Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Typical Chess Mistakes

Submitted by WGM Natalia_Pogonina on
There are many different types of chess mistakes, but some of them are especially widespread. They keep occurring in one game after another and are popular with lots of players. These mistakes may be dubbed typical and fixed via purposeful work.
Here are a few worst enemies of chess players of all ages and levels:
1. Playing without plan
A plan is the core of the game. Choosing the right plan is extremely useful, while unsystematic play is usually punished by the opponent (unless a blunder or similar shortcoming takes place on her/his side). The main difficulty here is to evaluate the position correctly – that is a must for finding the correct idea.
2. Underestimating opponents’threats
Don’t forget that you are not the only one playing! The opponent has her/his own goals too, so you should adopt a prophylactic approach to the game and try to prevent many of the potential threats of the opponent. After she/he makes a move, ask yourself: what did she/he have in mind? Is there any way I can implement my plan and ruin hers/his?
3. Failing to convert a winning position due to loss of concentration
No matter how large your advantage is, you should stay focused until the scoresheets are signed. Myriads of totally won positions have been lost due to a momentary loss of concentration. As we have discussed before, one should avoid premature celebrating and stay alert.
4. Giving up (or starting to play the game out without any interest) too early
Chess has immense defensive resources (correspondence players know this!). The tougher your resistance is, the higher the chances of stealing away half a point or even the whole one. Even if you are in trouble, try to stay calm and watch out for chances to create counter-play or save the game somehow. Your rivals are also human; they tend to blunder from time to time.
5. Poor time management
This problem is typical for amateurs and top-10 players alike. By leaving yourself a tiny fraction of the initial time, you have to play superficially, start getting nervous and eventually blunder. As I have mentioned in one of the articles, increasing one’s knowledge of chess and working on one’s psychology (intuition, trust in your moves) will help cure this disease.
The mistakes I have described above are among the most hazardous.
The next game (with me as White and Alexandra Kosteniuk, the Women’s World Champion at that time, as Black) will feature the majority of the most typical mistakes. It was played in round 10 of the Russian Superfinal-2010. I had 5.5/9 and needed at least a draw to stay in the race for first place. Alexandra was at 4/9 and was desperately trying to change the course of the tournament.
Pogonina, N. (2472) vs. Kosteniuk, A. (2507)
60th ch-RUS w | Moscow RUS | Round 10| 26 Nov 2010 | ECO: B58 | 1/2-1/2
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3d6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nf3 h68. O-O Be7 9. h3 O-O10. Nh2?! 10. Re1 )10... Nd4 11. Ng4 Be612. Nxf6+ Bxf6 13. Be3 (13. Nd5 Bg5 13... Bxd514. exd5 14. c3 Bxc115. Rxc1 Bxd5 16. exd5Nxe2+ 16... Nf5!? )17. Qxe2 Qa5 18. Rfd1 (18. Qc4 Rac8 19. Qb3Qa6 19... Rac8 (18... Qxa2 19. Qb5 Qa620. Qxa6 bxa6 21. Ra1 )13... Rc8 14. Bg4?! (14. Bd3 Nc6 15. Nd5 Bg515... Bxd5 16. exd5Ne7 17. Qg4 Bg518. Bxg5 hxg5 19. c4 )16. c3 Bxe3 16... Bxd517. exd5 Ne7 18. Bxg5hxg5 19. Qd2 17. Nxe314... Rc4 15. a3 a6 (15... Qc7 16. Rc1?! (16. Be2 Nxe2+ 17. Qxe2Qc7 18. Rfd1 Be719. Rac1 b5 16... Qc7 (16... Qb6 17. Rb1 (17. Bxe6 fxe6 18. Qg4Re8 19. Rb1 19. Bxh6?Qxb2 20... Kh7 )17... Qc7 17. Qd2 (17. Qd3 b5 18. Rfd1 )17... b5 18. Rfd1 Rd8 (18... Be7 19. Be2 Nxe2+20. Qxe2 b4 20... Rc8 )21. Nd5 Bxd5 22. exd5bxa3 23. b3 Rc324. Qxa6 f5 25. Qxa3Rxc2 19. Qe1 19. Be2Nxe2+ 19... Rc5 20. Bd320. Qxe2 Rc8 20... b421. Nd5 Bxd5 22. exd5bxa3 23. b3 Rc324. Qxa6 19... Qb720. Be2? 20. Rd3 a521. Qd1 b4 22. axb4axb4 23. Nd5 Bxd524. exd5 b3 25. cxb3Rxc1 26. Qxc1 Qxd527. Bxd4 exd4 28. Qc4Qe4 20... Rxc3 21. bxc321. Bxd4 Rcc8 (21... Rxh3 22. gxh3 exd422. Bf3 Bxh3 )21... Nxe2+ 22. Qxe2Qxe4 23. Qd2? 23. Qd3Qc6 24. Bd2 23... Qg624. Kh1 d5 25. f3 Rc826. Rf1 Rc4 27. f4 (27. Rf2 Rh4 27... d428. cxd4 exd4 29. Bf2 (29. Bg1 Bd5 30. Bh2 (30. f5 Qh5 31... Rc3 )29... Bd5 30. Rg1 Rc3 (30... Be4 31. Kh2 Rxa332. Qb4 32. g4 h5 (32... Rf3 33. Bxd4 Bxd434. Qxd4 Qd6 35. Rcf1Rxh3+ 36. Kxh3 Bg2+37. Rxg2 Qxd4 33. g5 (33. Bxd4 Qe4 34. Bxf6Re3 35. Rg2 Qxf4+36. Kg1 Bxg2 37. Bd4 Re438. Qxf4 Rxf4 34... Qf534. Rg3 Rxg3 35. Bxg3Be6 36. Qg2 Bd8 )32... Rc3 33. Qd6 Bxg2? (33... Bc6 34. Rxg2Rxh3+ 35. Kg1 35. Kxh3Qh5+ 36. Kg3 Bh4+37. Kh2 Bxf2# 35... Qh536. Kf1 Qf3? 36... Rh1+37. Rg1 37. Bg1 Qf3+38. Rf2 Qh3+ 39. Rg2Qe3 37... Qh3+ 38. Ke2Rh2 39. Qb8+ Kh740. Qe8 Qh5+ 41. Kf1Qf3 42. Qe2 Qh3+43. Ke1 Bh4 44. Rf1 Rxf245. Rxf2 Qe3 46. Qxe3dxe3 47. Ra1 Bxf2+48. Ke2 h5 37. Re1Rh1+ 38. Rg1 Rh239. Re2 Kh7 39... Rxf2+40. Rxf2 Qd1+ 41. Kg2Qg4+ 42. Kh1 Qh3+43. Rh2 Qf3+ 40. Qd7Qxf4 41. Qxf7 41. Qg4Qc1+ 42. Be1 Rh4 )41... Rxf2+ 42. Rxf2 Qc1+43. Kg2 Qg5+ 44. Kf1Qc1+ 45. Kg2 Qg5+46. Kf1
Mistakes on my part: careless play in the opening, playing without a plan, missing a typical club-level tactic and poor defense. On my opponent’s part: hurrying to wrap up the game asap (can also be classified as lack of concentration) and, consequently, failing to do so. You might wonder why the game ended in a draw if I seem to have made more mistakes than my opponent? This proves once again that chess is a very complicated game, and sometimes one factor may outweigh or compensate for a few others.