Moments from my recent OTB games - Newsletter from Say Chess

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Martin B. Justesen
Martin B. Justesen
Hi!
In this newsletter, I will go over some positions from my recent OTB games. Returning to playing classical chess again has taken a lot of time and energy, so I have not been able to produce YouTube videos or other content lately. My three kids also all have had birthdays in September, so it has been a lot of… birthdays to celebrate the last month!
In regards to my training, I have started reading ‘Simple Chess’ by GM Michael Stean (currently on page 90). I like the book so far, but I don’t think it will revolutionize my chess. My main problem has been that I have lacked the energy to look at my OTB games. To fix this I have booked lessons with an IM coach, with whom I had the first lesson yesterday.
I think it went really well and we managed to go over two of my recent games. It was nice to get feedback on my thoughts and doubts about my play.
Positions I got wrong
In the following position, I already had a bad position out of the opening and I tried to solve my LSB problems with a maneuver to g6, but I totally missed the problems with Ba3 when I played Be8. I then thought about Rf7, which is the only sensible move in the position, but then I thought about giving the exchange in order to get my Bishop into the game. And then I played Bg6??..

 Ivan Normann Andersen (2131) - Martin B. Justesen (1821), 1-0
Ivan Normann Andersen (2131) - Martin B. Justesen (1821), 1-0
The rest of the game was an uphill battle in order to get a playable position, which failed, and I had to resign after 37 moves. The main error was that I did not evaluate the position after 18…Rf7 19.g4 Nd7 correctly. The position would still be pretty bad, but not as bad as in the game.
Another misjudgment in another game is in this position:
Martin B. Justesen (1821) - Jens Sørensen (1679), White to move
Martin B. Justesen (1821) - Jens Sørensen (1679), White to move
My first thought was Nxg5. I then calculated Bxg5 Qxg5 Rdg8 threatening the Queen. That looked a little scary and I started looking at a4, with the idea to weaken his King position. That idea grew on me and I forgot to evaluate if Rdg8 really was a problem!! This made me play a4 in the position.
I could have played Qf4 and if Rg4 then Qe5! attacking the Rook and Ba6+! The best Black can do after Qf4 is to defend with Kb7.
Variation after Kb7
Variation after Kb7
Black has real problems on the e-file and I would have had several options here. The reason I did not play Nxg5 was mainly that I did not evaluate the position I arrived at after my first initial calculation. I just got scared and played a4. I was eventually lucky to win the endgame after 5 hours of play.
The lesson of these two positions?
I need to practice evaluating and calculate a layer deeper than I did during the games. It might be easier said than done, but now I have at least acknowledged a problem in my play.
Have a nice weekend!
Best,
Martin
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Martin B. Justesen
Martin B. Justesen @saychess1

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