No, don't worry, I'm not going to pour my heart out while in the midst of a middle aged crisis. Diaries, or personal notebooks, are often kept by chess players and I wondered how many readers do just this. So do you keep a chess notebook, or chess diary? I guess in the digital age, we can store information on our computers, or phones/tablets easily, so perhaps personal databases fulfil the same role.
I used to keep a notebook back in England, though that was in the days before online databases and resources. So as well as my own ideas and analysis, there was a lot of material that I collected from books and periodicals that I bought or borrowed. Unfortunately I left all the stuff in England when I emigrated to Australia, and all my chess books as well. So I've decided to start a chess notebook again. I'm not sure whether to use pen and paper, or a computer but the vast amount of material that is readily available to players of all standards needs to be filtered into manageable proportions. Otherwise looking a 5 million game database to improve your game is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
One thing that all chess players enjoy is a good sacrifice, so my diary entry for today has involved sacrifices and attacks. Examining sacrifices is good for a number of reasons:
- we get away from pure materialism in out thinking.
- we improve our imagination, looking for unusual ideas in positions.
- we learn to calculate variations correctly.
- we develop a series of known patterns we can put into our game.
It was fun looking at some sacrifices, and even playing some, and I'll post some answers tomorrow.
Answers (as I see them anyway!)
1. I launched the fork 1.Nc6! where the knight can't be taken 1..bxc6 2.Qa6+ Kb8 3.bxc6 with unstoppable mate on b7.
2. The game Albin-Bird Hastings 1895 continued 41..gxh2+ 42.Kxh2 Rxg2+ [black has rook and pawn for the queen while white's king is exposed] 43.Kh3 Rg6 44.Be3 [In his annotations for the tournament book, Schiffers claims 44.Qc1 is better] 44..f4 45.Bf2 Rh6
3. I was happy to find 1..Rxc3! when the tactics work for me. 2.bxc3 Rb8 is not playable, so my young opponent found 2.e5! but I had 2..Qf3 3.Rf1 Rc5 with a winning position
4. Maljutin-Yemelin, where black played 5..Bf7 which lost to 6.Rg3+ Kh7 7.Qe4+ when black resigned.
I don't think alternatives were any better.
a) 5..Kh7/h8 6.Rh3 wins the queen
b) 5..Kg7 6.Rg3+ Bg6 7.f5 +-
c) 5..Kf8 6.f5 again looks strong 6..Bg7 7.f6
d) 5..Qf7 is probably best 6.Rg3+ Kh7 [6..Kf8 7.Qxd6+ Qe7 8.Rg8+; 6..Kh8 7.Qh6+ Qh7 8.Qf8+] 7.Qh3+ Qh5 8.Qxh5+ Bxh5 9.Rh3 when white will end up an exchange and a couple of pawns ahead