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Why Can't I Win?

I played an OTB tmt and I lost 3 games (among them are 1 IM and two 2200+ rated players- all were on my favourite board no. 4 ) In the first loss against a 2200+ rated player. It was a Maroczy Bind and  the last position was complicated (though it was kind of my winning, or draw these two results seem the only possible because my king was open but still there were less attackers and i had an extra knight) and i blundered mate. The interesting point is that my time trouble started around in the middlegame around 20 secs when my opponent had 10 mins ( time control is 10m+10s) And then i had twenty seconds but my opponent had 30 secs and my position was clearly better! I felt glad now because Maroczy Bind is a tough opening to play for black especially against 2000+ rated players. Any way i lost.                                               

In the second game i was forced to transpose into a Benoni (1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.e3 Nf6 5.d4 0-0 6.d5 (please explain me where I went wrong)) though i must admit that i didn't lose because benoni is bad but i played in a wrong manner. I went for a pawn sacrifice with c4 only to know after that it is applicable only in e4+Nf3+Be2 system 

In the third game i was a clear exchange up in the opening against an IM but I messed that one too. I was very happy to think that i  will beat atleast one 2000+ rated player but i lost  I had such an odd feeling that I was kind of squeezed in the game. After the game I asked him whether he intentionally sacrificed the exchange or not? His answer made me punch a wall. It was a blunder and thanks for giving me the point.  

The common things in these games- 

-all were played on board no. 4

-i had black in all games

- had time trouble in all games  

Can anybody share their experiences with these? How you people have succeeded in overcoming this issue?

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List of (my) problems to solve

Just a brain dump of the study/play problems I'm trying to solve that don't have satisfying answers so far...

Blunders in 5 3 chess:
  Sometimes missing the opponent's mistake because I wasn't looking and why I start missing stuff.
  Forgetting to visualise the position if necessary before making moves to blunder check
  Time management vs playing bad moves too quickly

  Being able to replay (part of) a line against a realistic opponent again and again until I understand it
  Getting enough experience
  Finding how to play the middlegames in specific openings when not enough good examples in the database (and tracking them down in the first place).
  Remembering and recall

Studying games:
   How many?
   How to gain something from it?
   What to be looking for.

  How to do it - very little beyond the obvious and keep at it (akin to the problem (but less understood) of why can't one draw, understand mathematics, speak new foreign languages fluently)
  How much skill is required (i.e. how is it being used practically as opposed to blindfold chess)

Thinking process:
  Very little good information on it - in the streams it's often mentioned as having good sight of board or intuition, but not (able to be) broken down on how to get it or how to train it during again (the levels of conscious/unconscious (in)competence). Much of the information is very general (study puzzles, studies, games, play a lot, analyse) requiring a lot of time which many people do not have.

  What to note down?
  How much to note down?
  How much to revise and when.

  How to condense study into 2 hours a day so it can co-exist with work

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Anti-Sicilian Part 3 - 2. ... e6 3. f4 Nc6 4. Nf3 Nf6

Hi, I just faced 4. ... Nf6 in a blitz game and did not find it in my notes. I checked previous discussions in the forum (https://chessmood.com/forum/pro-members/anti-sicilian-part-3-question-3nc6#scroll11080 and https://chessmood.com/forum/pro-members/anti-sicilian-part-3-question-3nc6#scroll11105) but if I am not mistaken, we have not exchanged ideas on this position.

What do you think about immediately attacking the knight with 5. e5 (what I actually played)? And how to continue further:

playing d2-d4 or not
exchanging the light-squared bishop against the knight on c6 or not and
how to develop the dark-squared bishop?

I added some more thoughts in the pgn.

The winners of August, 2021

Hello champions and future champions! Hello ChessMood family!

Thank you all for sharing your games. It’s great to see you play some really strong chess! Keeping crushing the same way!

Moving on to the prizes,

The first prize goes to Jaylen Lenear for his Tal-like approach to finish the game.


The second prize goes to Vladimir Bugayev for the way he conducted a crushing attack in the Anti-Sicilian!


The third prize goes to Yuma Okabe for brilliantly handling the initiative after 11...Nxe4! and converting it into a win.


The 4th prize goes to Karl Strohmaier for this brilliant attack in the Accelerated Dragon.


The 5th prize goes to Paul Alejandro Cardones for the picturesque 16.Nce4#!


