Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Learning from your losses?

In order to improve one should analyse one's losses deeply in order to identify what mistakes are being made.

The kind of losses that can help a lot are close games where one might not even know where one went wrong.

What is most frustrating to me is the way I lost/drew games. I am making basic errors against opponents 200 points below me. Although I try hard not to be overconfident against lower rated player's, I am having trouble not doing so. I don't make such errors against higher rated opponents as often. I have to learn to play chess and not pay attenting to my opponent. Like Fischer said "All that matters on the chessboard is good moves."

Round 1 - missed very basic moves at least twice. First giving up any advantage(27. Bg4?), then the game(46.Kb8???).

Round 4 - didn't look one move further in a forced sequence that threw a way my advantage.(19...Bxd3)

Round 5 - misplayed the opening, proceeded to weaken the q-side pawn structure, made no effort to activate my bad bishop. There were other psychological issues in this game as well. After losing the first round I was determined to win the next 4 games, but after drawing the 4th round you could say, "I had the wind blown from my sails". I probably should have not played the 5th round.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I should have stayed home!

To perform at a good level one needs to be able to recover well from a set backs. This is true on a move, game and tournament level. I believe that not recovering well psychologically was my downfall in the event.

In the first round I had this position as White. Instead of taking the pawn I played 27.Bg4 first, which throws away the advantage, since Black just plays Rh8 and defends the h-pawn. After the rooks come off I may still have a better position, but I some how manage to lose the game.

I think I did a fare job recovering after the first round loss and was determined to win the next 4 games. After wins in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I had the following position as Black with the move. I was very happy with this position and was sure I could convert it to a win, but only managed to draw. I could not get my self to recover from yet another set back as now there was no way for me to go 4-1. I should have probably not played the last round. What ai missed was the after the exchanges ...Bxd3,
Nxd4 Qc7, Qxc7 Rxc7, White can play Rc1 because of White's back rank issues. It was clearly a case of stopping the analysis one move too early. There was no reason to exchange at this stage. I could have simply improved my position and then infiltrate the Q-side.

In the 5th round I was paired against fellow blogger Greg. After misplaying the opening I got an inferior position as White and to make matters worse also got myself in time trouble. Trying to make time control I repeated the position and should have just taken the draw, but I wanted to reach time control to see if there was any way out of the bad situation, but in the last move before time control I dropped my queen to a knight fork, later analysis shows that it would have been hard for me to hold this game.

It sounds odd, but I am more dissapointed about drawing the 3rd round game than losing the 1st and 5th.

I did bad a job recovering from bad moves and bad games, I just have to do a good job recovering from a bad tournament!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

44th Northeastern Open

IM MESGEN AMANOV Betaneli & Satarius tied for first.

To learn more about Mesgen click here. I understand that he has relocated to Chicago.

Complete results here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

This and that

44th Northeastern Open Jan 26-27
This has been the longest wait between rated games for at least a couple of years. (more than 5 weeks). I am in a pretty confident mood and hope to break the 1900 mark for the first time.

A. Vaja and A. Betaneli are expected to play. FM Stamnov from Chicago usualy shows up.

I completed Tal's Winning Chess Combinations , It was very enjoyable. Lots of examples and problems. I am in the process of entering most of the examples & problems in to ChessBase so that I can solve them multiple times. I was expecting to see lots of Tal's own combinations, but most examples are not his own.

I started on Sharpen Your Tactics.

I have also been avaraging 30 minutes of cardio a day. I ran in my first 5k race last Sunday.

GM Hikaru Nakamura has a new website at : http://www.hikarunakamura.com/main/, where he is currently blogging about the Gibraltar Chess Festival. He talkes about what a day in the life of a Grandmaster is during a tournament.

