Menadue - JMGB, Penarth 2012
Jaunooby - JMGB, Hampstead 2013
Analyse your games.
Everybody knows that you're supposed to do it. Gormally devotes an entire section of Improve Your Practical Play to an investigation of how he came to lose against Martin Brown at the Sheffield 2011 British Championships. Nobody actually does it, though, do they? Well Matt Fletcher does - see Learn from the Amateurs - but nobody else.
Or is it just me who's a lazy arse?
Either way, when 4 g4 turned up on my board at Hampstead last year I was no better prepared to respond that when I'd first faced it in Penarth more than a year earlier.
Menadue - Bryant, Penarth 2012 is - as far as I'm aware - my only ever published game. It appeared in both CHESS and the BCM and I think it cropped up in one of Gary Lane's columns on Chesscafe too. It's even on chessgames.com, albeit recorded as a loss for John Daniel Bryant rather than for me. Given that he's a 2400 IM I doubt he'd be overly pleased to know that this monstrosity has been attributed to him.
White to play and whomp a blogger
So there you have it. My only published game a 12-move loss. Actually it should have been nine. The only reason why I didn't resign after White played the killing blow in the diagram above was that a couple of rounds earlier I'd thrown in the towel when not actually losing against a GM and had started the tournament by notching a point when my opponent resigned a king and pawn ending when he had a cast iron draw. I wanted to make absolutely sure this game.
Anyhoo, I got spectacularly mashed, and my response to this was ... what? To declare that it would never happen to me again. To thoroughly explore this messy variation and work out exactly how to play against it? To pay a good deal more attention to all those sharp sidelines that you can get in the Dutch?
I do remember having a cursory glance at what passes for the theory of this line. I found something that mentioned Pert suggesting ... b6 and ... Bb7 might be a good idea since White has weakened the h1-a8 diagonal and I discovered somebody or other recommending a Stonewall set up. That was pretty much it, though.
So when Jaunooby punted the variation against me in Hampstead not only could I not remember how I should proceed, I couldn't even recall how my game at Penarth had gone. Other than it had ended with me getting a comprehensive stuffing, I mean.
And that after my most humiliating chessboard experiences ever. If I wasn't going to do it then, when was I going to do it? Analyse my games? The very thought.
Hard at it
Am I alone?
I can't be arsed either
I look at every one, honest guv. Dedication's what you need.