We learn a lot from our losses, but it’s hard to study a game that we want to forget about. The road to chess improvement demands we review our losses with an open and objective mindset. This is easier said than done of course but it is important.
This next game was played on Lichess using my Samsung 8 smartphone. The time controls were 15 15 which is considered classical chess. I am still in my provisional rating period so the opponents I play will vary in playing strength. This opponent was rated 2180. I started the game with my usual King’s Indian Attack (KIA) but things rapidly took a turn for the worse. I retreated a bishop to the wrong square and things fell apart from there.
My opponent played an early Rb8, in an effort to advance is b-pawn to form a queenside majority. This was confusing to me and I missed some chances to equalize early in the opening. Let’s see what happened.
Keep knights active. It should go without saying that playing a crazy move like Na1 should be avoided at all costs. The only exception is if you are certain that it will yield something. I played this move without an inkling of how bad it was. So, if you can’t fully calculate the idea behind a move like Na1, do not play it.
Reserve the e3 square for the knight. The King’s Indian Attack commonly sees e3 being occupied by a knight. This is done for a few reasons. The first is to put pressure on the g4 square which White normally likes to occupy with his bishop. The second is to allow flexibility for the knight to jump into d5, with the bishop on g2 supporting that square. And lastly, the e3 square is an important way stop for the knight as it reroutes itself to c2, c4 or even f1. Playing Be3 was essentially demoting my bishop to a glorified pawn where it had no scope and not influence in the position.
There is an old baseball expression that goes, “sometimes you just have to tip your hat”. That’s what happened in this game. I made a few bad moves and my opponent jumped all over me. Granted, playing Na1 was a mistake but kudos to my opponent for not letting up on the pressure. Chess isn’t always about making mistakes. Sometimes you just get outplayed. That’s what happened here. On to the next!