Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Analyzing Masters games

"Better to light a candle than curse the darkness"

After each tournament it is important to go through all your games. I cultivated this habit from very early in my career. You should not only analyze the variations but draw some conclusions:

- How did the opening go for you? Do you need to play another line or even switch to a different opening?
- Does your opening against a particular opponent work (not the result)? Do you need to prepare a different opening/variation for him/her?
- What errors were made? Why did you make such an error? You need to be honest with yourself to avoid succumbing to the same mistakes in future.
- What did you miss during the game? It is easy after the game to analyze with an engine at your side. The engine sees everything especially the tactics and you might be convinced that you saw the same lines as the engine during the game. Do not fool youself. It is very difficult to admit that you missed stuff. Better to understand why.

Some of my games from the recent 2016 Malaysian Masters -

Jimmy Liew-Andin Faizal
Black has just played 32...g5. I was thinking why he did not just resign since I am winning the bishop on d8.  Without thought I played

33. Rdxd8?? Qf6+

Black saves his piece! Instead of being a rook up, I ended in a queen ending  (which I still won since I was two pawns up).  I did not learn my lesson as can be seen in the next game.

Mas Hafizul-Jimmy Liew

Black has a crushing attack just by transferring the rook to the g-file. By this time I was short of time and calculated badly. My original intention was 28...Re5 29. Re2 Rg5+ 30. Rg2 Rxg2 31. Qxg2 Qxe3+ with three pawns for the piece. Won, but needs a lot of technique. An indication of how badly I calculated in time trouble was the line after 30 Rg2 black wins easily with 30...Qh2+

28....Bf4 29. Nc2 Bg3 30. Rf1 Re5 31. Qg2 

I was under the impression that 31...Bh2+ was won after 32 Qxh2 Rg5+ 33 Kh1 Qxf1+ but now I saw 32 Kh1 which I was not expecting. I rejected this line which was a mistake because after 32....Qh4 33 Qxh2 Qe4+ 34 Qg2 (34 Kg1 Rg5+) Rh5+ 35 Kg1 Rg5 36 Qxg5 fxg5 37 Nbd4 it is still not clear white is winning.

I continued to play poorly missing my best chances and Black won easily.

Jimmy Liew-Ng Jen Sheng

28 g5! e6

The only chance for Black. Before going into the variation I had calculated 29. d5 which wins rather easily as Black cannot play 29...f5 30 dxe6 wins a piece. But with the position on the board I thought I spotted an "easier" win.

29. Rd8 Rc7 30 Be2 f5 31. Bb5 

Again I was wondering why Black did not resign since he will be down a piece soon.

31...Kf7 32. Rxd7+ Rxd7 33. Bxd7 Be7 

I had not seen this move which means I was just getting too complacent. The bishop on h6 is trapped but surely a piece is still a piece. And with this in mind I played the worse possible move.

34. f4?? d5!

Now the win is very problematic and I doubt it is even possible. I sacrificed the bishop on h6 for two pawns and even blundered a whole pawn away to reach an opposite color bishop ending which was drawn.

Sumant Subramaniam - Jimmy Liew

I was planning to play 28....Rh7 which "wins" along the open h-file. Good thing I learned a lesson from the previous games and stopped long enough to spot my rook on e8 hanging! I was this close to giving away a whole point.

28....Kg7 29. Qh1?? Rh8 30. Nh2 g4 31. Bd5 Ng5 0-1

The threat of Ng5-h3+ decides.


Wael Abu Garad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jimmy Liew said...

I did see the move but got complacent. When you start thinking you can win any which way, thats when you start overlooking stuff.

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