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.