my dilemma...

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  • my dilemma...

    quite recently in terms of my chess career, about a year ago, I had my first real progress in tournament play and I climbed the rating latter about 4 to 500 points over a span of 3-4 tournaments. and yet now 10 months later I struggle against players rated far below me and have found that this progress has come to a dead stand still, for example. this past weekend I play the Guelph tournament and went 2.5/5 in u1700, here are my games, I didn't play anyone with in 40 rating points of me.

    Henry hughes (1590) - Callum yoker (1331
    1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 d5 4. e3 Bg7 5. Nbd2 c5 6. c3 O-O 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. O-O Nd7 9. h3 e5 10. dxe5 Ndxe5 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Bc2 Nd7 13. Nb3 c4 14. Nd4 Nc5 15. Nb5 Na6 16. Qf3 Be6 17. Rab1 Qa5 18. Na3 b5 19. g4 b4 20. cxb4 Nxb4 21. Bd6 Rfe8 22. h4 Nxc2 23. Nxc2 Qxa2 24. Nd4 Qa6 25. Bf4 h6 26. Kh1 Qc8 27. Rg1 Qd7 28. Nf5 gxf5 29. gxf5 Bxf5 30. Qg2 f6 31. Rbd1 Qb7 32. f3 Re7 33. Qg3 Kh8 34. Rg2 Qd7 35. Kh2 Be6 36. Bd6 1/2-1/2

    Henry hughes (1590) - stefan szpular (1403)
    1. e4 e6 2. d4 c5 3. Nf3 b6 4. Bf4 Bb7 5. d5 exd5 6. exd5 d6 7. Bb5+ Nd7 8. O-O Qf6 9. Re1+ Ne7 10. Bg5 Qxb2 11. Bxe7 Bxe7 12. Qe2 O-O 13. Bxd7 Qxa1 14. Qxe7 Bxd5 15. c3 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Qxa2 17. Bc6 Rad8 18. Be4 Rfe8 19. Qc7 d5 20. Rd1 Rc8 21. Qb7 dxe4 0-1


    Hazel guo(1560) - Henry hughes (1590)
    1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Bg4 4. Be3 Nf6 5. Nbd2 e6 6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O Qd7 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Bh5 10. Qb3 Na5 11. Qc2 a6 12. Rad1 b5 13. b3 Qc8 14. Rfe1 c5 15. dxc5 dxc5 16. Nf1 Bg6 17. Ng3 Nd5 18. Qc1 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Qc7 20. Bd3 e5 21. Bc2 Rad8 22. Qe2 c4 23. b4 Nc6 24. Nd2 Bxb4 25. cxb4 Nd4 26. Qg4 Nxc2 27. Rf1 Nxb4 28. a3 Nd3 29. h4 h6 30. h5 Bh7 31. Nf5 Bxf5 32. exf5 Nb2 33. Ne4 f6 34. Rxd8 Qxd8 35. Nc5 Qd4 36. Ne4 c3 37. Qe2 Rc8 38. Rc1 Nd3 39. Rd1 c2 40. Rxd3 c1=Q+ 41. Kh2 Qf4+ 42. g3 Qdxe4 43. Qd1 Qfxf5 44. Qd2 0-1


    ricky zu(1342) - Henry hughes (1590)
    1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Bg4 4. Be3 e6 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. Be2 Be7 7. Qd2 a6 8. a3 Qd7 9. O-O O-O 10. Rad1 Rad8 11. h3 Bh5 12. Ne1 Bxe2 13. Qxe2 Qc8 14. Nd3 Na5 15. Nf4 b5 16. b3 c5 17. dxc5 dxc5 18. e5 Nd7 19. Bc1 Nc6 20. Nd3 Nd4 21. Qg4 Qc7 22. Bf4 Rfe8 23. Rd2 Nf8 24. Ne4 Nf5 25. Rfd1 Ng6 1/2-1/2


    let me know on insights cause im struggling to find explanations for my poor results




  • #2
    In the first game, you were losing when your opponent agreed to a draw. It is fairly well known that if you want to neutralize the London System you should play a King's Indian or Grunfeld setup. In the last game you agreed to a draw in a position where there was still a fair bit of play. In the second game you just played quite loosely. It seemed to me that you had a few ways to gain an advantage perhaps with some trades that might have left your opponent's king in the middle. Loose pieces fall off is a saying that might be applied here. Another would be "Don't go on any adventures until you have all your pieces developed". The openings that you are playing should not lead to any advantage for you. I would go more mainline. You should also play out openings and positions where there is still play. I can't blame you for taking a draw in the first game but the last game you should play on as I think you are even better there though your opponent missed some chances earlier.

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    • #3
      There's a psychological change that has to be made as your rating climbs. I found two things helped me...

      1. Remember that your opponent can have a brilliant game and the best you can do is draw. Actually, I recently drew a 1600 who outplayed me from start to finish. He's about to cross 2000 now...

      2. Play with the attitude that you have something to lose. I don't mean turtle, I mean the difference between a beginner and a grandmaster level game may be the very next move you play.

      To me chess is kind of similar to powerlifting. There's a misconception that these gigantic weights feel light to strongmen. The reality is that their tolerance for the heaviness has simply increased. High level chess is a LOT of work. I wish I had enjoyed screwing around at 1800 a little longer.

