Thursday, October 8, 2015

The sequence part 2

The most unique and beautiful about chess is for me the mix of players. I can't imagine immediately another widespread sport or discipline in which age, origin, character, education is so irrelevant. Despite this enormous variety we see each player quickly using familiar patterns which transpose into following routines.

Of course it is absolutely normal to repeat something which has proven its virtue. This not only concerns openingchoices but also style, tempo and even the opponents we want to play against. Routines give us support in the chaos of our complex chessgame but it also is often the reason why players don't progress further anymore.

Very few players are capable to criticize themselves and subsequently leave their comfort-zone. It is not easy at all to try something new and again lose some games to gain experience. A personal coach can not only support with chess related stuff but often can also mentally play an important role. However as mentioned in my previous article a coach is only affordable for a handful (advanced) players.

I have to admit that I also like to follow my routines which I have polished over the years. Playing the same openings for more than 20 years, doesn't show much courage of course. My excuse of the scientific approach naturally doesn't explain everything. On the other hand it is often also very hard to know which direction you need to go if you learn chess by self-tuition. The statistics of this blog often show some crazy searches like recently "how can I always win in chess" which just displays how desperate some people are.

The lack of an instant answer for many questions creates a lot of insecurity. However at the same time this leaves us a choice how to proceed which in itself is an interesting domain of psychology. I played last couple of months 2 games in which some very tough decisions were made. In both games my opponents deviated very likely unconsciously from the standard sequence in the opening so I had to choose between transposing back to the mainline or playing unprepared some interesting deviation.

At contrary to the examples of my earlier article about the sequence it was not at all evident which choice was this time the most optimal one. I don't think it would've made here a decisive impact on the result because of the ratingdifference but it does become much more delicate when the ratings of both players are much closer like in the next example. My young opponent Ian Vandelacluze earlier in the tournament made a draw against GM Alexander Dgebuadze and FM Jelle Sarrau so I was warned.

Ian played the opening in just a couple of minutes while I spent loads of time to discover the differences in evaluation with the different sequence. Only at home after making some extensive analysis with my computer I was able to define 1 moment in the game in which I should've not transposed to the mainline. The attraction of familiar positions proofed to be too big for me. I expect most players would make the same choice as I but I am sure there are also players loving fresh unknown positions which permit more creativity. Despite I won both games, it is absolutely unclear to me what is the best strategy. If you experienced something similar already then let me know the choice you made in a reaction below this article.

Brabo

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