Friday, January 21, 2011

Style changes

When I was young, I was an attacking player. I played sharp openings, which favored tactics, and I lived and died according to my ability to calculate.

Most of my chess games during my 35 year hiatus were with computer programs. All those years against opponents that never made tactical errors, and the ability to back off my mistakes, has changed my style. I am much more positionally oriented, tactics come after a long string of position improving moves. I have become lax in examining my opponents threats.

Of the ten challenging tournament games I have played since returning to chess, I won or drew four by coming back from a poor middlegame position during the endgame, three losses were due to simple tactical oversight (two to lack of blunder check),  two were won through my tactics, and only one loss because of a poor positional judgement. All of the comebacks were from trouble caused by poor tactics.

As I begin another sequence of tournaments, I need to be sure to do a blunder check on each move. No more eager moves. "What does his move allow?", must become of primary importance.

After the coming busy five weeks, I will have a lot more games to look at (18 I think).

Over the next few years, I should consider changing my openings from focusing on middle game attack to focusing on endgame advantage.

  • Kings Indian Attack to Reti with Catalan transpositions
  • Kings Indian Defense to Gruenfeld or Queens Gambit Declined
  • Pirc to Caro-Kann

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