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      • #4
        I think you also have the wrong idea about ratings. A forty point difference in rating is not significant. In all likelihood due to bonus points your jump in rating may have pushed your rating above your actual strength. Don't worry about rating. Worry about getting better at chess and the rating will take care of itself.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vlad Drkulec View Post
          In the first game, you were losing when your opponent agreed to a draw. It is fairly well known that if you want to neutralize the London System you should play a King's Indian or Grunfeld setup. In the last game you agreed to a draw in a position where there was still a fair bit of play. In the second game you just played quite loosely. It seemed to me that you had a few ways to gain an advantage perhaps with some trades that might have left your opponent's king in the middle. Loose pieces fall off is a saying that might be applied here. Another would be "Don't go on any adventures until you have all your pieces developed". The openings that you are playing should not lead to any advantage for you. I would go more mainline. You should also play out openings and positions where there is still play. I can't blame you for taking a draw in the first game but the last game you should play on as I think you are even better there though your opponent missed some chances earlier.
          and whaat do you mean main line openings?? most ive studied against e4 I don't like, the positions I get are not a tuned to by style.
          e5 is to dry and I can get any advantage c5 is too easy for white to play against, c6 leads to countless draws as early as move 20, e6 too cramped and so on, Nc6 is the only way im ever able to create any imbalance

          as for my white openings ive looked and looked but have found nothing for the kinda positions I like (only opening ive had continuous success with is b3, but I feel that will change if I get to higher levels)
          Last edited by Henri Hughes; Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 03:41 PM.

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          • #6
            another problem I have is when people say "play openings that suit your style" but how am I supposed to know what that is I can't think of common things I like just in games ill know what side id rather take

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Henri Hughes View Post

              and whaat do you mean main line openings??
              1. e4 e5
              1. e4 e6
              1. e4 c5
              1. e4 c6

              Non-mainline openings which are also playable include 1.e4 d5 and 1.e4 g6 and even 1.e4 b6.though I used to love to play against the last one as white.

              most ive studied against e4 I don't like, the positions I get are not a tuned to by style.
              e5 is to dry and I can get any advantage c5 is too easy for white to play against, c6 leads to countless draws as early as move 20, e6 too cramped and so on, Nc6 is the only way im ever able to create any imbalance

              as for my white openings ive looked and looked but have found nothing for the kinda positions I like (only opening ive had continuous success with is b3, but I feel that will change if I get to higher levels)
              Your biggest problem in the last sequence seems to be with white. You are switching between 1. e4 and 1.d4. Pick one and master the ensuing openings then possibly go back and play the other.

              If you like 1.e4 Nc6 continue to play it. Don't expect outstanding results against higher rated players. Imbalances are just one factor in a good opening. They are not the main factor until you reach a middlegame.

              1. b3 should be playable though I wouldn't expect to gain an opening advantage. It is too easy for black to equalize with a kingside fianchetto, for example.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Henri Hughes View Post
                another problem I have is when people say "play openings that suit your style" but how am I supposed to know what that is I can't think of common things I like just in games ill know what side id rather take
                Study many openings and their games and decide which positions you would like to play.

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                • #9
                  the common line I play in the nimzowitsch defensive is the line, 1.e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Bg4 followed by Be3 and Nf6, e6 or g6 by black and the main idea is to play a6 b5 Na5 and then break whites centre with c5 after something like Qc8 ,
                  I think the kinds of openings that best suite me are the. modern school of openings ( other then my Leningrad dutch, which still involves and fianchetto,) I was never sure but what kind of stuff comes out of 1. Nc3

                  and how much better is g6 the b6? cause you can play it like a modern defense??

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                  • #10
                    another thing is my openings for black are fairly sound, I was looking at my past tournaments (8 or so) and I have a huge score with black then with white about 7 to 1 when in terms of wins

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Henri Hughes View Post
                      another thing is my openings for black are fairly sound, I was looking at my past tournaments (8 or so) and I have a huge score with black then with white about 7 to 1 when in terms of wins
                      Equating your results with the soundness of your openings is a major leak.

                      If your goal is really to improve, at your rating (and I'm not saying this to be insulting or condescending), you should be playing a wide range of openings to get a handle on the themes available in a wide range of positions. And don't focus on your rating. Focus on the quality of your games. Spend a lot of time analyzing them, checking on the correct opening play, look at them with stronger players.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Henri Hughes View Post
                        another thing is my openings for black are fairly sound, I was looking at my past tournaments (8 or so) and I have a huge score with black then with white about 7 to 1 when in terms of wins

                        If you play the exact same opening every time then people will be able to prepare for you and you'll be playing against Carlsen and Caruana's prepared play. Beginners will not tend to prepare. At the under 1700 level they probably will.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Henri Hughes View Post
                          most ive studied against e4 I don't like, the positions I get are not a tuned to by style.
                          e5 is to dry and I can get any advantage c5 is too easy for white to play against, c6 leads to countless draws as early as move 20, e6 too cramped and so on, Nc6 is the only way im ever able to create any imbalance
                          You shall change your style :) Or switch to 1...a6. If it was good to beat the world champion, it will be good for you too.


                          Draws, like in the last game, will hold you at your recent level for a long time. What had you to loose to play till bare kings? You still need to learn a lot and the best way to play on and on. You had advantage of several hundred points - like a pawn in the endgame :)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Egidijus Zeromskis View Post

                            You shall change your style :) Or switch to 1...a6. If it was good to beat the world champion, it will be good for you too.


                            Draws, like in the last game, will hold you at your recent level for a long time. What had you to loose to play till bare kings? You still need to learn a lot and the best way to play on and on. You had advantage of several hundred points - like a pawn in the endgame :)
                            thats the other part of the problem how should I be determining my style?

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                            • #15
                              you need more games to assess your true rating. you are no longer a junior under 15. you need a coach or you need to wake up and study.
                              Last edited by John Brown; Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 05:43 PM. Reason: spelling

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