Some games hinge on the slightest of inaccuracies, this is particularly true of computer chess. A simple recapture with the wrong piece puts the game on a trajectory that is out of my reach. In this game, I pushed a pawn when I should have captured another. Once this happened, I saw my advantage slowly slip away.
Defense in chess
It’s important to note that my style of play differs based on my opponent. Against a computer, I am less likely to sacrifice material unless I am certain that it makes sense. In this game, Bg4 was a blunder. So was h4 and Rc3. But there are bigger issue for me to overcome here. In a word: defense. There are some chess games where I need to admit that I am worse. That means I need to play defensive moves until I can equalize. Playing offense is obviously more exciting but it isn’t always possible.
My analysis during the game was flawed. I seemed to give up once I lost a pawn. This is a recurring theme for me and many amateur players.
Takeaways from my game with K-Chess (Computer Chess Corner, April):
Trade pieces in cramped positions. With white pawns on d4 and e5, it was important for me to play Nxb5. Trading pieces when your opponent has space is the right approach because it relieves pressure and allows you to finish your development.
Develop first, attack second. Playing 13…Na5 was a bad decision. The move didn’t swing the evaluator to my opponent but it sets a poor foundation. What was the idea behind it? It was a superficial move that made matters worse. In fact, you will note that the knight stayed on a5 for a good part of the game where it had no influence on the outcome of the game.
I will show other games I played with K-Chess in future editions of Computer Chess Corner.