For any of you who are subscribers to ChessLecture, Jesse Kraai’s analysis of my game with John Bick is now online. All I can say is, it’s fascinating. I am blown away by how different his understanding of several positions was from mine. You would think we weren’t even talking about the same game.Â Yet in almost every case I think he’s right.
Especially interesting to me were the moves that I didn’t even comment on, but which turned out to be crucial turning points. I was kicking myself over playing the “superficial” move 12. … Be7, but in fact Jesse says it’s the previous move, 11. … Ngf6, that was at fault. I never even thought to question this! The other remarkable example occurs on move 29, where I played 29. … Bxb2 automatically, even eagerly, because it created a position where all the pawns were on one side of the board. I had assumed this would make the position easier for me to defend. Instead, Jesse said it was losing and I had to try 29. … b3.
This secondÂ exampleÂ is interesting to me psychologically asÂ an example of a mis-learned or mis-applied lesson. I knew that in rook and pawn endgames, the position becomes easier for the defender if the pawns are all on one side of the board. Somehow I had extrapolated from this to a General Principle that held for all endgames. But, as Jesse says, the bishop is a long-range piece! It’s at a disadvantage when the pawns are all on one side. Its ability to travel long distances becomes much less important, while at the same time its inability to cover half of the squares becomes more important. A very insightful comment! I had never thought of it that way, but in retrospect it seems so obvious!
Jesse also spotted some mistakes by my opponent, which I failed to do. Interestingly, he did not notice the little tactic in my “Quiz Position #4,” which at least makes me feel a little betterÂ about the fact that I also overlooked it.
All in all, thisÂ was for me a tremendously informative lecture. I hope that it will be equally informative for other people. It does seem a little bit odd to have what is essentially a private lesson broadcast to an audience of hundreds … but presumably I am not the only person struggling with some of the issues that Jesse addresses, such as sensitivity toÂ dynamic imbalances and (lack of) objectivity.
Jesse has recorded another lecture, on my game with Berger. I can’t wait to hear this one, too! I have no idea how he is going to squeeze all 104 moves into one lecture, though…