Congratulations to all of you, and thank you once again everybody for sharing your games! 

Keep crushing, and keep the #COGRO

See you soon for next month’s contest.

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Theme tournament - Scotch Steinitz System (4... Qh4) on lichess

I finally found a theme tournament of interest on lichess today (https://lichess.org/5BwojSsYYGcb) and played in the 3 0 (there was also 1 0, 3 2 and 10 0 but that was overkill). I was essaying the 5. Nb5 Chessmood suggestion as White. I finished 17th of 503, and at one point I was leading the tournament. Sadly the 0 inc got to me a few games.

Nb5 is a very good line, but I have a little bit of a gripe of the course, that the few moves that give Black a game (despite inferior play) are not covered with perhaps some model games to best get into the middlegame. Too much is placed on it being a dodgy YouTube move and looking at solely at serious refutations rather than giving it some respect. It's bad, but it's not refuted by Nb5 and some players will accept a slightly worse position against someone who knows what they are doing if they also win against many opponents on tricks. Luckily many opponents just fell into the bad lines, especially as they would be more familiar with Nc3 if they played it at all.

Some more 'respectable' lines that need correct handling to keep advantage and should have been mentioned:
5... Bb4+ instead of Bc5
7... a6 before Bf4 can be played where 8. N1c3 is correct and maybe 9. Nd4 depending on what Black plays (e.g. after Qe8) which gives White a huge if not winning initiative
5... Qd8 - yes a wasteful retreat, but the king hasn't had to move, so White must play correctly e.g. 6. Bf4 e.g. Bb4+ 7. c3 Ba5 8. N1a3 (or 7. N1c3, a3, b4) to keep the advantage

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Nakamura solving puzzle rush

After a couple of weeks of chessmood and audience trying to solve these puzzles (worth catching up on those webinars if you weren't there), it's interesting to watch Nakamura do the same in his recent streams uploaded to Youtube. Although he gets further than the we did it's interesting to note that even around 50 he's saying:

I really don't know here
I can't see what this puzzle is about
I'm sure it's this or this (and then sometimes change one of the 50-50 to another move)
I'm guessing / relying on intuition/instinct here

This tells us a lot, and it makes me feel a lot better about my level of skill. Sure he can calculate better and faster, but it's not that he's seeing really deep and quickly, and is also running into exactly the same problems I'm seeing when trying to solve puzzles. A lot of the getting it right seems to be based on elimination of what it can't be, and on intuition about what looks like a winning position rather than blitzing out a solution that makes you wonder if he's even human. Some of it is just educated guesswork and taking it move by move.

Several hours worth spread across multiple videos but enlightening on how he thinks about puzzles (and perhaps one of the gems in the large number of 'comfort food' videos that he streams).


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Theme opening tournaments on lichess

Continuing from a previous post.

Can we not just start this up anyway. Lichess' existing one is someone's own repertoire (since it repeats the same things), none of which really interests me, with no indication of a schedule to know when something might cross over into mine, except checking what is input as upcoming on the day.

The format is for example:

12:00-12:27 Caro Kann bullet arena (1 0)
13:00-13:57 Caro Kann superblitz arena (3 0)
14:00-14:57 Caro Kann blitz arena (3 2)

This format takes place twice a day with different openings.

While we can argue about what the best controls would be, keeping it inside an hour is good. Without experience, I would suggest the format above (if it had a gap between the last two tournaments) might work well. Yes bullet isn't really good chess, but by increasing the controls like this, you could analyse your games to work out what you forgot, then be ready to play it better in the next one, the earlier ones test your reactions/defaults (arguably). This could be done by leaving an extra 30 mins between the 2nd and 3rd tournament.

Initially it could be done without Chessmood being mentioned at all. If Chessmood then give their blessing and want to take oversight/control in the management later, then fine. At that point it could also be a used to advertise Chessmood as the place to come and prepare for the tournament since that repertoire is the one it will be based on. By being open to everyone, it is then going to get the numbers needed to make it viable.

A few questions remain:
Can anyone add tournaments into the lichess calendar or does it need sign off from lichess for that - without it being in the calendar it will be difficult to promote it
If it does need sign off from lichess, is it still possible to affiliate it with (or promote) Chessmood later?
How can the schedule for events, at least for the next few weeks, be publicised?
Do we have a few members that would be interested in running it and updating what is upcoming?