Back from Hiatus, the Second

April 6, 2011

Apologies once again for not putting my word(press blog) where my mouth is! Chess has swallowed up all my time, although not the improvement kind; rather, I’ve been busy revamping our chess club’s website (of which I am the webmaster). Meanwhile, my performance over the board has taken a dive and I’ve been on a bit of a losing streak.

Improvement-wise, I feel as though I’m currenly at a decent 1800-idea-chess-level and at a measly 1500-tactics-chess-level. So my plan is to keep myself busy on ChessTempo until I reach a solid 1800 rating there before I go back to mainly studying ideas. A chessclub friend of mine has started using the Dutch steps method and has kindly offered me the material on part 6 as an Easter gift as I can’t really afford spending any more money on chess apart from tournament and club membership fees.

Sadly, I haven’t come across any gif-able chunks lately. Maybe just this little piece of advice from my last loss: If you’ve got a clear structural pawn weakness on the board (such as a backward pawn), make sure you evaluate all minor piece exchanges in light of that weakness. In this particular case, Black clearly wants to keep the dark-square bishop on the board to defend the pawn (or, even better, exchange dark-square bishops).

Realising that you’ve got a structural target on d6 will also help you evaluating potential pawn moves. The d6-pawn can be attacked, say, from f5 witha ¬†knight, so Black’s g-pawn is an important defensive asset as it can take away the f5 square and thus prevent intrusion.