Speelman's Agony #66

by Jonathan Speelman
12/17/2017 – Morgon from Canada plays well positionally...before it all goes pear shaped. JS has the blow-by-blow. Fancy Jon taking a look at your games? Send them in! If you appear in the Agony column, not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

Fritz 16 - He just wants to play! Fritz 16 - He just wants to play!

Fritz 16 is looking forward to playing with you, and you're certain to have a great deal of fun with him too. Tense games and even well-fought victories await you with "Easy play" and "Assisted analysis" modes.


Morgon's moves

This week's games are by Morgon Mills, a 33-year-year-old Canadian, who writes:

"I'm a literature student and quasi-academic in Labrador, Canada. I've sent in two games: one a triumph from several years ago of which I've always been fond, and the other a painful defeat from this past year's Canadian Open.

I think it's an instructive loss, in that it shows how weaker players like me routinely fail to press positional advantages against stronger players by being too eager to convert into material gains. It's not only agonizing to lose this way, but infuriating! This game was especially so, not only for the multiple errors near the end that led to inevitable ignominy (being a lifelong patzer, I should be used to that by now), but also (if I may be permitted to indulge in enclosing a third, less-annotated game score) because it showed exactly the same kinds of mistakes that only two weeks before had lost me a very similar game in very similar fashion, at the Canadian Championship, once again as Black against a titled player, much stronger than myself."

We start with those two “agonising” losses. Morgon annotated them in some detail and I've added my thoughts as JS.


Click or tap on subsequent games in the game list below the board to switch games

The Fashionable Caro-Kann Vol.1 and 2

The Caro Kann is a very tricky opening. Black’s play is based on controlling and fighting for key light squares. It is a line which was very fashionable in late 90s and early 2000s due to the successes of greats like Karpov, Anand, Dreev etc. Recently due to strong engines lot of key developments have been made and some new lines have been introduced, while others have been refuted altogether. I have analyzed the new trends carefully and found some new ideas for Black.

Submit your games!

Did you enjoy the column and instructive analysis by GM Jonathan Speelman? Do you wish you could have a world-renowned grandmaster analyzing your play? You can!

To submit your games just upload a PGN or ChessBase file, along with your name and e-mail address. Send one success story (Ecstasy) and one loss (Agony).

Tell why you chose them, where or when they were played. Please also include your email address, so Jon can reply, and preferably a photo of yourself for our article.

If your game is selected Jon will contact you personally, and not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

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See also:

Jonathan Speelman, born in 1956, studied mathematics but became a professional chess player in 1977. He was a member of the English Olympic team from 1980–2006 and three times British Champion. He played twice in Candidates Tournaments, reaching the semi-final in 1989. He twice seconded a World Championship challenger: Nigel Short and then Viswanathan Anand against Garry Kasparov in London 1993 and New York 1995.


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