Chess Update March 15th

Check out my #ECMP355 Learning Project progress!

Instructional Videos

Climbing the Rating Ladder (Up to 1000)

I finished this hour-long video in which John Bartholomew plays lower-rated players and comments on optimal chess strategy. This was really helpful because he walks through almost every move and discusses common mistakes in beginner games.
Climbing the Rating Ladder: Up to 1000

Chess Fundamentals #1: Undefended Pieces

I started watching this 54-minute long video, in which John Bartholomew discusses ways you can work to improve your sense of danger by actively scanning for undefended pieces in both your position and your opponent's. This is definitely what I need right now because I struggle with dropping pieces in almost every game I play. It's difficult to improve when you are constantly leaving pieces undefended, so I've decided this will be my focus for the next little while.
Chess Fundamentals #1: Undefended Pieces

Recent Games

This was one of the first games where I stayed super calm, calculated each move, and continually looked for weaknesses in mine and my opponent’s position. I was able to take advantage of Whynot29 dropping his knight. He then offered a queen trade, which I took because I was up material. I was able to checkmate him using my two rooks and a pawn! This game was a huge success for me because I was constantly thinking about how to keep my pieces defended and was able to take advantage of his undefended piece. There are definitely still things I could have improved on, but overall I was really happy with how I played this game.
This game was extremely frustrating for me. Early on, my knight got pinned to my queen. I managed to get up material because my opponent traded his bishop for my pawn. Then, since I was up material, I offered a queen trade, which he took. After that, my goal was to keep simplifying, so I offered a bishop trade and my opponent took it. I then let my opponent eat up some of my pawns (bad idea). I was trying to offer a rook trade to simplify even more, but I made a really stupid pawn move and ended up getting back rank checkmated by his two rooks. UGH! I pouted for a long time after this one. It sucks being up material and then losing in the endgame.

My Stats from

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