Wayne Zimmerle has the latest version of the MSA data program at:


The Racine Chess Clubs has a new website : http://racinechess.com/

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

44th Northeastern Open

The 44th edition of Wisconsin's most attended* tournament will be held in Neenah, WI Jan 26-27

Jan. 26-27 44th Northeastern Open
FORMAT: 5/SS SECTIONS: Three: OPEN and RESERVE (U/1500) and SPECIAL-NOVICE (open to all - no special fees or dues). PLAYING SITE: Holiday Inn - Neenah, 123 E. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah, WI 54956. Hotel phone: 1-800-725-6348. ROOM RATES: $79 sgl/dbl. Mention chess! REGISTRATION: 9-9:30 on 1/26/08. ROUNDS AT: 10-2:30-7 and 10-3:15. TIME CONTROL: 35/90, then SD/60. BYES: One half-point Bye any round. FULL-point Bye in Rd. 1 to 2100+ if pre-registered. ENTRY FEES: OPEN = $35, RESERVE = $17, SPECIAL-NOVICE = $12. All are $5 more after 1/21, not 1/16. Checks payable to NEWCA. PRIZE FUND: OPEN: ($1500 b/60, 5 per class) 1st - $350, 2nd - $225, best 1900 - 200, 1800 - 190, 1700 - 180, 1600 - 170, 1st U/1600 - 125, 2nd U/1600 - 75. RESERVE: 1st - $60, 2nd - $30. Trophies to: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, best 1200, 1100, 1000, 900, 800, 700, U/700, 1st Unrated, 2nd Unrated. SPECIAL-NOVICE: Trophies to: 1st place, 2nd place, best age 12/U. ADVANCE ENTRIES TO: 44th Northeastern Open, Mike Selig - Director, 2895 "B" West Fourth St., Appleton, WI 54914-4330. TD phone: 1-920-739-7550. E-mails to: MikeSeligTD@aol.com. OTHER INFO: NS/W/NC. USCF Heritage event. Bookseller at site both days. Fox River Mall with 174 stores is 4 miles from hotel! JGP.

Past results & winners:




My goal is to score at least 4.0/5.0

* (non-scholastic; at least for the past 5 years )

Sunday, January 20, 2008

5K in zero degree weather.

One of my new year resolutions was to average at least 30 min. of cardio a day. I have been doing that for the past 80 days. To add variety I took part in my first 5K run at the Milwaukee Zoo.

548 runners braved the zero degree temperature for the 28TH ANNUAL SAMSON STOMP.

My goal was to finish in less than 30 min. I finished in 28:46

Complete results here

Checkout this link for the amazing end to the 2007 Chicago women's marathon

Monday, January 14, 2008

FIDE Event in Iowa

Ashish and Erik took part in a FIDE event in Iowa over the w-end. Erik lost the first round to Matt Anzis (1769), but finished strong to tie for first place with 4.5/6.0 and a rating of 2194.

Ashish finished with 4.0/6.0 with one loss(Pete Karagianis 2210) and two draws.

Initially the tournament was only open to players with a FIDE rating or Iowa players with ratings over 2000, but since the turn out was low, the requirements were relaxed. There were only 12 players; with 6 rounds there were some interesting pairings.

15 year old Matt Anzis gained the most points, he broke into class-A with a gain of 67 points(1769 ->1836). In addition to beating Erik he also beat FM Aleksander Stamnov from IL. That should move him to around 50th place in the USCF age 15 list

Click here for USCF results

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Wisconsin's newest Expert

Updated 1/10/2007 : Added these two links:Vince Hart's account of the event , 2004 interview with Alexander.
Sasha being interviewed by Roshan

Congratulations to ten year old Alexander Velikanov, Wisconsin's newest and youngest Expert. Any bets on how long it will take him to get to Master?

He achieved a rating of 2013 with a performance rating of 2396! at the TIM JUST WINTER OPEN XXII (IL)

Round by round

2) Win vs PATRICK LACEY 2121
3) Bye
4) Win vs VINCENT HART 2048
5) Loss vs IM MESGEN AMANOV 2365

Vince Hart's account of the event

He should also move to the #3 spot in the USCF age 10 list:

Top age 10

1) Yang, Darwin (12945617) TX 2129
2) Luo, Brian J (12910173) WI 2088
3) Velikanov, Alexander (12879882) WI 2013

Here is a 2004 interview with Alexander.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Racine Chess Club

Here is a link to the Racine Chess Club

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Wisconsin players at major Christmas events

ERIK F SANTARIUS was the most successful. He picked up $1000 in the Under 2200 section of the Eastern Open.

In the Open section, ALEXANDER BETANELI finished with 5.5/8.0 and tied for 4th (~$250). ASHISH VAJA had 3.5/7.0 (did not play last round) . It is interesting that they were paired against each other in round 3!(Alex won). Maybe they forgot to put themselves on the same team or that was not an option.

A last round win would have given JAYNE, RYAN D about $500 at the North American Open, but the pressure got to him.