Monday, November 17, 2008

Aagaard Revisited

Have a look at this (you won't need sound).

Amazing don't you think? Did you go back and watch it again just to check?

Sadly, when I first saw the clip it reminded me of a game I played in the London League a month ago today.

After a dozen moves we'd reached this position ...

When I played my knight to d5 I was expecting, and as it turned out I got,

12. ... Nxd4, 13. Bxd4 Nxd5, 14. cxd5 Bxd4, 15. Qxd4

which leaves us here:-

I felt this position should be very comfortable for White. My lead in development means I'll be able to get my rooks to the c-file before the other guy can and while the h1-a8 diagonal is now blocked the d5 pawn seems to cramp Black up quite severely. I expected I'd have to re-route my bishop to the f1-a6 diagonal at some point but in the meantime I've still got a lot of play against his queenside. Everything's happening forward and to the left, an area of the board where I have more space, so, I thought, I must have the advantage.

All well and good, and possibly an accurate assessment, but have a look at what happened ...

Forward and to the left? Well I won in the end but I'd have notched up the point an awful lot quicker if I'd been looking sideways and to the right.

Back in the summer I spent some time looking at Jacob Aaagaard's book Excelling at Chess. I was particularly interested in his idea that if we first know what we should be looking to achieve positionally it is much more likely that we will be able to calculate accurate variations to reach the goal. The corollary however, which I had not thought about before, is that if you're not looking in the right place to start with you may not see the most obvious opportunities available to you.

It's easy to miss something you're not looking for

True that, as they say on The Wire, but still it's hard to believe I didn't see the bishop was en prise. Mind you, I can't believe I didn't see the dancing bear either.


ejh said...

Splendid. Also see

Jonathan B said...

BTW: I was going to call this post "Aagaard the dancing bear" but didn't want to risk giving the game away.

Anonymous said...

when was the bishop en prise?