on my mental state during the game.

I went into the last round with 3.0/4.0 A win would have put me at a respectable 4.0/5.0 and a tie for 3rd place, but like many times before I lost an important last round game.

It has been a while since I got into a IQP game (with either side). The most important thing to remember is that the person with the IQP needs to be on the offensive and make use of the extra space in the middle game, since going into an endgame will favor the other side.

I was happy when Black played h6 and g5, I knew that in the long run this weakening of the king side pawn structure could be exploited. In response I moved the my bishop to the b1 diagonal got my queen to d3, and attacked the g pawn. (with the wrong pawn)

When I developed my last piece, the queens rook to the c-file (17 Rac1), I was very happy with my position, but it all fell apart quickly after Black played 23...f5.

I think that the move that lost the thread of the game for me was 20.h4?! I really wanted to play 20.f4!?, and after the game I realized that this would have given Black the most trouble. The reason I played h4 instead of f4 is that I thought that f4 would loosen my king position, although this is true, I could have caused more trouble for Black since f4 also threatens f5.

Some interesting IQP links:

IQP: Exeter Chess Club

IQP: Bangor Chess Club

Interesting IQP games from chessgames.com (Many losses by Karpov!)


  1. Ivan, over the past year or so that you've had this blog, you have made virtually no progress toward your goal, yet your mentality is exactly the same. You need to start taking the advice that your generous readers have been giving you and put it to use.

  2. Piece Placement!

    Your Bb1/Qd3 lineup looks nice, but really threatens nothing. Even without a Black Knight on f6 a queen intrusion on h7 is no threat(King to f8 and then what?) A black Knight on f8 BTW nicely covers both intrusion points g6 and h7 and therefore stops your Queen and Bishop in dead track.
    Without calculating anything here if I would apply the Silman-approach I like the Bishop on a2 eying f7 more than on b1 where it is dead wood. And your rooks on the queenside are completely wrong-placed for an attack on the kingside; even if you already analyzed the move f4 as being better then h4 it's obvious that a Rook on f1 would add much more bite to that one.
    Your Knight on c3 is an especially bad one. According to Silman you should have done something about that (maybe f2-f3, Nc3-e4 and trading it off or something like that...)
    I didn't calculate anything so far and that is exactly Silmans approach.
    I think you don't follow a real plan through your games. You just put your pieces where it "looks nice" and only after that you try to come up with a plan. But that's wrong. You have to come up with a plan BEFORE you put your pieces in place.

  3. I strongly suspect that (anonymous) BRUZ is a weaker player than Ivan himself. He is certainly not an expert as apparently he played at the Veteran's and Bruz is not Tatiana. :-)

    Of course his advice and comments are just as valuable/appreciated as any other person's who choose to blog here. That being said, does Ivan really care about how another A class player (or even lower) would apply "Silman's approach" to the position? More importantly, how does it help IVAN? If a player cannot state: "I have have used this Silman's approach and I have gotten to 2000," then it's great! But it ain't so, is it? As for approach itself...It's very very easy to suggest how thinking should be done; coaches who don't play themselves are extremely good at it!
    Alex Betaneli

  4. Oh Ivan, the reason you lose to Parker is certainly his superior understanding of IQP! Parker is a PLAYER, you are a STUDENT of the game. I hope you see the difference! One needs to care about result (right here, right now) and Parker is arguably the most result-caring/oriented player in the state. He doesn't touch chess books, except for perhaps opening manuals. He believe he can beat anyone on mere talent. That's one of the reasons I especially enjoy beating him. Beating you or J.Coons by contrast almost pains me.
    Alex Betaneli

  5. Why do you think BRUZ was at the Veteran's?

  6. Did you mean to say:

    Oh Ivan, the reason you lose to Parker is NOT certainly his superior understanding of IQP!

  7. yeah, I meant *NOT*, thanks. :-)
    Alex Betaneli

  8. This game against Parker very much resembles your last posted one against Garvin. In both cases a black fianchetto-bishop on b7 got your king into ultimate trouble.
    You obviously don't pay enough attention to your opponents' piece placement.
    Always try to neutralize or exchange his most active pieces!

  9. Ivan,
    One of the things that seems to be working for me is to avoid playing lower rated players whenever possible. For me, stronger players bring out the best in me. Maybe its the whole "nothing to lose" mentality that helps me.

    Once I started beating a few strong players, my confidence went way up. I started believing in myself. Of course, luck has been a factor too. But I believe that people make their own luck most of the time.

    Good luck.

  10. I seem to play better against higher rated players as well, I am sure that the pressure to win when playing lower rated opponents gets in the way of performing to the best of one's abilities.

    It's not easy to just ignore the rating and play the position.

  11. Well, in WI a player of Ivan's caliber generally gets paired down. If you want to play experts, simply enter the expert section of CCA events. It works for some to play up, that's for sure.

    At a personal level, of course I prefer playing IMs and GMs instead of A class players. The only player I know who lived off beating the lower rated folk (and reached 2400 without ever getting a FIDE rating) is Dave Penkalski. Although I applaud to such an accomplishment, one has to wonder what the joy is. :-)

    Alex Betaneli