(KW, July 6th)
First, I would like to thank GW for playing the White side with me against Fritz. This is my first encounter with Fritz, and I must admit, I was a little intimidated, especially since I only recently began to study chess again (GW has been a big impetus to getting my mind into chess again - thanks for this too, GW!).
I was pleasantly surprised to find we were able to hold our own. Fritz at any level is a strong tactical player, and as one of the major purposes of this endeavor is to explore Control of the Center, I wanted to make a good showing as "the stronger player". Strategically, I believe we were at least equal to Fritz, maybe just slightly ahead.
GW also helped significantly on move 11 when we conferred and decided on Rc1 instead of Rd1.
This is my first game with the Barcza Opening. I, like GW, appreciate that on the first 4 moves you don't have to do much thinking. One issue I might have is castling immediately. Just as with the Center it is often advisable to maintain the tension until the right moment, so with castling. We undoubtedly would have done so soon, but by not castling immediately, it enables you to make use of that tempo to greater advantage, until castling is really needed or wanted. On move 4, castling was not really needed at that point.
Both strategy and tactics played a large roll in this game.
One of the differences between strategy and tactics is that strategy is long term, whereas tactics generally is short term.
Tactically, I made a mistake at move 9 (Qd2) not seeing the Knight attack of Nf6-e4. This moved the Queen pillar to post for a few moves, until we were able to regroup.
Strategically, throughout the game we limited Black's ability to use the dark squares, creating a Bad Bishop. Then systematically, by 13. c4
and 18. d5
we were able to lock in the Black light square Bishop. With the move 18. d5
as well, we remove one more defender for the Black Kingside. White now has an advantage on the Kingside flank, and should attack there soon before Black can regroup.
Strategically as well, we were able to gain Control of the Center. With the Advanced Pawn and Advanced Salient, White's game is better.
Many people use computers these days to play chess. This is a mistake if they rely on computer programs to help them make a move. It weakens their chess brains. However, after
a game, it is useful to use a program to see what other moves are suggested that you might have missed, or to see other tactical or strategic possibilities.
One free program is Crafty
. I placed Crafty on 12 ply (6 full moves), to examine the game. This catches virtually all tactics, and also sees if specific strategies have a short term significance. Doing a post-game analysis like this, helps you to see your game with a stronger player.
Not everyone has a Grandmaster handy to train with. Probably one of the best ways to learn an opening, or get better at chess, is after the game, go through a post-mortem as we are doing here. Here is my analysis with the help at times of Crafty.
Note that I do not always agree with Crafty. It does not always think in the best way, in my experience. That is why chess programs can often be beaten.