Monday, April 13, 2015


When the first databases appeared, everybody wished to see their name popping up. Of course vanity which slowly transformed first into indifference and finally annoyance. Players started to realize that the publication of their games is a poisoned gift as eventually future opponents got valuable information for preparation.

A few years ago I discussed in my article gamepublications how increasingly often tournaments stopped putting effort in digitizing games.  Today we see this behavior intensifies as players are demanding tournament-organizers not to share their games with the public. Only participants sometimes extended with some friends still get access to the information often with the help of a password. In Flanders we see this new policy already well established see e.g Zottegem , LeuvenBrasschaatBruges experttournament, ...

Clearly a lot of players are afraid of preparations. Articles like e.g. the modern french part 2 and using databases naturally just amplify these negative thoughts. However Kara earlier already remarked on my blog that I very likely prepare my games much more intensively than the average chessplayer. It surely would be interesting to find out how other players prepare their games to get a more balanced view and maybe also relieve partly the fear.

Attempts to attract other writers like in my article free didn't bring any results and on the internet you will find barely or no information about how others prepare themselves. Therefore I decided to use a different approach by inspecting the openings of some of my recent games from the opponents point of view. Lets start with my interclubgame in Wachtebeke against the strong Dutch FM Miguoel Admiraal.
[Event "Interclub Deurne - Wachtebeke"] [Date "2014"] [White "Brabo"] [Black "Admiraal, M."] [Result "*"] [ECO "B80"] [WhiteElo "2337"] [BlackElo "2350"] [PlyCount "11"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 {(A surprise for Miguoel as he expected Be2. Apparently he did not read my blog as I announced in the article 'The Neo-Scheveningen’ that I would choose an English setup.)} *
Despite I played on my usual 2nd board, my opponent clearly didn't read my blog. In 2012 I already wrote in the article the neo scheveningen that I would play Be3 instead of Be2. Now I do realize that my blog is less popular in the Netherlands but he was neither aware of my game against Vermaat which can be found in any commercial database and was a very clear warning.

A second example is from the currently on-going clubchampionship of Deurne. Guy Dugailliez knows me for many years already so he is well aware about my blog. I expected that he would try to use the information on my blog in his advantage for our mutual game.
[Event "Klubkampioenschap Deurne r4"] [Date "2014"] [White "Brabo"] [Black "Dugailliez, G."] [Result "*"] [ECO "B03"] [WhiteElo "2337"] [BlackElo "2000"] [PlyCount "15"] 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 Nb6 4. c4 d6 5. f4 g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 Be6 {(2 years ago Robert Schuermans played the old variation 0-0 against me. While analyzing that game, I also spent quite some time at this modern variation sometimes called the Sergeev-variation.)} 8. Rc1 {(I recommended this move on my blog but I was astonished that Guy was not aware about this. It is not a novelty as I discovered that the move was played already in 2012 just before the publication of my article.)} *
Afterwards Guy admitted that he did search on the blog for some useful information but clearly not very extensively otherwise he should have discovered that I recommended 8.Rc1 in my articles Aljechin with g6 and archiving.

The 3rd example is again extracted from the interclubs. My opponent the Belgian FM Christophe Gregoir shows up apparently completely unprepared.
[Event "Interclub KGSRL - Deurne"] [Date "2015"] [White "Gregoir, C."] [Black "Brabo"] [Result "*"] [ECO "A90"] [WhiteElo "2250"] [BlackElo "2330"] [PlyCount "20"] 1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 d5 5. Nf3 c6 6. O-O Bd6 7. b3 {(In 2004 Christophe played once Nc3 against me.)} Qe7 8. Bb2 {(This is an insipid continuation and shows white has not prepared at all. I find this shocking for a 2200 player having plenty of time available to prepare. 10 minutes were already sufficient to check the theory and select something more critical.)} b6 9. Nbd2 {(In Open Gent of 2010 I encountered Qc1 by Franssen. Nbd2 is the most frequently played move in this position.)} O-O 10. Ne5 Bb7 *
20 years I already play the Dutch stonewall which can be discovered at a glance in any commercial database. My game of 2010 against Franssen demonstrates clearly that I know 8.Bb2 is not critical. 10 minutes of preparation was sufficient to find this information.

The last example is a very recent game again of the clubchampionship. Robert surprised me in a very special way.
[Event "Klubkampioenschap Deurne r5"] [Date "2015"] [White "Schuermans, R."] [Black "Brabo"] [Result "*"] [ECO "C56"] [WhiteElo "2140"] [BlackElo "2330"] [PlyCount "39"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Bc5 10. f3 Ng5 11. f4 Ne4 12. Be3 Bb6 13. Nd2 Nxd2 14. Qxd2 c5 15. Ne2 d4 16. Bf2 O-O 17. c4 f6 {(I was very surprised that Robert repeated the same line of our mutual game played in 2009 as he never repeated anything before. Afterwards Robert just told me that he forgot our older game. In 2009 I chose f5 but of course this time I improve with f6.)} 18. Bh4 Qe8 19. exf6 Qh5 20. Bf2 { (The clue as fxg7 is answered by Rfe8 and white loses a piece without sufficient compensation. Bf2 limits the damage but black has won the opening-battle.)} *
If you don't remember playing the same line in a standardgame against the same opponent then clearly we can't speak about any serious preparation. However I should add that Robert has played according to KBSB already 2659 standard-games. Compared with my 432 then it is evident that we are talking about a huge amount of games. The importance of a good system to archive games is here once again proven.

The 4 examples are from my 10 most recent games. The preparation of my opponents was nonexistent or had no substantial influence on the opening despite they had more than sufficient time for it. I selected the most striking examples but also in the other games I notice that the preparation of my opponents often only consists a fraction of the time and energy which I spent.

Last couple of years I've published tons of articles on my blog with valuable information which easily can be used for a game-preparation against myself but I experience hardly any negative effects. I also notice that only few try to profit from my games published in the databases. If we combine this with the fact that the chess-opening has rather a limited influence on the final result then I do wonder if the use of passwords isn't slightly exaggerated.

Finally if somebody anyway uses some information of the blog against myself then this would only push me to work harder. Maybe it also learns me something new which otherwise I never would discover. Besides the most beautiful present a writer can get, is to discover that his articles are read.


Last week somebody of my club made the remark that it is difficult to search an article/ subject on this blog (to prepare a game). Well there is a simple searchengine on top of this blog. Where and how can be checked in below screenshot.
An example of how to search a topic on this blog
I also make regularly use of this searchengine as I don't remember the full content of all my articles and I try to avoid repetitions.

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